And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side
Category: MemoirSynopsis: Dana Perino, Press Secretary to President George W. Bush, talks about her life, in and out of politics.
Date finished: 16 May 2015
Comments:When I read a memoir, I’m always keeping track of how much I have in common with the author. A lot of times, there isn’t a lot, maybe a physical feature here and there or a shared love of food, say, or writing. But every now and then a book comes along that catches me by surprise because the author and I have so much in common. And the Good News Is… is one such book. Dana Perino and I are, apparently, soul sisters.
Here’s a little chart of our commonalities:
Born 1972 around 1972
Attended state university state university
Studied journalism creative writing
Met husband on a plane online
First date with awkward, kissed a lot in a taxi awkward, kissed a lot in an
husband was Oldsmobile Alero
Dated husband long-distance long-distance
Husband is 18 years older 26 years older
Children decided not to have them decided not to have them
Stepkids are her age my age
Grandkids call her “Grandma America” call me “Grandma”
Loves dogs, reading dogs, reading
Believes in God and manners God and manners
AM or PM? morning person morning person
Spells swears with yes yes
than she is
Job press secretary for leader of the okay, so this is where
free world & co-host of cable it all breaks down, but still…
news commentary show
So I’m no great reviewer of this book. I feel like I’m wildly prejudiced. But I do have two things:
If you think George W. Bush is the devil, don’t read this book. Because Dana is unabashedly close to the president, and you’ll just get upset about that. If you respect George W. Bush, read the book. She humanizes him and gives instances of his steadfastness of character. For instance, when she was going into resentful overdrive trying to protect the president from his less-than-kind portrayal in Scott McClellan’s memoir, he told her something to the effect of, “You have to let this go, Dana.” He knew not everyone liked him, and he knew he’d even make enemies of those he trusted most, but that was something he had to deal with, not something she had to take on herself.
Thing two. A portion of the book was advice to young professionals and it. Was. Awful. It was the most banal advice ever. (Send thank you notes. Don’t wear stupid boots to work. Etc.) I was embarrassed for her. I wish she would have talked about confidence, courage, and clarity—things she knows something about and many young women struggle with. The dress-for-success stuff and how to speak intelligently—young women will learn that on their own. What women (of all ages) need mentoring in is how to feel successful, not how to be successful.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this “celebrity” memoir because she’s my little blonde spirit-doppelganger.
Would you recommend this to a friend?If you’re a conservative woman, yes.
You might also enjoy:No Higher Honor, Condoleezza Rice
Spoken from the Heart, Laura Bush