The most recommended George W. Bush books

Who picked these books? Meet our 39 experts.

39 authors created a book list connected to George W. Bush, and here are their favorite George W. Bush books.
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Book cover of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America

Rebecca L. Davis Author Of Public Confessions: The Religious Conversions That Changed American Politics

From my list on why sex matters to US history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I never set out to be a historian of sexuality, but the more I read, the more convinced I became of the centrality of sex to politics, culture, religion, and social change. I am fascinated by histories of sexuality in the making and shaping of individual identities and behaviors, and I’m also drawn to histories of other topics—politics, religion, enslavement, leisure—that also teach us something about the history of sex and sexuality. These interests drew me to the podcast Sexing History, where I edit the stories and help produce the episodes. I love to read widely to find histories of sex in unexpected places.

Rebecca's book list on why sex matters to US history

Rebecca L. Davis Why did Rebecca love this book?

Aimee Semple McPherson lived a trailblazing life as the founder of the Four-Square Gospel Pentecostal church in Los Angeles, the first woman to own a US radio station, and a captivating, theatrical preacher. The beauty of Sutton’s book is the way he shows how McPherson’s sexual charisma—as well as her nearly career-ending sexual scandals—enabled her to define herself as the embodiment of Christian virtue. Wearing white and preaching with props and scenery worthy of a Hollywood set, McPherson used a show business savvy to portray conservative Christianity as the bedrock of Americanism.

By Matthew Avery Sutton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock to Christian Coalition canvassers working for George W. Bush, Americans have long sought to integrate faith with politics. Few have been as successful as Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.

During the years between the two world wars, McPherson was the most flamboyant and controversial minister in the United States. She built an enormously successful and innovative megachurch, established a mass media empire, and produced spellbinding theatrical sermons that rivaled Tinseltown's spectacular shows. As McPherson's power grew, she moved beyond religion into the realm of politics, launching a national crusade to fight the…

Book cover of Family Reunion

Alliah L. Agostini Author Of The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States

From my list on to celebrate Black summertime joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I write to spread joy and truth. As a proud Black mother living in a country with school districts that see Black stories as threats worth banning, amplifying these stories is crucial to the fight to help humanize us and retain the privilege of celebration and joy. When I wrote The Juneteenth Story, it was rooted in a conscious effort to balance my own joyous summertime memories of celebrating the holiday with the hard truths that established and evolved this holiday. This list includes a small sample of books about some of the many ways Black folks celebrate - enjoy.

Alliah's book list on to celebrate Black summertime joy

Alliah L. Agostini Why did Alliah love this book?

Written by a father and son duo, Family Reunion starts with a boy’s reluctance to join a family reunion and ends with him having a change of heart after bonding with a cross-generational group of relatives. Personally, the mini-scenarios throughout the book were so relatable, it made me wonder if the Richardsons were at one of my family reunions! Ashleigh Corrin’s bright cheerful illustrations seal the deal.

By Chad Richardson, Dad Richardson, Ashleigh Corrin (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Family Reunion as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this contemporary #OwnVoices tale, a boy is reluctant to go to his family reunion, which he's sure will be boring. Vivid, poetic language and rich illustrations bring readers along for the boy's emotional journey, as he ultimately finds himself enjoying the large and joyous gathering in spite of himself. This modern kid's-eye view depiction of a Black American extended family celebrates the importance of kinship and intergenerational ties.

Book cover of Texas Crime Chronicles

Cathy Pickens Author Of Charlotte True Crime Stories: Notorious Cases from Fraud to Serial Killing

From my list on true crime for those who don’t like true crime.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I started writing mysteries, beginning with St. Martin’s Malice Award-winning Southern Fried, I wanted to get the medical, investigative, and courtroom details right. What better resource than good first-hand accounts from professionals who do those things every day? I must admit that, over several decades now, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole. Real life is full of stories that, if told as fiction, would leave readers rolling their eyes in disbelief. The gruesome and cruel don’t interest me. I’m drawn to the storytellers who can capture the worst moments and turn them into finely written, compelling, accurate stories, showing us the complexity of life. 

Cathy's book list on true crime for those who don’t like true crime

Cathy Pickens Why did Cathy love this book?

I discovered Texas Monthly magazine and its in-depth crime reporting when one of my sisters lived in Fort Worth. I was hooked. Writers Skip Hollandsworth, Mimi Swartz, Mark Seal, Gary Cartwright, and others dig into each story. This isn’t “just the facts, ma’am” reporting. It’s why it happened and how it affected people. Some made international headlines (the military school cadets convicted of an odd love-triangle murder or the cheerleader’s mom who plotted to kill her daughter’s rival). Some could only happen in Texas. All are memorable, well-told tales.

By Texas Monthly,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Texas Crime Chronicles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nobody does it bigger than the state of Texas, whether it is a matter of cattle ranches, pro linebackers...or true crime. From EL Paso, from Dallas from tiny Channelview come tales of murder, mischief, and malice - complete with new epilogues on their dramatic final chapters - that have been torn out of the pages of the award - winning Texas Monthly magazine and still succeed in rocking an almost shockproof nation. Included are true tales of: * Charles Whitman, the University of Texas tower sniper who blew away sixteen lives. * The Cheerleader mum who planned to thwart her…

Book cover of All Because You Matter

LaTasha Reynolds Author Of Bryla's Amazing Imagination: Bryla Visits the Moon

From my list on empowering books for kids.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a children's book writer, I want my books to be infused with S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art, and science), imaginative adventure, and empowering words. These 3 elements are important for cultivating their minds. Great inventions and discoveries have come from people who were curious. I believe that it's our responsibility as parents to expose them to new interests and speak empowering words to their developing minds. Parents play a key role in how their children see themselves. I hope that my books encourage unity, spark the imagination, build strong parent-child relationships, initiate dialogue, and promote learning.

LaTasha's book list on empowering books for kids

LaTasha Reynolds Why did LaTasha love this book?

"Long before you took your place in this world, you were dreamed of, like a knapsack full of wishes, carried on the backs of your ancestors as they created empires, pyramids, legacies."

The lyrical reading gives appreciation and celebrates the importance of being acknowledged. Despite the challenges a child may face, they need to know that they matter. As a parent, we are our child's #1 fan and cheerleader. How do you let your child know that they matter? This book embodies this message and delivers it with grace. Plant these powerful words in the mind of your child.

By Bryan Collier, Tami Charles (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked All Because You Matter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

A lyrical, heart-lifting love letter to black and brown
children everywhere.
Discover this poignant, timely
and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode
to black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope,
assurance and love.

Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter,
part anthem, assuring readers that they always have,
and always will, matter.

Accompanied by illustrations by renowned artist Bryan Collier,
All Because You Matter empowers readers
with pride, joy and comfort,
reminding them of their roots and strengthening
them for the days to come.

Lyrical, personal and full of love, All Because…

Book cover of The Big Empty: Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America

Robert J. Begiebing Author Of Norman Mailer at 100: Conversations, Correlations, Confrontations

From my list on reading Norman Mailer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Professor of English Emeritus at Southern New Hampshire University and author of ten books, including fiction, criticism, memoir, and collected journalism. I was also an inaugural faculty member in the writing workshops at the Norman Mailer Center in Provincetown, MA. I first got into Mailer in the 1970s after reading The Naked and the Dead and Cannibals and ChristiansI ended up writing my doctoral dissertation on Mailer, which became my first book, Acts of Regeneration. My second book, Toward A New Synthesis, examined Mailer along with John Fowles and John Gardner as writers who adopted some of the techniques of post-modernism but kept their work firmly tethered to ethical issues.  

Robert's book list on reading Norman Mailer

Robert J. Begiebing Why did Robert love this book?

Mailer published three nonfiction books near the end of his life to lay out his final take on issues he’d been pursuing his entire writing life and as a highly visible, often notorious, public intellectual: On God, Why Are We at War?—echoing his 1967 novel Why Are We in Vietnam?—and The Big Empty. I chose The Big Empty because the reader comes to understand where Mailer lands finally on so many issues he covered during his decades of political and societal journalism, with a special focus on democracy in America, its potential and its abiding threats.

The book is structured as a series of dialogues with his youngest son, John Buffalo Mailer, who in his introduction argues that such a dialogue with his father represents a necessary conversation among generations. Their topics include, among other pressing intergenerational concerns, the American presidency, endless war, American 21st-century politics,…

By Norman Mailer, John Buffalo Mailer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Empty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Questions are posed, writes Norman Mailer, "in the hope they will open into richer insights, which in turn will bring forth sharper questions. " In this series of conversations, John Buffalo Mailer, 27, poses a series of questions to his father, challenging the reflections and insights of the man who has dominated and defined much of American letters for the past sixty years. Their wide-ranging discussions take place over the course of a year, beginning in July 2004. Set against the backdrop of George W. Bush's re-election campaign and the war in Iraq, each considers what it means to live…

Book cover of The Grifters

Lee Matthew Goldberg Author Of Stalker Stalked

From my list on noir that are great films.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a writer of thrillers whose debut novel was considered Noir, I’ve always been fascinated by tales of characters that are not always the most likeable. Noir fiction is characterized by cynicism, fatalism, and moral ambiguity. Similar to its successful films, I love when you feel for an anti-hero. That despite their questionable motives, the author or director manages to make you root for them in the end.

Lee's book list on noir that are great films

Lee Matthew Goldberg Why did Lee love this book?

Another Jim Thompson classic, The Grifters is about a trio of con artists trying to move up from being small-time crooks. They add love and a mother/son relationship into the mix which only makes things worse. The film directed by Stephen Frears is a master-class in acting from Anjelica Huston, Annette Bening, and John Cusak. The scene at the end couldn’t be more shocking as a way to wrap up a noir film. Money is paramount in the world of the grifters, everything else secondary. What could be more noir than that?

By Jim Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Grifters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roy Dillon is young, good-looking and devastatingly charming. He's also a completely amoral con man. Lily, his mother, works for the mob. Moira Langtry, Roy's mistress, is always looking for the main chance, and so is Carol Roberg, the nurse brought in to look after Roy when a bad choice of mark means he has an unfortunate encounter with a baseball bat and a bad case of internal bleeding. Together they make up a perverse quadrangle of love and greed in a coruscating novel of corruption.

Book cover of Heroes for My Daughter

Salma Hasan Ali Author Of BenchTalk: Wisdoms Inspired in Nature

From my list on stories that make you feel connected to humanity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a “storyseeker” as much as a storyteller. I love hearing people’s ordinary and extraordinary stories; they inspire and motivate me and make me feel hopeful. I think our stories are the most precious things we have, and our greatest legacy. They help us understand each other better and connect us to people we may otherwise never get to meet. That’s why I wrote a book of personal stories called 30 Days: Stories of Gratitude, Traditions, and Wisdom and a 30 Days Journal that helps people record their own stories, by answering a prompt each day for a month. For a nonprofit I help lead called KindWorks, my title is CIO—Chief Inspiration Officer!

Salma's book list on stories that make you feel connected to humanity

Salma Hasan Ali Why did Salma love this book?

Brad Meltzer wrote these two books when his son and daughter were born, so he could highlight values that he wanted to pass on to his kids.

I love how each hero’s story is captured, not with a long biographical narrative, but with just a few words—quotes or a specific story of a pivotal moment in their life—that reveal the essence of who they are, not just what they achieved. We all need that dose of inspiration, no matter our age.

By Brad Meltzer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heroes for My Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer brings together a remarkable group of heroes with one thing in common: they were ordinary people who became extraordinary.

A perfect companion to girl power collections like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Rachel Ignotofsky’s Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, and Vashti Harrison’s Little Leaders, Heroes for My Daughter is a necessary addition for children, parents, teachers, and anyone looking for inspiration. The sixty featured figures represent the spectacular potential we all have within us to change the world.

The dynamic pages full of photos, quotes, and brief…

Book cover of Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security--From World War II to the War on Terrorism

Andrew Payne Author Of War on the Ballot: How the Election Cycle Shapes Presidential Decision-Making in War

From my list on the politics of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I take great pride in having somehow turned a passion for visiting presidential libraries into an academic career. I’ve now conducted extensive research at eight of them, and have future projects lined up to get me to the rest. This experience means I can and frequently do ruin family gatherings by challenging distant relations to quizzes about obscure details involving presidential pets. But it has also left me well-placed to write a number of articles and books exploring how domestic politics shapes the development and execution of U.S. foreign policy. I’ve done this while affiliated with the University of Oxford and, more recently, at City, University of London. 

Andrew's book list on the politics of war

Andrew Payne Why did Andrew love this book?

This book expands the horizon to include coverage of many of the crises and conflicts of the post-Cold War era. In doing so, it draws on an unusually rich range of primary sources for a book of this scope.

Its treatment of the role played by Congress is particularly notable, which should perhaps be no surprise given the author’s expertise in chronicling several of the major legislative battles in U.S. history. Somehow still coming in around the 500-page mark, the book’s briskly paced narrative makes it possible to devour it in one sitting. Indeed, you might find it hard not to. 

By Julian E. Zelizer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arsenal of Democracy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Arsenal of Democracy , historian and public intellectual Julian Zelizer shows how internal politics have influenced American foreign policy since the Cold War. Rejecting the notion that, prior to the presidency of George W. Bush, politics stopped at the water's edge," Zelizer exposes the partisan fighting that shaped the foreign policies of presidents from FDR to Kennedy to Reagan, revealing the extent to which the GOP and Democratic party have alternately sought to define themselves as the party of war and the party of peace as the political mood shifted. Republicans, he shows, have not always been hawks during…

Book cover of Roughing It in the Bush Or, Life in Canada

Morgan Wade Author Of Bottle and Glass

From my list on frontier life in 19th century Canada.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I moved to Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 2001 I was amazed to find how this city, unlike many North American cities, has preserved and celebrated its past. It’s in the architecture, the streets, the fabric, and the soil. As someone with a deep love of reading and exploring history, I immediately began to research my new home. I didn’t discover the sort of bloodless accounts often taught in school, replete with dates and facts. This history simmers and boils; full of tales of pirates and officers, gadflies and ne’er-do-wells, countless plucky frontiersmen and women. There is enough raw material for a thousand novels. 

Morgan's book list on frontier life in 19th century Canada

Morgan Wade Why did Morgan love this book?

The gold standard source for what life was like for the hardy souls arriving in Upper Canada in the early 19th century. Although writing from a position of relative privilege, Moodie writes of hardships and deprivations that make the modern reader blanch. We wonder whether we could have survived what she and her family endure.  She writes with richness and great humanity so that we can vividly imagine what it must have been like for her to be taken from the relatively comfortable life she’d known and to make a life in the bush.  Despite her trials and tribulations, she comes to have a great love for the beauty and wildness of her adopted home.

By Susanna Moodie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roughing It in the Bush Or, Life in Canada as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…

Book cover of Spanking Watson

Rick Tuber Author Of Well, I'll Be Damned!

From my list on mystery, humor, and revenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I spent a career as a television film editor, crafting other writers’ words and directors’ visions to help tell a story. I’ve always loved mysteries and the good ones always have clues that only the savviest of sleuths can figure out. When humor is added it’s even better. That’s what I’ve tried to do with my writing.

Rick's book list on mystery, humor, and revenge

Rick Tuber Why did Rick love this book?

I love a good mystery that also makes me laugh. Kinky Friedman does that on almost every page. He is most known for his singing and songwriting, (and his run for Texas Governor), but I’ve found all his books to be page-turners and laugh-out-loud funny. In Spanking Watson, Kinky calls upon his real-life friends to help him solve a mystery that he instigated. Kind of a test to evaluate his future assistant, or Watson to his Sherlock. 

By Kinky Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spanking Watson as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Just as every dog must have its day, every Sherlock should have his Watson, and so in Spanking Watson the indomitable private dick Kinky Friedman embarks on a plan to determine which of his dependable 'Village Irregulars' will make the best sidekick.In order to assess the crew - McGovern, Ratso, Stephanie Dupont, Brennen and Rambam - Kinky assigns to each one the task of figuring out who wrote a death threat to Winnie Katz, the Kinkster's upstairs neighbour and dance teacher. Each one is resourceful in trying to ferret out the culprit - but what truly confounds Kinky is that…