Barbara Bush said Tuesday that a racy new biography about her predecessor, Nancy Reagan, is "trash and fiction."

Asked if she had read the book, Mrs. Bush said she hadn't and didn't intend to.But she said the book's assertion that she gave Mrs. Reagan a sprayed white vine wreath one Christmas and that Mrs. Reagan promptly gave it to a friend is flat-out wrong.

"That's why I think the book's fiction," Mrs. Bush told reporters during a White House reception. "I did not give her a wreath for Christmas. Every window in this house has a wreath on it. If you're going to make up a story, you can certainly make up a better one than that."

"I think it's trash and fiction," Mrs. Bush said in her first public reaction to the book, "Nancy Reagan, the Unauthorized Biography."

The book portrays Mrs. Reagan as a manipulative, power-hungry woman who had an affair with Frank Sinatra and tried marijuana.

The book quotes one of Mrs. Reagan's secretaries as saying that Mrs. Bush sent Mrs. Reagan a sprayed wreath for Christmas and that Mrs. Reagan "immediately put someone else's name on it, told me to gift wrap it and send it off to one of her friends in California."