A Woman Like Me: A Memoir and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $26.95
  • Save: $6.49 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

A Woman Like Me Hardcover – September 27, 2012


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover, September 27, 2012
$20.46
$1.56 $0.01 $26.95

Frequently Bought Together

A Woman Like Me + Thankful N' Thoughtful + Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook
Price for all three: $45.12

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Rider Press; 1 edition (September 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039915938X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159381
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Anyone who has ever heard Bettye LaVette's voice will recognize how absurd it is that she may have ever been unsung. This is her own story, in her own words. What else could you need to know?” —Elvis Costello
 
“From the jump, A Woman Like Me is riveting. Bettye LaVette's story grips you and, like her voice, doesn't let go.” —Paul Shaffer

A Woman Like Me is a candid, offbeat, and gloriously unapologetic memoir by one of the greatest soul singers of all time…. This is narrative writing at its best. LaVette’s charismatic style of performance is consistent with her bold and engaging personality on the page; there’s never a dull moment here.” –Kristin Rawls, The Christian Science Monitor  
 
“‘Love, Reign o’er Me’ is one of the best songs I’ve written. I never thought anyone could challenge the way Roger Daltrey took the vocals to such a high level of anguish, longing, and epiphany, but Bettye did it. She is a voice from the wilderness. How did we miss her for so long? A Woman Like Me goes some of the way to explain. Now she is here, an extraordinary discovery in a blues voice. We must hang on to her tightly.” —Pete Townshend
 
“Bettye makes no apologies.” —Jon Bon Jovi
 
“LaVette has had quite the colorful life, and she spares no detail or hair-raising experience in A Woman Like Me.” —Kia Makarechi, The Huffington Post
 
“Absolutely engrossing… a wild ride… Despite the numerous setbacks, the unfilled promises from producers—something she terms 'buzzard luck'—LaVette is a survivor and no obstacles is too big for her to surmount. Her honesty is astonishing and if half of what she relates is true then her journey is no less painful than Billie Holiday’s or Bessie Smith’s…. What is most intriguing about her book is the way she and Ritz mix humor and wit, a kind of comic relief to the moments of sorrow and setback…. Longtime residents of Harlem, Chicago, LA, and Detroit will relish those scenes so memorably evoked by LaVette as she recalls the clubs, incidents, and the gaggle of lovers and mentors…. A woman like Bettye LaVette is like no other.” —Herb Boyd, The Network Journal

“A dizzying, careening, nonstop roller coaster ride of an autobiography….An unflinching and uncompromising look at a life lived across the tracks from fame, where the brass ring was always within view but never within her grasp.”  –Ben Edmonds, Detroit Free Press

“LaVette’s autobiography reads like an R&B song only she could perform—soulful and honest….Her quest serves as one of the most authentic inside looks at the American music industry, and LaVette pulls no punches…LaVette’s tale is a treat.”  Publishers Weekly

“A tale of inspiration, frustration and promises deferred...studded with anecdotes about a life making music alongside some of the biggest names in Detroit.” –Tris McCall, The New Jersey Star-Ledger

“Powerful.”  The Village Voice

“Hilarious and harrowing … the details of her tale prove so crazed, quotable and laugh-out-loud funny, I found myself dog-earing many more pages in her book than I left pristine. At 66, LaVette has lost none of the muscularity of her instrument. Neither has she lost her trim figure. Her bad-ass spirit, evident on every page, remains even more firmly intact. The most powerful aspect of her story comes in the way she chooses to tell it: with a triumphant cackle.”  –Jim Farber, New York Daily News

“The life story of this soul singer—a real survivor, now 66—is destined for the big screen…LaVette’s candid story is also a window into the early years of Motown and the Detroit music scene." –Billy Heller, New York Post

“[LaVette’s] book is red hot.” –Steve Holsey, Michigan Chronicle

“Bettye LaVette’s autobiography, A Woman Like Me, proves she’s as amazing a storyteller as she is a singer.” –Benjamin Boles, Now

“LaVette tells it like it is…. LaVette sings as straightforwardly as she writes, probably because she is from no-nonsense Detroit. Much of the start of her memoir, cowritten with David Ritz, details the Detroit blues scene. There are beautiful cameo portraits of Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Little Esther Phillips along the way.” –Charles R. Cross, The Seattle Times

“LaVette is a rhythm and blues survivor of the highest order, someone whose run of ‘buzzard luck’ as she calls it would have stomped down almost anyone else alive. To read her unrelenting story with every single nitty gritty detail included is to understand what long odds the music business has always been, and also see the high and low points in high-def detail like very few biographies have captured. LaVette is long past shame over some of her escapades, and lucky for us she and co-writer David Ritz capture the arduous journey dead-on, never pulling out the make-up and lip gloss to try and sugarcoat the truth.” –Bill Bentley, The Motion Report

“Besides being remarkably frank, A Woman Like Me is a very funny book, rife with one laugh after another.” –Lee Hildebrand, San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Bettye LaVette (born Betty Jo Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American rhythm-and-blues singer who made her first record at sixteen but achieved only intermittent fame until 2003 and her album A Woman Like Me. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music. Her live performances consistently receive rave reviews, and her albums The Scene of the Crime and Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook have been nominated for Grammy Awards. She has been a guest on major national radio and television programs. LaVette lives in New Jersey with her husband, Kevin Kiley, and their three cats, Otis, Smokey, and Jeremy.

David Ritz has been described by The New York Times as “the first-call celebrity collaborator.” He has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Don Rickles.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
22
4 star
10
3 star
2
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 35 customer reviews
A must read for anyone who loves music.
Kim K.
If you've ever seen Bettye Lavette perform you will know what I mean when I say she writes like she sings... She leave it all on the stage!!!
Andrea
The pictures in the book are great as well.
Elaine

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul F. Kopilak on October 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Being an avid music fan, I've read quite a few musical bio's in my day, some fascinating and some revealing but none had the drama and raw emotion I found in these pages. Bettye holds nothing back in this brutally honest story of a woman who's determination and strength just would not quit, even though it took her decades of hard work and unimaginable sacrifices to struggle to the top. Growing up on the tough streets of Detroit, she knew Diana Ross when everyone else knew her as Diane. David Ruffin slept in her home and she was no stranger to the likes of Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye yet success and that first album continued to elude her. I won't get into details but there's mob references, pimps, sex and just about anything else that would keep you turning the pages.
This is not your typical musical bio but a damn good book and one you'll be talking about long after you've turned the last page. The story might end there but Bettye sure doesn't. Check out any one of the many CD's she has out there! You've heard of Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin but Bettye's the best damn soul and blues singing lady that has ever drawn a breath and tragically, there are still a good many fans who haven't even heard her yet!
"Change is gonna come!"
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lesley on August 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As much as I adore Bettye and her music, this memoir wasn't as incisive as I'd hoped. Goes on and on about why it took so long for her to hit it big, but many other topics in her life are alluded to very obliquely. I wish it had been more revealing, which is what i expect from a memoir.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Enzi on October 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just LOVE Bettye Lavette. I've seen her at least 7 times now and she always puts on a great, polished show that makes all the hairs on your arms and the back of your neck stand to attention, give everyone goosebumps the size of eggs. How could I love her any more?
This book does that impossible thing-makes me love Bettye even more. It is funny, salty, raw. Unlike most celebrity bios which skirt through the sex & drug crazed 1960s-1970s saying "I knew some people were doing that but not me, uh uh!" Bettye waves her own sordid past like a flag, wears it like a badge of honor. If you wondered where that exhilarating grit in her voice comes from, this is the life that gave it to her. "I've learned more from pimps that preachers" she says.
You may be too nice to read this unvarnished truth. I started last night, finished this morning before work. I'm just glad that I didn't wear my good panties!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By wckay on October 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent no holds barred bio of the life of a black woman growing up in Detroit in the Motown era. I never felt more like a skinny white middle class kid from Massachusetts. For me it was the unvarnished perspective of a black girl and a wild one too - growing up and pursuing her dreams of singing and amazingly - finally making it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By FLOWBIRD on February 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book in 2 Days and I Felt like I was actually Sitting in this Woman's House and Having Coffee and Talking about Her Life..While Listening I Am Praying She would ask Me to Sover for a few days so that She can Continue Where The Book Left Off!!! LOVED THE BOOK AND BETTYE IS AWESOME AND CANDID.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Byrd on February 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This woman tells it like it is…warts and all. With heart, humor and humility, she can inspire you and break your heart, just as she does with her music.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Micheal Hughey on April 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
bettye came along way and i salute her! great voice! as you known she needed a good company to push her out there like D. ross
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By oshun on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I could not put the book down. I have seen Ms. LaVette in person in Detroit and she is an awesome performer. Learned alot about her life and others she was involved with. Glad she is happy,
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa6de6e10)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?