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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 24, 2015
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An Amazon Best Book of December 2015: In the trees is just about the only place in Carly Simon’s world that there aren’t boys, suggests this unputdownable memoir by the beloved singer and the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for the same song ("Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl). Growing up the privileged but congenitally anxious daughter of a high-flying publishing executive, Simon learned early on – perhaps from her mother, who moved a much younger male “assistant” into the house when the Simon sisters were small – to crave love and attention. Some of this she got, of course, from performing, even though she famously suffers from crippling stage fright. The rest she sought from men – and her encounters with guys known mostly by their bold-faced first names – Mick, Warren, Jack – are well (and sometimes painfully honestly) documented here. (And yes, she finally reveals who her song “You’re So Vain” refers to – sort of.) But it is the story of her marriage to fellow musician and Martha’s Vineyard resident James Taylor – whom she met first as a young teenager – that is the most resonant. Although the union lasted two decades, and produced two children – and despite the fact that Simon and Taylor are now not in touch – it is clear that JT is Simon’s real-life torch song, the original man who got away. – Sara Nelson
"Intelligent and captivating...Don't miss it." - People Magazine
"One of the best celebrity memoirs of the year ... elegantly written and revealing." - The Hollywood Reporter
"Carly Simon could have gotten away with just the name-dropping. In her life, she's crossed paths with an astonishing range of famous people, from Cat Stevens and Jimi Hendrix to Benny Goodman and Albert Einstein. So it's a pleasant surprise that in her compelling new autobiography, Boys in the Trees, she lays out her naked emotions and insecurities, and that she proves to be a supple writer with a gift for descriptions."- Rolling Stone
"A lyrical look back at her childhood, her career, and oh, the men in her life...anecdote-filled...dishy without being salacious. There’s plenty here for fans to feast upon" - USA Today
“Boys in the Trees meets its lofty expectations. As one of pop music’s more literate songwriters ― she was the first solo woman to win a Best Song Oscar for Let the River Run from Working Girl ― Simon writes beautifully and affectingly. Her publisher father, for whom she clamored for attention and validation, would be proud.” – Miami Herald
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Top customer reviews
But back to the book - it is not what the headlines make you think it is. It is a serious, beautifully written account of the life of a popular but under appreciated artist, that was charmed in parts, deeply romantic in others and downright upsetting elsewhere. It is riveting too - I can't think of many other books that would have had me reading straight through for five hours until it started getting light out. Mostly it is an account of a difficult marriage, that is to say, between her and James Taylor. They were the king and the queen of the 1970s. A lot of people have wondered what it was really like between them and in this book we finally have the answer. But Carly Simon is always respectful and loving towards him, even though she is also very very frank about what went on. The book ends in the early 80s which makes me wonder if there will be a second book! All in all, this book puts you under a spell that will make you want to play all her music all over again and remember what it was like back then. Highly recommended!
I was hooked from the very first paragraph. "This day may have been THE day, the very day when my identity was born. Before the incident occurred, I didn't think about who I was. After, I would spend the rest of my life testing myself to see if I had been right."
Her writing style is elegant and eloquent.
Ms Simon gracefully leads the reader through her life piecing together her self identity all the while keeping the reader riveted with an astonishing storytelling talent.
Yes all the fun (and surprises!) of the famous relationships and names are here, framed with the songs and music they inspired, but most important, for me, is the story of a woman coming to terms with her own life long quest for love, understanding and forgiveness.
Sure, there's the amazing biography told with great detail. And you won't be let down if you're looking for that front seat to her fables of fame. But, more interesting and fulfilling are her deep, beautiful thoughts and memories tangled up with a philosophical peek into a deeply thinking, caring, worrying, artistic lover's soul.
I'll never forget that morning in 1973, while getting dressed for school, my mother was singing along with the radio "clouds in my coffee...there were clouds in my coffee" and knowing then and there - at age 6 this was a powerful and poetic that moved me in ways only true music magic can do. I've been in love ever since.
Thank, Mr. Simon, for bringing us both your genius and your genes. For it is because of both we have the gift of Carly...
West Hollywood, CA
January 16, 2016
Much too wordy, though...sometimes dragging on embellishing so long that I skimmed through some paragraphs while looking for her end point. I found a few things a bit unbelievable, such as, how could she remember the details & color of people's shoes or attire from 40+ years ago. Seemed quite made up.
I really wish she talked more about the different songs she wrote, who or what inspired the lyrics, etc, as I've always enjoyed her music. How her voice has deepened greatly & became more raspy over the years. And her life after James Taylor. Being hit with that Kenneth Star ponzi scheme would have been an interesting chapter.