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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 24, 2015

4.0 out of 5 stars 752 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

Review

"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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books; 1st edition (November 24, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250095891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250095893
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (752 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This downloaded onto my Kindle at around midnight last night and I was awake until 5 or 6 reading it (I'm a little blurry right now but have the day off). First off, this is one of the best memoirs I've ever read in my life. I have been reading the headlines about it and they all seem to focus on sex, sex, sex. And sure, Carly Simon has had her affairs with various guys over the years, but I can't help but wonder if the memoir of a male music star would have those same headlines. I'm guessing the answer is not. What about her music? What about how her voice is the one you hear wherever you go in this world (last week I heard You Belong to Me in the supermarket, and I Haven't Got Time for the Pain in my doctor's office!).

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!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have just finished Boys in the Trees and it is remarkable!!
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been a big Carly Simon fan since the start of her career. Her persona was always bold and sexy, but this memoir shows the truth underneath, of intense vulnerability and anxiety. That she has been so successful is a great testament to surviving a lot of odds. I really wish she would write a sequel - her life and music after James Taylor has been interesting, too - this book's epilogue isn't enough. I sang a lot of her songs while reading it. By the way, Torch is still my favorite album of hers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, her writing and storytelling is very impressive and spectacular. I'm very impressed with Carly's ability to tell these stories of her life in such a precise and eloquent manner. There is history, humor, sadness, surprise, innocence, betrayal, optimism, hope, love, grace, hate and forgiveness all weaved throughout the story. She attempts to give a rhyme and reason for all the pitfalls of embracing an adulterated lifestyle from her parents to her own relationships without being overly critical. She doesn't make excuses, but certainly gives a honest look at the conflicts, hardships and consequences one can endure. It's well crafted and not a tabloid format at all. I found the auto-biography to be REAL, honest and at times very touching. The story of Carly picking up her Dad at work is extremely touching and one of the best story lines I have ever read in any book. Carly takes the reader just to the edge on many of these stories and this gives them enough impact and an element of surprise. It's surprising that Carly reveals so much of her feelings during the 60-80s and then shares her currently perspective and thoughts. She does this very well. She doesn't really attack anyone (including James) but doesn't "sugar coat" it either. I only regret that she didn't take this up to the current day life. The timeline is her childhood through about the mid 1980's. I'm sure this book will have broad appeal as it truly shows that many, many of us bought into cultural and social falsehoods of the 60's and 70's and experience hasn't always worked out very well for our families and relationships. Without God's grace we'd all be hopeless and without purpose. Carly clearly is looking back at her life from a positive and forgiving way and this is what makes this story special.
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Like the other early reviewers, I read nonstop until the book's end. The author has a beautiful voice, and her story is compelling. You will not regret this total immersion into an artist's life and how love--both romantic and for one's children--changes everything. In so far as I remember, it's also an accurate depiction of the times, and they were a changing.
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