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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation Hardcover – April 8, 2008
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"Captivating. A strong amalgam of nostalgia, feminist history, astute insight, beautiful music and irresistible gossip. Weller's grand ambition winds up fulfilled." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Let's get one thing clear right from the start -- this is a fabulous book...Girls like Us unfolds with drama and panoramic detail. Written with a keen journalistic and, more importantly, female eye, [it] works as a healthy, long overdue counterweight to the endlessly repeated, male-sided version of rock 'n roll. Before these women broke the cultural sod during the rock 'n roll years, there were no girls like us. Now there are millions." -- Caitlin Moran, London Sunday Times
"Even at 500-plus pages, the book goes down as easy as a Grisham yarn on a vacation flight... The only flaw to Girls Like Us is that it comes to an end. Few people lead lives as action-packed and spiritually opulent as Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon did during such intensely interesting times. And few writers are able to impart so much freight with such vigor. The towering triumvirate got what it deserves." -- The Toronto Sun
"A page-turner of the first order....a must read." -- The Boston Globe
"As an avid music reader, sometime reviewer, and teen of the '60s myself, I was sure I knew just about everything there was to know about Carole, Joni, and Carly.... But Girls Like Us, an ambitious collective biography by six-time author and magazine journalist Sheila Weller, showed me exactly how much I didn't know. This absorbing, well-reported book chronicles a time when women in all walks of life were exercising new-found freedom. And as icons of that era, nobody did it better." -- Christian Science Monitor
"Both scholarly and dishy. A superb journalist, Weller has managed to uncover a trove of unreported facts on her subjects." -- People **** (Pick of the Week)
"When we were little, and someone said, `I love chocolate pudding," there was always some nutball who'd ask, "Do you want to marry it?' Well, I love Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us so much that I would marry it. This lush, beautifully-researched and lyrically written biography of the three women whose music was emblematic of the generation who pioneered the way for me and so many others is literate, bold, charming and ... cuddly....[E]very page brought a fresh surprise. Weller raised the bar for this book above even a classy celebrity bio... This book probably gave me more pure enjoyment than any but a handful I've read in years. If you're passionate about music -- and about passion -- you'll have to hand it to Sheila Weller for a bravura composition of her own." --Jacquelyn Mitchard the bestselling author of Still Summer, Cage of Stars, and the first Oprah Book Club selection, The Deep End of the Ocean, on WritersAsReaders.com
"Incisive, painstakingly researched...Any woman who grew up during the late 1960s and '70s will fall head over heels for Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us." -- Ladies Home Journal
"A sharp-eyed vision of the worlds which nourished these ambitious, determined and singular artists...Weller digs deep into [Joni Mitchell's] complex psychology and provides as close to an understanding of this difficult figure as anyone is likely to ever offer. An unfailingly entertaining read...a riveting story." -- Mojo
"Juicy... I doubt I'll listen to Mitchell's songs again without considering the child she gave up for adoption... and her subsequent bouts with depression or hear the oft-married King's music without thinking of her tumultuous relationships. As for Simon, Weller captures fully both the richness and glamour of her romantic life and the profound sensitivity that made her especially vulnerable to ex-husband James Taylor's drug abuse and the cavalier charm of Warren Beatty." - USA Today
About the Author
Sheila Weller is a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning magazine journalist. She is the author of five previous books, most recently her 2003 family memoir, Dancing at Ciro's, which The Washington Post called "a substantial contribution to American social history." She is the senior contributing editor at Glamour, a contributor to Vanity Fair, and a former contributing editor of New York. To learn more, visit www.girlslikeusthebook.com.
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I wanted more and recently went back to this AMAZING trilogy from Sheila Weller featuring the life and careers of Carly, Carole and Joni.
I'd already read it 3 times but that didn't stop me.
It's a very rare thing when a biography can tell one life well, keeping you riveted right to the last page.
This time you get three!
What a brilliant example of painstakingly well-researched and 'foot-noted' writing all the while being 'I can't put this down' entertaining.
Ms Weller does an incredible job of weaving the three careers together showcasing how monumentally important they were at a time when Rock music was dominated by men.
(Well it still is, but these 3 women broke through when there were few to none before them.)
The documented and verifiable stories about Carly, Joni, and Carole (and those in their circle of friends) was like rubbernecking at a car wreck. I’m far enough behind them in age that I simply didn’t realize the extent of drug usage and sexual promiscuity (with ANYone and EVERYone that was available, and many times with people who were married). Venereal disease was rampant, but kept under control with prescription medication. Death from overdose in their circle of friends was on the rise as well.
And while I still love their music, I have to say that my esteem for these women has been measurably tarnished.
Other reviewers have induced gales of laughter calling out Weller's stylistic idiosyncrasies. While she maintains a zippy pace and sometimes has good insights, she writes many long sentences filled with hyphen-linked-adjective-chain descriptions (and parenthetical asides), and *footnote references into which she drops yet more names that she couldn't quite figure out how to shoehorn into the main text, which can leave a was-that-really-necessary taste in the reader's mouth (and speaking of taste, one of Carly's favorite restaurants was Elaine's, where she would lunch with Mia Farrow, who lost touch with Carly when she stated dating Woody Allen). Moving on . . .
In spite of the inconsistent writing, I think most women of a certain age will find "Girls Like Us" as much fun to read as I did, at least until the end. Weller brings her subjects' childhoods to life and carries them along the road to fame, reporting in sometimes excruciating detail their bad choices in men and their resultant heartbreaks. I am no expert but Weller also seems to know enough about music that, without too much technical detail, she can explain to the lay reader why the songs worked as well as they did. You come to feel like you know Mitchell and Simon. King is more enigmatic as a person but gets involved in some interesting environmental activism.
These women were all pioneers in claiming creative and personal autonomy among male contemporaries who had been brought up expecting women to be old-school and who called wives and girlfriends their "old ladies." They achieved dizzying levels of professional respect and material success. But among them they have eight failed marriages, and today their music is relegated to oldies stations. Maybe they are more content than Weller lets on. But you will find no happy denouement to lives lived in the brave, crazy fast lane in "Girls Like Us."
Most recent customer reviews
just knocked me out A+++++