Customer Reviews for

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--and the Journey of a Generation

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

riveting reading

It's hard to imagine a fan of the three women singer/songwriters profiled in "Girls like Us" not being riveted with the revelations found throughout Sheila Weller's terrific book. While all three (Simon, Mitchell and King) have led very public lives in both the press a...
It's hard to imagine a fan of the three women singer/songwriters profiled in "Girls like Us" not being riveted with the revelations found throughout Sheila Weller's terrific book. While all three (Simon, Mitchell and King) have led very public lives in both the press and their often personal songs, this book peels back new layers, so that the reader feels an intimacy about each woman and connection with her life's journey. Weller provides their alternating stories with a background social history of American women that presents context to each one's life choices. It's sad to see each singer struggling to have viable careers dismissed by record and radio executives as they reach middle age, a struggle far less likely for their male peers. It's also disappointing to see many of the often famous men these women were involved with acting like jerks and worse. While you can argue that each woman is worthy of her own individual biography, their shared stories work well as a narrative since their lives crossed more than once. "Girls like Us" is indispensible to understanding American popular music of the sixties and seventies. Highly recommended.

posted by 462322 on August 14, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

"The tune lady" - a lover of music

I have always been a major fan of both Carole King & Carly Simon so I was naturally drawn to this book. (I'm not that familiar with Joni Mitchell's music as I think she appeals to a slightly different audience.) And being part of this generation, I could certainly relat...
I have always been a major fan of both Carole King & Carly Simon so I was naturally drawn to this book. (I'm not that familiar with Joni Mitchell's music as I think she appeals to a slightly different audience.) And being part of this generation, I could certainly relate to the challenges of growing up in the 60's. I was fascinated with the struggles that inspired some of the songs, and how the three reinvented their lives while continuing with their songwriting careers. Replaying their music now has a deeper meaning & relevance knowing more of the background. Ms. Weller is a talented writer & storyteller & it appears that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this book. Having said this, I think the book could have been written about the time period, the second wave of Woman's Lib, & the music that surrounded this era. Weller brought so many celebrities, not just musicians, into her book that the story might have flowed more smoothly & then become what it appears she was trying to portray, "the journey of a generation." She could have still used the three as examples of blazing a path for future women. And I don't think it was necessary to reveal some of the more intimate details of the lives of these women when they were not sanctioned, (although I suppose it sells books) especially when she knew that at least one of the three was planing her own autobiography. (It seems that only Carly Simon consented to be interviewed.)I truly hope that Carole King does in fact write her autobiography. I look forward to hearing about her life from her own perspective. Perhaps Carly Simon will do the same.

posted by llamamia on April 5, 2011

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    "The tune lady" - a lover of music

    I have always been a major fan of both Carole King & Carly Simon so I was naturally drawn to this book. (I'm not that familiar with Joni Mitchell's music as I think she appeals to a slightly different audience.) And being part of this generation, I could certainly relate to the challenges of growing up in the 60's. I was fascinated with the struggles that inspired some of the songs, and how the three reinvented their lives while continuing with their songwriting careers. Replaying their music now has a deeper meaning & relevance knowing more of the background. Ms. Weller is a talented writer & storyteller & it appears that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this book. Having said this, I think the book could have been written about the time period, the second wave of Woman's Lib, & the music that surrounded this era. Weller brought so many celebrities, not just musicians, into her book that the story might have flowed more smoothly & then become what it appears she was trying to portray, "the journey of a generation." She could have still used the three as examples of blazing a path for future women. And I don't think it was necessary to reveal some of the more intimate details of the lives of these women when they were not sanctioned, (although I suppose it sells books) especially when she knew that at least one of the three was planing her own autobiography. (It seems that only Carly Simon consented to be interviewed.)I truly hope that Carole King does in fact write her autobiography. I look forward to hearing about her life from her own perspective. Perhaps Carly Simon will do the same.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2009

    riveting reading

    It's hard to imagine a fan of the three women singer/songwriters profiled in "Girls like Us" not being riveted with the revelations found throughout Sheila Weller's terrific book. While all three (Simon, Mitchell and King) have led very public lives in both the press and their often personal songs, this book peels back new layers, so that the reader feels an intimacy about each woman and connection with her life's journey. Weller provides their alternating stories with a background social history of American women that presents context to each one's life choices. It's sad to see each singer struggling to have viable careers dismissed by record and radio executives as they reach middle age, a struggle far less likely for their male peers. It's also disappointing to see many of the often famous men these women were involved with acting like jerks and worse. While you can argue that each woman is worthy of her own individual biography, their shared stories work well as a narrative since their lives crossed more than once. "Girls like Us" is indispensible to understanding American popular music of the sixties and seventies. Highly recommended.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 15, 2010

    Book Depicts Three Women Pioneers

    If you love the music of Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King you will love reading this book. This book depicts how their music provided the soundtrack for a generation of women who came of age in the 60's and 70's. Also, anyone would love to read about how the events of the 60's and 70's shaped the music these women created even if that person didn't grow up in that era.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    The Creation of All Those Great Songs from Blue and Tapestry come to Life

    It was fascinating to read in-depth about the songwriters/singers who I grew up listening to and to understand the interaction of this close-knit circle of musicians, producers and writers all during the same time period. Finding out the motivation and the actual person who their songs were written for was also enlightening. Juxtaposed against the women's movement of the time was a unifying theme that tied all three singers' lives together.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Girls Like Us

    Author Sheila Weller writes a well-researched story and gives us an insight into the lives and loves of three women whose songs ignited a generation of women. The stories of Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King are interwoven with before unheard of antecdotes and their own musings. I found it particularly interesting to see how their personal heartbreaks and journeys were reflected in their music. This book dissects the male dominated music industry and gives the reader a better sense of what female artists had to endure in their climb to the top of the charts. While complimentary and respectful; Weller is not afraid to show the foibles, egos or career damaging decisions made by each. This only makes each of these strong, vital women more human. Also, who doesn't finally want to know what we suspected all along... the identity of the cad in "You're So Vain".

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2013

    I loved reading this book about three extraordinary women record

    I loved reading this book about three extraordinary women recording artists who profoundly influenced my 'formative' years. It was significant to me to know some of the backstory of how they got into the business, what in their lives influenced the music, and how so many of 'the songs' evolved. The book is pithy--sometimes a little overdone with the details--but I was very impressed with Weller's research and style. It was sometimes hard to keep track of each woman's story as they are not told consecutively, but alternated. Still, I loved reading this book and could not put it down until I was done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2013

    Very interesting and very detailed biography of three singer/son

    Very interesting and very detailed biography of three singer/songwritiers. The background data on each singer is so detailed that it is easy to get lost in the weeds of information.The author writes extremely well, and the verbage is often over my head. I learned quite a bit about each singer. The author obviously did her homework in researching the backgrounds of each singer. It took me a long time to get through this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    Good history for those who lived thru it

    Although somewhat long winded and heavily descripted this book gives a wonderful backstory to the lives of these very influential women who helped shape our lives thru their music and intretation of the times finally put to bed the thought that your so vain was about mick jagger good read but defintely a commitment of time i didnt relate much to joni mitchell so thought too many pages were devoted to her vs carly and carole


    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2012

    Help?

    Is this good? I'm going to go see it when it becomes a movie because Taylor Swift is going to play Joni Mitchell, but is the book good or boring? Thanks:)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    loved this book

    amazing how the lives of so many famous musicians were intertwined, these are three very interesting ladies

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  • Posted June 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Women Behind the Image

    This book tells the story of the early lives of Carole King, Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell. It is interesting to read how they found their stage names, when they had children and who they had relationships with and how their musical careers took off. The one common thread between all of them is James Taylor. For anyone who idolizes these women you will quickly realize some of their choices were not always wise ones and it is amazing the broad circle of recognizable musicians they were friends with and many times it evolved into something intimate. I found that piece not so flattering because there were so many. The book is well written. It did change my perceptions of these 3 women and when I hear their music I now often think of the women behind the name and image.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Yes, girls like us

    I can't begin to write how much I'm enjoying this book...it's as if the author wrote it just for me! Joni Mitchell is my favorite female artist (James Taylor being my favorite male), and I have many albums of Carly Simon and a few of Carole King's as well. Reading this book is like reading a soundtrack of my life! At every twist and turn I find out how incestuous the music business is, and how interrelated and connected my favorite musicians are. While the bulk of the book deals with Joni, Carly and Carole, you'll learn tidbits and interesting facts about many other musicians,actors,celebs as well: James Taylor, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Jackson Browne, Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson...the list goes on and on. <BR/>The beginning was a bit dry (about their childhoods), but once the women start performing in the music business "katie bar the door!" There are fascinating revelations on nearly EVERY page. Reading the book has made me go back and listen to nearly each and every song by all three artists with a new appreciation and understanding. Brilliant! Highly recommend reading this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2008

    I LOVED THIS BOOK

    My mom got this book for me and she read and told me to read it so i did and it was so good i had to write a review on it.Its a really great pager turner,theres so much going on in these peoples minds.Its a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2008

    Had to get it!

    I loved the book. I am alway looking for the behind the screen scene story. Even the romantic side of biography. This is a great read with lots and lots of information to chew on. I am the ultimate Carly Simon and Carol King fan. Was Little Eva really a house cleaner of Carol King? Get the book if you love music history of the greats.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Reinventing lives

    I have always been a major fan of both Carole King & Carly Simon so I was naturally drawn to this book. (I'm not that familiar with Joni Mitchell's music as I think she appeals to a slightly different audience.) And being part of this generation, I could certainly relate to the challenges of growing up in the 60's. I was fascinated with the struggles that inspired some of the songs, and how the three reinvented their lives while continuing with their songwriting careers. Replaying their music now has a deeper meaning & relevance knowing more of the background. Ms. Weller is a talented writer & storyteller, & it appears that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this book. Having said this, I think the book could have been written about the time period, the second wave of Women's Lib & the music that surrounded this era. Weller brought so many celebrities, not just musicians, into her book, that the story might have flowed more smoothly & then become what it appears she was trying to portray, 'The Journey of a Generation.' She could have still used the three as examples of blazing a path for future women. And I don't think it was necessary to reveal some of the more intimate details of the lives of these women when they were not sanctioned, (although I suppose it sells books) especially when she knew that at least one of the three was planning her own autobiography. (It seems that only Carly Simon consented to be interviewed.) I truly hope that Carole King does in fact write her autobiography. I look forward to hearing about her life from her own perspective. Perhaps Carly Simon will do the same.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    enjoyable, but not definative

    This book really dwells on the early years of Carole King, Joni Mitchell & Carly Simon. The research is painstaking up until about 1973. After that, the author concentrates less on the music, and it becomes a laundry list of romantic conquests. Worth reading though, if you are a fan of these 3 artists

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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