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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.

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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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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