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A Natural Woman: A Memoir

A Natural Woman: A Memoir

4.3 31
by Carole King

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The life that inspired Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn, to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A NATURAL WOMAN chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing readers into her musical world, including


The life that inspired Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway.

Carole King takes us from her early beginnings in Brooklyn, to her remarkable success as one of the world's most acclaimed songwriting and performing talents of all time. A NATURAL WOMAN chronicles King's extraordinary life, drawing readers into her musical world, including her phenomenally successful #1 album Tapestry, and into her journey as a performer, mother, wife and present-day activist. Deeply personal, King's long-awaited memoir offers readers a front-row seat to the woman behind the legend.

The book includes dozens of photos from King's childhood, her own family, and behind-the-scenes images from her performances.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Weaving a tapestry of rich and royal hue, King's affecting memoir eases readers through her life, from the girlhood in Brooklyn where she was already jotting down lyrics and her teenage years that culminated musically with the hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?"; through her tumultuous marriage and songwriting years with her first husband, Gerry Goffin; her moves back and forth between New York and California; her three marriages after Goffin; and her deep commitment to environmental issues bred by her living self-sufficiently with her family in the mountains of Idaho. She confronts the physical abuse she experienced at the hands of her third husband; her disbelief that she would let someone treat her that way, and her incredulousness at her own decision to remain in the relationship; and her eventual decision-with the help of an abuse support group-to leave him. King's passionate engagement with all kinds of music, and her musical genius (her Tapestry album remained on the charts for six years running, a distinction that eluded even the Beatles) flood through these reflections, and she recreates the excitement of working with producers such as Lou Adler, Jerry Wexler, and Ahmet Ertegun, musicians James Taylor, Danny Kortchmar, Russ Kunkel, Leland Sklar, and Aretha Franklin, and songwriters Neil Sedaka, Cynthia Weil, and Barry Mann, among many others.—Publishers Weekly

An acclaimed singer-songwriter invites fans into her personal life.
When King embarked on her Living Room Tour in 2004, she re-created onstage the atmosphere that millions had come to expect from the slew of albums she recorded from the 1970s onward. Tapestry, her breakthrough 1971 album, not only became a bestseller and a benchmark for women's achievements in the music industry but also introduced the down-to-earth, optimistic and liberated worldview of a woman with some timely stories to tell. King's trajectory mirrored that of many of her fellow musical peers. Bitten by the music bug at an early age and subsequently converted to rock 'n' roll in the '50s, she began writing her own songs, landing a record deal at the age of 15. She would experience far greater success, however, when she and co-songwriter Gerry Goffin turned out hit after hit for such artists as Aretha Franklin, the Shirelles and the Monkees. Having married Goffin when she was 17, King spent most of the '60s balancing her career with her responsibilities as a wife and mother. Change was in the air, though, and when her marriage deteriorated, she set off for Los Angeles to seek her own voice. That voice comes through strongly on every page of this memoir, an engaging assortment of recollections comprising a journey that started in her working-class Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, took her to Manhattan and Laurel Canyon and saw her escape what Joni Mitchell called "the star maker machinery" to settle in rural Idaho. In one of the book's best sections, King explains her decision to retreat from fame in the mid '70s, chronicling the joys and sorrows of going "back to the land" as well as the tempestuous relationships she had with two men during this period. She is also refreshingly candid about her four marriages.

A warm, winning read that showcases baby-boomer culture at its best.—Kirkus Reviews

Library Journal
Released in 1971, King's Tapestry still holds the record for album by a female that remained longest on the charts, as well as longest in the top spot. As recently as 2010, Live at the Troubadour, recorded with James Taylor, came in at No. 4 and sold 400,000 copies. All of which suggests that there's a big audience for this memoir by the four-time Grammy Award winner, who says, sweetly, that "the journey probably started with my grandparents."

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
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Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Carole King had her first No. 1 hit in 1961, at age 18, with "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". Collaborating with former husband Gerry Goffin, the team went on to write more than two dozen chart-toppers, including "One Fine Day", "The Loco-Motion", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", and "(You Me Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman." Her 1971 solo-album, Tapesty, won 4 Grammys, and earned her the record for longest time an album by a female artist has remained on the Billboard Charts (6 years), as well as the longest time holding the #1 position (15 consecutive weeks).

King, in addition to writing more than 100 top-selling songs has recorded 25 solo albums. In 2007 she and longtime collaborator James Taylor reunited and recorded Live at the Troubadour. Released in 2010 the album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and The Troubadour Reunion Tour became the second highest grossing Tour of that year. She has won numerous lifetime achievement honors and has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, "Hit Parade" Hall of Fame, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Carole King continues to entertain audiences the world over. She released her most recent album in December, 2011, Carole King: A Holiday Carole, to rave reviews.

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Natural Woman 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
LBMark More than 1 year ago
A fan since the release of Tapestry, Carole King helped so many people through difficult times, breakups, relationships and growing up thorugh her words and music. I always thought of her as a recluse, shunning the spotlight, and now have a better understanding of why. I was amazed to learn she lived only streets way from while she lived in LA. It is full circle for Carole King, who gave so many so much delight that we read with a grateful understanding she was going through her trials and tribulations, and wanting what we all want as humans, to be loved. Fascinating history of her time with Gerry Goffin, her move to LA, Idaho and her work with so many artists. Loved the insight on John Lennon. Saddened to read of the abuse. One powerful woman, one powerful artist, one powerful person. I think back fondly on her Troubador Reunion tour with James Taylor and as I sat in that box seat at the Hollywood Bowl, I looked back at the thousands that seemed to be thanking her for after all these years of her work as they stood on their feet, cheering and clapping and singing along with her. What an awesome sight that was. Thank you Carole King again and again.
StaceyWestPalmBeach More than 1 year ago
Finished the book late last night. If Carole is reading this THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your life in your book! A true talent from early childhood and always with the need to share it with the world while also living a very full life. Even Idaho - wow! Living amongst us "little people" and even falling in love with the wrong guys and yes the right ones too. Tapestry was released when I was at summer camp in the Poconos and had a HUGE effect on myb life and throughout, the book shared information on other music Carole gave to the world and the effect she had on them too. My husband and I with a bunch of friends had the opportunity to see Carole and James Taylor in Fort Lauderdale in 2010 shortly before her mom passed which I just learned in the book. Carole I hope you come back soon!!!!
Fantus More than 1 year ago
Extremely well written, Carole King's memoir spans a long and richly coloured life. Touching, brutally honest and often funny, this very private person opens up to reveal a life filled with music, raising children from two marriages and choosing to live a secluded life in Idaho. From her close friendship with James Taylor to the shocking revelation that she was abused by her third husband, this is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered about the woman responsible for some of the world's most beloved songs.
BarryNJ More than 1 year ago
Like listening to her classic album, Tapestry, reading A Natural Woman is like reliving your youth. Once a wordsmith, always a wordsmith, Ms. King writes with the ease of the songwriter that she is. What a wonderfully interesting story.
alfine More than 1 year ago
When you see her on stage you think, "A true star, and what a celebrity." When you read her book you say, "What a woman!" Her choices in lifestyle are simply unbelieveable, and her choices in men questionable. Her story weaves from New York to Los Angeles to Idaho and back again. Everything she does she does with her entire being, and with such fervor. She is the true individual with a fantastic story. She has a quick wit, and an understanding of herself one rarely has. She writes a fabulous story, and lives life to its' fullest. A must read for those who THINK they know Carole King! After I read her book, I wish I knew Carol King!!
Jules3 More than 1 year ago
Whenever I read an artist's autobiography I usually come away with something unrelated to the music. In Carole King's book it was the time she spent in Idaho living off the grid. I will also say, though, the history of the music was very interesting too as she brought us through the decades. I especially loved the part about how songwriters worked in the 50's and had no idea she has written and co-written so many songs. So glad she shared her story!
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Every Carole King fan will want this book I have one two people that I would love to sit down and have a conversation with and Carole King has always been number one on that list. Now I feel as though I have after reading her Memoir. Carole King has been writing the lyrics to our lives for more decades than should be mentioned and she inspired me on more occasions with her music than any other artist. When you read the backstory of how a song came to life and why the lyrics are so powerful every fan will understand the depth of her gift. This is a must read for every fan that has ever wondered what inspired that song.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, down to earth, and very interesting. Although Tapestry was the background music for my emotional teenage years, I really knew little about Carole King herself. Seeing her and James Taylor (who I've listened to forever) in concert was a memorable experience! She has done many remarkable things in her life and talks so openly about both the good and the bad that you feel like a friend. Thanks for sharing your story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting read...lots of info about Carole's life not commonly known. It is an accurate and detailed account of her personal journey, which certainly had lots of 'ups and downs'.. in many instances, surprising this reader! My emotions included admiration, respect, disappointment, and envy as I was drawn into the experiences she encountered..and I was definitely drawn in. Well written, I recommend it for all who have the slightest interest in the music industry.
HKHend More than 1 year ago
Truly the most phenomenal, most compelling, and most "unputdownable" book I've ever had the pleasure of reading. The very private Carole King opens up about her childhood, song writing with Gerry Goffin, her failed marriages, her children, the abuse she endured, the many artists she worked with and her life in Idaho. Through out the whole book, the one thing that remained constant even in her difficult and dark times, was her love for her family, and her love and passion for song writing and (singing). Although, she says she is and always has been a songwriter first. The strong, vibrant, quick witted, and much admired Carole King has blessed us with her musical talents and gifts for more than five decades. THANK YOU CAROLE! A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a Carole King fan for many years. This woman is not only one of the best entertainers over the past 5 decades, her songwriting is extraordinary. You will be amazed at the songs she has written and the contributions she has made in American music. I look forward to seeing her in concert in the near future !
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pepRP More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Carole since the 70's. Her book has let me see what I would have liked to have known about her while I was listening to her songs.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just the kind of book which I enjoy reading. It receives 4 stars because toward the succinct, focused writing at the beginning begins to fray toward the end of the book. But I did enjoy learning about Carole, her inspirations, her life. And I felt I understand her era a little more.
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sweettexasred More than 1 year ago
Although her politics are disturbing, I was impressed with her industry knowledge and her educational background. She was a bit on the "easy" side (questionable choices in terms of dating and men - just read between the lines), but her writing style was really good. I enjoyed the book enough to actually consider buying her Tapestry album.
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