Girls Like Us

Girls Like Us

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon--and the Journey of A Generation

Book - 2008
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A groundbreaking and irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists -- Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon -- charts their lives as women at a magical moment in time.

Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct. Carole King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Joni Mitchell is a granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Carly Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust. They collectively represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now mythic sixties generation -- female version -- but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché. The history of the women of that generation has never been written -- until now, through their resonant lives and emblematic songs.

Filled with the voices of many dozens of these women's intimates, who are speaking in these pages for the first time, this alternating biography reads like a novel -- except it's all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal enriched by a wealth of new information.

Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them -- confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.
Publisher: New York London : Atria Books, c2008.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9780743491471
Branch Call Number: 782.4216 WELLER S
Characteristics: vi, 584 pages, [24] pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm.


From the critics

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Mar 27, 2016

A good read, especially for women who came of age in the 60s and 70s. I enjoyed reading about the 3 women's lives and careers, but also appreciated the addition of historical context, how the political and social background influenced and was influenced by the women. It brought back many memories. When I'd first picked up the book, I'd not noticed the subtitle "and the Journey of A Generation". My only criticism is that I think the author devotes more serious study of some of the lyrics, band members, and industry figures than is warranted or wanted.

Sep 27, 2014

Tried to edit my previous comment but the squirrelly system won't let me--forgot somehow to mention Joni Mitchell's beautiful "Both Sides Now" (made famous by Judy Collins) and poetic sixties anthem "Woodstock" (popularized by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young).

Read this book!!

Sep 22, 2014

Such a find, this book. Just looking at the cover brings back the music that was the principal soundtrack of my girlhood:

Everywoman King's "It's Too Late," "Smackwater Jack" and "So Far Away;" Sensualist Simon's "That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be," "Anticipation," and "You're So Vain," and High Priestess Mitchell's "Carey," "You Turn Me On, I'm A Radio" and every single cut from "Court and Spark." It's nice at last to have some background and perspective on the making of these songs and the gifted women who wrote them.

TheRachelS Jun 16, 2011

Recommended by Lainey

Aug 30, 2010

An irresistible biography of three of America's most important musical artists- exploring how they broke new ground personally and professionally.

Aug 30, 2008

I'm half way through this book and I'm loving every page. So much background to the many songs I listened to from this period.

Aug 25, 2008

This book is over 500 pages long and I only have had two weeks to read it (with no renewals). It's really three biographies and although there are some overlaps among these three people, it would have been better to choose one person and focus on her. I don't find this book very well written and it definitely is not a page turner. It seems to be filled with meaningless details and often gets derailed talking about people who have only marginal connections to these three women. I really like Carole King (actually she is one of my all-time favorite artists), Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon. However, the book is mostly a snooze-fest.


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