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Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon -- And the Journey of a Generation Paperback – 14 Apr 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 584 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (14 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743491483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743491488
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.8 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 385,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"Reading "Girls Like Us" is like sneaking into a reunion of the hippest class from the '60s...where all the secrets come spilling out after the third glass of wine." -- Suzanne Finstad, bestselling author of "Natasha: A Biography of Natalie Wood"

"Juicy and politically astute, this book is a page-turner, and it fills a gaping hole in the history of the counterculture." -- Peter Biskind, bestselling author of "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation Changed Hollywood"

"A wild ride through an important part of rock history that too often has been overlooked. This book will stay on my shelf next to albums like "Blue" and "Tapestry," places I turn to to capture a more innocent and romantic era in music and in my life." -- Charles R. Cross, bestselling author of "Room Full of Mirrors: A Biography of Jimi Hendrix"

"More than the story of three pop stars, "Girls Like Us" chronicles a generation of young women who had a moving determination to recast their lives and loves as high adventure. Weller beautifully captures the mammoth enterprise of making a new womanhood." -- Christine Stansell, author of "American Moderns: Bohemian New York and the Creation of a New Century"

"There were five books by my bedside when "Girls Like Us" arrived, but this was the book I had to keep reading. It's filled with nuggets I hadn't known about, and this generation of women is my subject! If you love the singers and the songs, you'll tear through "Girls Like Us,"" -- Sara Davidson, bestselling author of "Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties" and "Leap!: What Will We Do with the Rest of Our Lives?"

""Girls Like Us" is about three women whose courageous, defiant talent defined a generation. Whether you read it to rediscover that wonderfully stormy time -- the '60s and early feminist movement -- or to discover it for the first time, take it to heart. Sacrifice, hard work, and daring to dream is still the tale of girls like us." -- Carole Radziwill, author of the New York Times bestseller "What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love"

"A page-turner of the first order....a must read....." -- "The Boston Globe"

"Entertaining and intelligent, thanks to Weller's skills as a storyteller and her understanding of the musical traditions that inspired each of her subjects." -- "The New York Times Book Review"

"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

Book Description

The lives, loves, songs and times of Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon - and how they mirrored and fuelled the journey of a generation of women --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm a woman of the 60's and it all rang true. I think we all wanted to be these three women when we were younger, and the stories behind the music, plus the real-life tales of each woman's challanges to free herself from stiffling conventions kept me reading it straight through. The evocation of each woman's personality and her particular challenges was keen - I felt I knew them by the time the book was finished (and could so relate to so much of what they went through). You also got a chance to revisit the times ....How I had forgotten so many details: What we wore, what concerned us, how small a space a young woman had to move around in, how much she had to do on her own. These women's music expressed the exhilleration and the pain of charting a new course, and by the end of the book I wanted to hug them (and listen to their magnificent albums all over -- and over -- again)
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Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book gives us the fascinating and often sad braided biographies of three remarkable artists. Carly, Joni and Carole: Contemporaries and creative 'Sisters'.

The Music Business and all its obstacles are thrown into sharp relief. The chapter on Carly Simon's first months in the studio in the mid-sixties makes disturbing reading. The sexual bylaws Carly would often use to her advantage, she learnt through jarring humiliation. She conquered all this and more, all the while journalising her experiences in her song-writing.

Carole King rivalled Joni Mitchell in her tangled personal life. She showed her naturally compassionate nature - and considerable balls, I think - in accepting her husband Gerry Goffin's adultery and child with another woman into her life, while bringing up their two children and working full-time as a songwriter and musician in New York's legendary Brill Building. Carole would go on to enrapture her fellow singer/songwriters as a resident of Laurel Canyon, California. Her album 'Tapestry' is still a high-watermark of her profession, and still a wonderful album the listener can return to; like the embrace of an old and trusted friend.

As for troubled, feisty, self-absorbed, passionate, ambitious and always confrontational Joni...

Read all about it. Sheila Weller's book is an absorbing, beautifully detailed history of three women, a tumultuous personal history and a powerfully evocation of a heady era. I cannot recommend it enough!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have not finished it and I doubt I will. The language is not appealing and the author seems to not have met any of the subjects in person. I am a fan but I can't be bothered.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very fast paced account of a very heady time. The family and musical stories of the three artists are interwoven, often with them sharing partners (most notably James Taylor), at different times. The author makes a very good case for the importance of all 3. but clearly with artistic primacy being given to Joni Mitchell. For what it's worth, I found their likeableness in reverse order to their standing as artists.
At times, and probably naturally, the preferences of the author seep through; in particular she is damning of pretty much all (though, admittedly, not actually ALL) the men that have anything to do with Joni. Carole or Carly. Perhaps they were for the most part a bunch of self serving bastards?!
Overall this book is a very evocative and easy to read account of an important period of social history in which these women, it is argued, contributed greatly to the enhancement of women's independence (from men) by showing, in both their lives and their songs, the different ways in which women can lead a fulfilling life.
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Format: Hardcover
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having been a young woman in the '70s and a child in the '60's this graphic account of the developments in the '60's filled in the gaps for me. The three singer/songwriters are described with warmth, generosity and a clarity that captured my imagination and sent me back to their music, I closed the book with a huge respect for their ground breaking work, something I'd previously taken for granted. I think that Sheila Weller has done a brilliant job processing the information she had and analysing it in terms of the period. The only weakness is in some of the writing which descends into the style of a rather unskilled rock journalist. However, this is not always the case and at many points the writing is clear and unpretentious. This book is worth reading for anyone interested in why we, as women, are where we are today and have the freedoms we do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book as these three women, especially Joni Mitchell, were my favourite singers when I was a young student and beyond.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has fascinating information on each of them and provides a real insight into how they developed their respective talents.
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Full of lots of information....I haven't got through it all yet, but such a well written book
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