Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the cofounder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster; her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters, performing folk songs with her sister, Lucy, in Greenwich Village; to a meteoric solo career that would result in 13 top 40 hits, including the number-one song "You're So Vain". She was the first artist in history to win a Grammy Award, an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe Award, for her song "Let the River Run" from the movie Working Girl.
The memoir recalls a childhood enriched by music and culture but also one shrouded in secrets that would eventually tear her family apart. Simon brilliantly captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets", among many others. Romantic entanglements with some of the most famous men of the day fueled her confessional lyrics as well as the unraveling of her storybook marriage to James Taylor.
Includes original music composed especially for the program by Carly Simon and Teese Gohl plus a previously unreleased bonus song from Carly Simon.
©2015 Carly Simon (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
"Carly Simon exuberantly narrates her memoir, which reads like a history of rock and roll from the 1970s onward. Simon's warm and personal style sounds as if she's telling her story directly to each listener." (AudioFile)
This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to for years. Carly reads her book perfectly, peppering the audiobook with her own music, adding to the emotion and stories.
Carly's life, growing up in the 50s and the trials of her life beyond are fascinating, and her seemingly balanced portrayal of James Taylor left me slightly heartbroken.
This really made me appreciate Carly's massive back catalogue and the meaning behind both the hits and wealth of hidden gems therein. The book was over 14 hours long but still had me aching for more. I listened to the final chapter twice, which is a first for me. Highly recommended, and for the whole experience I recommend having a serious listen to her autobiographical songs outside the book, between sessions!
any author reading their biography is always special. The nuances, the emphasis's and the emotions show through. Carly has a wonderful singing voice (of course!) but she has a wonderful reading voice too.
Mike Fleetwood, similar era music wise (and behaviour wise?)
yes, was hard to leave!! sad when it finished. Can't wait for next installment!
lovely book, well produced, having the musical interludes was a great bonus. Best book I have ever listened too!
"Gorgeous and Sad"
Still trying to decide how I felt about it. On the one hand it was gorgeous. She reads it herself and the audiobook is interlaced with lots and lots of her music throughout. It has to be a completely different experience from reading it with eyes only. In many ways it confirms how sensitive and brilliant she is.
On the other hand it also seems like it was her attempt to come to terms with the fact that she has never come to terms with the failure of her 10ish-year marriage to James Taylor which ended in the early 1980's. Yet she was married again for about 20 more years to someone else, and unless I nodded off toward the end, there's not even a mention of that. There's something disturbing and downright pitiful about how she seems so determinedly stuck in the long-ago.
"Beautifully told with Carly's music."
Beautifully written and narrated by Carly Simon. The book is scored to many of the songs she's written, thanks to the genius of Ken Burns. The music and lyrics enhance the story Carly shares. Interesting insight into her relationship with James Taylor--not the easiest man to love or live with. One of the best audio books I've ever listened to. This particular book demonstrates the power of an audio book over the printed version. So many feelings and subtleties are conveyed to paint a more vivid account of the events in her life. After all the years have past since her divorce from Taylor, you can see that Carly still has a place in her heart for James Taylor.
"Surprisingly AWESOME Audio."
Entertaining, revealing, thoughtful.
"Me" by Katharine Hepburn.
Who knew that she'd be as good acting out her life story on an audio as she is singing it out on a record? This is really wonderful. She's got a great voice for storytelling, her pace is spot-on and she brings you right into the story.
I usually find the childhood stories in biographies to be tedious, but this one really is colorful and is just as interesting as the rest. I like the first story of the book, and like glimpsing into the world of her dad, who was the Simon in Simon and Schuster.
I did not expect this to be as entertaining as it was. Listened all the way through and enjoyed the whole thing. She's honest about her flaws and strengths.
"She's Not Vain"
I enjoyed hearing Carly's familiar voice and inflections, which ensure that the story is told as she would tell it to a friend (minus the few details she leaves out of the print version to spare the feelings of still-living family members and friends). While she "overplays the drama" (as Janet Maslin of the NYTimes wrote) sometimes in her writing, with a style slightly overdone, precious, and redundant (stringing together multiple metaphors to describe the same person or event in the same sentence), she is humble and self-effacing enough to prevent that style from seeming overly pretentious.
The story behind the writing/recording of her hit song You're So Vain...and all of her other celebrity conquests (or, more accurately, their conquests of her). As the title implies, there are a lot of boys, men, and sexual encounters OF ALL KINDS in this book...YOU WON'T BE BORED! One of my favorite moments was when she finished telling her therapist about the night before, which she had spent with Warren Beatty, and her stunned-looking therapist replied.....but NO! That would spoil a hilarious story for you, if I revealed the punchline here.
The singing!! I hadn't known there would be any, and that was a nice surprise.
There are some laughs, some "Oh my ---" jaw-dropping shockers, and some times when listeners who have had some of the author's same experiences might be moved to tears. I felt as if anyone who has ever been through a difficult breakup could relate to the author's pain surrounding the terrible times in her own marriage and divorce. She made that pain especially palpable, as if it is still fresh to her and she has never really gotten over it.
One thing this book MIGHT make the reader feel is a little bit disgusted by the hyper focus on sex. Honestly, as the child of sexually wild parents, and as a little bit of a sexually shy, somewhat sexually conservative person myself, I sometimes found this aspect of the book hard to swallow (pun acknowledged). Let's put it this way: If you are a true social conservative, you should be forewarned that you will probably actively dislike much of Carly's memoir...and if you're a sexually liberated former flower child you may very well love it!
I ended up very much wishing that this memoir had covered all of Carly's life, continuing to the present, not just up until her split from James Taylor. Perhaps there will be a second volume??
"That husky voice..."
I chose this book because Carly Simon was reading it herself, and I have always loved her voice. She did not disappoint, reading with a wistful softness. Her life has been filled with privilege and opportunities, yet she is candid about her anxiety and--something I never knew--her stutter. (Another great book about a stutterer is David Mitchell's bildungsroman "Black Swan Green"). Her childhood was fascinating, filled with artists, writers and musicians who visited her famous but troubled father. Her brief career as a rock star is amusing, and it was fun to hear about how she wrote songs like "You're So Vain." There are a couple of suspenseful set pieces toward the end, as her failing marriage to James Taylor tears her up.
The audiobook includes a lot of guitar strumming and piano, which tended to be distracting. Sometimes I could not follow what Carly was saying because the music was too loud. But this grew on me, and by the end of the book I was moved by the new songs she sang, new to me at least, including the Walt Whitman poem O Captain! My Captain set to music.
"best audio book ever heard and i have listen to over 50"
This is a 10 the reading with music more musician should read this before they audio a book totally amazing
"Memories of My Younger Daze"
Brings Back Memories
Had no idea that someone with such talent and fame could lack confidence. It made her seem more personable and more like one of the girls. She could have really said some nasty things about many people but she was very gracious about all of them including her ex husband, JT. Glad to know the source of 'You're So Vain'.
Have never listened to any books by her but do enjoy her music.
Carly is Just Like the Rest of US!!!
I was a little sad to hear that this talented, beautiful woman saw herself as less than she really is. I hope that she will someday understand how meaningful her life was to all of us who are fans of her music.
"Great Narrative, wonderfully detailed"
Carly Simon not only reads her own book "Boys In The Trees" but the background music and her occasional vocals make this a thoroughly entertaining experience. She put a great deal of thought and time into this audible version of her book and the result is a delightful, poignant journey with a soulful, honest woman struggling with her relationships, insecurities and fame. Her detailed remembrances with dulcet often emotional narratives draw the reader in and we're made to feel as if she is speaking only to us as her intimate closest friends. I have loved her music for over 40 years and then fell in love with her words all over again .. Highly recommend !
I think so, with one exception. Simon plays and sings on the audio version, which is wonderful, except there are times when it is difficult to hear her speaking over the guitar or piano.
I didn't know much about Carly Simon before I listened to the book. I think at times that her insights into her childhood are similar to mine - the feeling of being inadequate and lonely. It was definitely interesting to see her become a product of her generation, and how it parlayed into her songs.
"Loved it but doesn't go past early 80s!"
My headline says it all. Very interesting story. Carly's voice sounds great as the narrator. So disappointed the story ends early 80s. Curious to know what she's been doing since then.
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