2009: 157. Girls Like Us

“One day after school, fourteen-year-old Carole Klein sat on the edge of her bed in a room wallpapered with pictures of movie stars and the singers who played Alan Freed’s rock ‘n’ roll shows at the Brooklyn Paramount.”

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation: Sheila Weller

           I grabbed this at Barnes & Noble as part of a last ditch effort to finish my music Book Resolution (having already jettisoned the “classical” part in the past month), and was not expecting it to be absolutely fascinating.  It goes to show you that any really well written book can be interesting, no matter the subject.  The book tells the story of three women rock and roll stars - Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon, but more than that, through their lives examines the amazing changes that women faced in the 1960’s - how their opportunities were wider than ever, but how nonetheless there were so many doors closed and burdens to overcome.  From the perspective of a woman born in 1978 it is sort of mind-blowing.  Not that I wasn’t aware of this stuff, theoretically, but the lives of these extremely successful, talented, and famous women illuminated a number of issues I’d only thought of academically before this.* And the book is pretty interesting from a gossipy pop culture bio, too - lots of famous people and affairs and all that.  Not to mention all the talk about the music - the famous albums and songs, and where they came from and how they were produced and all that jazz.  But the best stuff is the feminism, the rest is just the icing on the cake.

Date/Place Completed:  December 2009; D.C.

Categories: Non-Fiction; Book Resolutions

*One part that particularly caught me off guard was a decision about how now days women are able to marry men who are their friends and companions and to be part of a team where both have careers and lives (this is isn’t the exact point, but I can’t find the quote, alas!), but that such a concept was almost alien in the 1950’s...

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017