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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon
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Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

by Carly Simon

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2281072,971 (3.73)15
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I'm not really sure why I picked this up. I will say I tend to enjoy biographies of people either long dead or people I have no vested interest in more than those about people I know (of) and like. Memoirs are a little different. This was okay. Carly Simon has an amazing speaking voice and I loved having the music in the background. I probably would not have enjoyed it nearly as much had I read the print version. I guess it's a positive to say I feel the same way about her now as I did before I listened to this? ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Another book that I had to read too quick. A friend of my husband gave it to me and then decided she wanted it back! So I had to read it in one night so he could take it back to her yesterday.
There was a lot that was interesting in this book, but there was also something about the book that just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. If you love Carly Simon or are musical, I'm sure that you would like this book. I'm not that musical and not a huge fan. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Jan 4, 2018 |
Well, Carly's a singer/songwriter, not an author. But I learned a lot about her. It is interesting to know more about her childhood, and the stories behind some of the songs she wrote, and where the inspiration came from. I'm always surprised to learn that musical geniuses suffer from stage fright and panic attacks--but I guess that happens more than we think. A little heavy on all the "sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll" stuff for my taste, but that seems to be part of the story of people like Simon, and it was probably her intent to be as honest as she felt she could. ( )
  cherybear | Jun 24, 2017 |
Before reading this memoir, my knowledge of Carly Simon and her life was pretty basic. I was familiar with her music, although mostly just her chart-topping songs, knew that she married & then divorced James Taylor, and knew that she suffered bouts of stage fright & didn't do a lot of public performing. But I liked her well enough to be curious about what her memoir would have to say, so I looked forward to reading it.

A large portion of the book centers on Carly's years growing up: living with her business-oriented father (co-founder of Simon & Schuster), her not-so-faithful mother, & 3 siblings; her struggles with stuttering, her budding sexuality, and her music debut as one half of the Simon Sisters. She then branches out into her break-out solo career, her marriage to James Taylor, motherhood, and the more heartbreaking years when her marriage began falling apart. There's a fair amount of name-dropping, but rightly so, as Carly became popular fairly quickly in the early 70's and was often in the right place at the right time. She also shared quite a bit about the history behind some of her more well-known songs, most of which she wrote or co-wrote. She ends this particular memoir at the period shortly after her divorce from James, so there really isn't much in this book beyond that point, but that seems appropriate, given that the time period of her increased popularity (70's & early 80's, primarily) would seem to be what appeals to most readers.

I read this on audio, and though I think the book itself would also be enjoyable, I would recommend doing it on audio if you have the chance. Not everyone can read their own memoir effectively, but Carly does a good job of it and you would never guess that she's had a history of stuttering. The audiobook does have a fair amount of (mostly) instrumental music throughout, which is nice, although sometimes a little too prominent, making it difficult to hear Carly's speaking voice at times. It's hard to describe why I enjoyed this book so much, but I did find myself fully immersed in the story (especially in the middle) and was always anxious to get back in the car so that I could continue listening. I am a sucker for most any type of book, fiction or non-fiction, set in the decade of the 1970's, so that may have been part of it. But as a straight memoir of someone who lived, and continues to live, in the public eye, this was a well-written book. ( )
  indygo88 | Sep 14, 2016 |
read by Carly Simon. Her lyrics and voice are beautiful, but after listening to the story of her life, I realize the pain and personal heartbreak (and joys) that were part of her musical creations. The ending is almost painful to listen to as she forgives James Taylor and herself. Listen to the music and enjoy the book. ( )
  deldevries | Jul 9, 2016 |
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Dedicated to the first Orpheus, Richard L. Simon, my father, my beloved hero, understood too late for our peace to come during his lifetime.
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This day may have been the day, the very day when my identity was born.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Simon's memoir reveals her remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder 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 #1 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 a song composed, written, and performed entirely by a single artist: "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 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.… (more)

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