avoiding road rage one book at a time...
I absolutely loved everything about this book, including Janis's awesome and honest narration. She uses her stunning voice to sing the listener in to each new life chapter. Her words paint pictures, her voice sounds heavenly. GREAT story of a hard-working optimist.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The best thing about this memoir is that we get to hear it in Janis's own voice exactly as she intended it to be heard. She even occasionally punctuates it by singing snippets of her songs. There doesn't seem to be much that she's not willing to share with her readers/listeners. I give her credit for that, especially for someone with so many trust issues. There was probably more than I wanted or needed to know about her sex life. I was more interested in hearing about her songs and the album creation process. It turns out, that's actually a small part of a singer's life. It's mostly about the unending amount of time spent touring, and about her personal life. It was both interesting and disappointing to discover that her life has actually been rather ordinary, apart from being famous and having a couple fairly bizarre episodes. Occasionally, I wished there were more dates thrown in to keep the story anchored. Occasionally, I wish people had been better identified; I have trouble keeping track of people who are only explained once many pages earlier if at all. I could never tell if her accounts of events were meant to convey how she felt at the time, or if she still feels that way now. She recounts a number of mistakes that she made in her life and career, but the way she tells it leaves it unclear if she appreciates her share of the responsibility for them. Lest anyone think I am unsympathetic to her trials and tribulations, let me hasten to reassure them that I would not have bought this book if I hadn't been a fan of Janis's work. Whether anyone who is not a fan would appreciate this book is hard to say, but she writes well and reflects the times in which she lived in a way that helps remind all of us what it was like.
I adored every second of this book. I didn't know who Janis Ian was when I started it. Audible recommended it to me based on my past purchases. I'm so glad I took Audible's advice! I believe that this book won a Grammy, and I can see (and hear) why. The narration is great, the story is heart wrenching and told beautifully, and it's interesting to learn about a slice of life and a time in this country that you might not have known about before. A MUST listen!
This book, and the incredible delivery, is so full of insights. I've never been so profoundly affected by a book before.
No, I wanted to drag it out and savor it. I only listen to audio books when I'm in the car or on the exercise bike.
This book felt so incredibly personal, read and sang by the author. Being a song writer, I think, gives here an innate sense of timing. She's an excellent writer and reader. I loved it when she said she suddenly realized that "words have color and words have feeling." Her words do.
I'm sure that I will read this over many times over the years. The story has tremendous impact and is a psychological roller coaster.
She tells it like it is, the good, the bad and the ugly. She also includes insight as to how she developed her songs. She also sings verses of some of her hits. You get it all !!!
She has great control of her voice and is one of the best narrators I've listened to and I listen a lot.
Absolutely! She was inspirational and kudos to her for writing this book.
I hope she chooses to narrate additional books in the future
(Because of my age) I had never even heard of Janis Ian. I dont even remember what made me get this book, but I am glad I did.
Her story was interesting and funny and triumphant and heartbreaking. Janis narrarated it herself, and even sang some of her songs. It made the book very heartfelt- you can even heaer her smile when she reads the happy parts.
She was a true pioneer during the days when people were not encouraged to be different or be themselves. She overcame so much during a time when it seems people were discriminated against for EVERYTHING! Race, age, sexual orientation, looks, opinions, and all the rest. She never gave in or conformed in order to fit in. She is a role model for us all.
This book made me realize that we have come so far in the battle for equality, and it is a credit to the brave souls like Janis Ian.
I started listening to this book based on the great reviews. At first, I was somewhat disappointed. The writing seemed a bit cliched, and Janis Ian's voice was a bit cloying. But I got curious to find out more about how her career developed, so I kept listening. By the time I finished Part 1, I was completely hooked and rooting her on. I always liked her music, but never knew anything about what happened to her after her initial early success. What a phenomenal life! Or, to be more accurate, lives (plural). The way she kept coming back from hardship, never letting go of her dreams or losing her sense of irony and humor, always believing in her talent, and even forgiving those who tried to do her in offers lessons for everyone. By the end of the book, I felt that I knew her and wished that I really did. I also went back and listened to her music again with new appreciation.
It felt like being in a one-on-one conversation with Janis -- even if she couldn't hear my sympathetic "oh, dear, that was terrible" or "good for you" responses.
The brief musical snippets served as a reminder of her songwriting talent and enhanced the overall book.
Uneasy lies the teenage head that wears a crown of musical success.
I have loved Janis Ian's music since the early 70's and was hopeful about this bio. Unfortunately, it was almost entirely composed of how the world was hard on her, and how wonderful and brilliant she was in the midst of it all.
I have lived a somewhat tough life too, but learned a long time ago that very little happens to us that was not, in at least some level, a result of our own choices and actions. Janis may have had some hard knocks, but never takes any responsibility for her own choices or actions. That leaves me wondering how much else was exaggerated or more the result of her own than she would have us believe.
I still love her music, but am now a lot more jaded about the life story behind it...
Janis Ian is leading a remarkable life. She stormed into the public eye with the brilliant and socially controversial “Society’s Child” single in 1967 at the tender age of 13. A tremendously talented song writer and performer she continues to deliver wonderful music to this day. But what a life, it took a while to build on her meteoric start but she did. She leaves little untold from tilted sexuality to enduring a rocky heterosexual marriage to becoming secure in herself as a gay woman. She enjoyed major financial success then near ruin at the hands of a crooked manager and cruel IRS. Janis was an early embracer of the digital/internet world and the artistic freedom it offered. And all along the way are many, many lyrical, lovely songs. I really enjoyed this book and Janis tells her own story so very well. One thing that does not come through in the book though is what a great performer she is, and how witty and fun she is as a performer.