Regular price: $34.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Carly Simon remain among the most enduring and important women in popular music. Each woman is distinct: King is the product of outer-borough, middle-class New York City; Mitchell is the granddaughter of Canadian farmers; and Simon is a child of the Manhattan intellectual upper crust.

Collectively, they represent, in their lives and their songs, a great swath of American girls who came of age in the late 1960s. Their stories trace the arc of the now-mythic generation known as "the 60s" - the female version - but in a bracingly specific and deeply recalled way, far from cliché.

The history of the women of that generation had never been written - until now - and it is told through the resonant lives and emblematic songs of Mitchell, Simon, and King.

Filled with the voices of dozens of these women's intimates, this alternating biography reads like a novel - except it's all true, and the heroines are famous and beloved. Sheila Weller captures the character of each woman and gives a balanced portrayal, enriched by a wealth of new information.

Girls Like Us is an epic treatment of midcentury women who dared to break tradition and become what none had been before them: confessors in song, rock superstars, and adventurers of heart and soul.

©2008 Kellwell Inc. (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"An exhilarating look at three of the most creative talents of their era....Wonderfully detailed." ( The Boston Globe)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    64
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    58
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    34
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    16
  • 1 Stars
    11

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but...

I've just finished listening - and came away with generally a good feeling about this book, even if - TMI - the exhaustive research could have been edited a bit. BUT - it was the narrator (Ms Ericksen) who annoyed me -with her numerous mispronunciations of names (oh well, if that sort of thing annoys you... then READ the book, I suppose). I loved the details about the early, formative years of these three women and the people who came into and out of their lives, shaping their creative talents from a very early age.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lily
  • St. Augustine, FL, USA
  • 07-27-09

But, do they have innies or outies?

Yes, this book contains every detail of the lives of these three women except that one... Unlike several other reviewers, I like lots of detail and often choose books for their length. (I wish I had counted every occurrence of the phrase "in an interview before his death in xxxx..." That sure made me feel mortal, since I'm only a decade younger than the subjects.)

I chose the book because I liked Carole King and Joni Mitchell both pretty well, although I wasn't that familiar with the work of Carly Simon. In the end, I liked them all a lot LESS as people, but had greater respect for their work. It almost became laughable that there was so much swapping and hopping going on, but in an era of great sexual freedom, it's not difficult to believe. And, hey, who knew James Taylor got around so much, and that Crosby, Still and Nash were so interchangeable in the boudoir?

The narrator has a pleasant enough voice, but I agree that the mispronunciations were irritating! Why don't producers of audio books do a better job of preparing readers so they don't do this?! Mispronouncing words is bad enough, but mispronouncing names is egregious! And her recitation of lyrics was awful - especially when it was a drawn out word, like in "Anticipation". Wouldn't it have been lovely if the reader had SUNG the few lyrics in the book?

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 11-16-08

social history lite (and middle class)

I had waited eagerly to listen to this and was VERY disappointed. It seemed as though sections from three distinct documents had gotten mixed in together: an earnest masters thesis on the reciprocal effects of 60s-70s pop music and social change, a pop analysis of the lyrics of the three artisits, and pages of back issues of People magazine. I'd give the social history pages four stars and the chatty People-esque
sections none, especially the "sez a intimate friend/ elementary school classmate" parts.

Perhaps the text version did a better job of showing what was primary versus secondary and tertiary reserach, but as a listen, the gossip was mostly indistinguishable from new research conducted for the book. I think if you like any of these artists enough to know this much detail about their love affairs, then you would have already gleamed the info from Rolling Stone yourself by now.

The narrator was good, but as noted, prone to mispronunciations, and why oh why did the producer decide that she would deliver the lyrics in a stilted through gritted teeth pace rather than just READ them to us.

I think the similarly themed "Laurel Canyon" did a better overall job. By the end, I started disliking all three woman as people, but gained new respect for King and Mitchel as artists. As Kris Kristofferson suppposedly said to Simon while having an affair: "Buck up. Toughen up!" and lose the self-absorption, ladies.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Can't do it

I'm sorry, I love these 3 ladies, but I just cannot finish this book. The detail after detail after detail is beyond boring. It's kinda like attending a wedding where you only peripherally know the bride, and the aunt sitting next to you is giving you a blow-by-blow biography of each and every one of her 84 grandchildren. Maybe an abridged version would be better?

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointed

I was looking forward to the "back story" of a period I lived through and artists I admire. The narrator was so annoying - couldn't even pronouce correctly some of the names and word she was saying. On top of which her lame attempts to emphasize the lyrics to the songs was so bad that I couldn't even finish listening. A real shame.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting picture of an era

Great research to tell the stories of these three women--and of the great changes that they were part of as their generation came of age. A wonderful book for the information about their lives, music, and milieu, less great for the actual writing, which was often unclear and clunky.

The narration, while lively and listenable, contained lots of egregious pronunciation errors that distracted from the text. The attempt to rhythmically but tunelessly speak song lyrics was also painful. I'd prefer to hear either a "straight" reading--i.e., as if the verses were poetry--or a reasonable singer replicating the tune a little bit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring as can be

Nothing to do with the narrator, this book is one of the most boring, unorganized, tangential, dull books on this very interesting subject. I could not get through reading the book, so I downloaded it.

SKIP IT. There are many other books more interesting and better written than this book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

great stuff

It was chock full of info and details about each woman. Really enjoyed it. I think music lovers will like this book!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not sure about the accuracy. Very bad narration.

What did you like best about Girls Like Us? What did you like least?

I'm not sure about the accuracy of Weller's information. Just prior to this book, I read Carly Simon's memoir, "Boys In The Trees." Ms. Weller's account of many events is very different from Ms. Simon's. I suppose that's to be expected. In any event, she does way too much psychoanalyzing of the three women and their songs, as if she is an expert psychoanalyst and an expert music critic as well. She comes to conclusions without enough information, nor does it seem she actually met any of these women. It was interesting see the trajectory of their careers juxtaposed against each other, and to see how their paths crossed.

Any additional comments?

Susan Ericksen should stick to reading JD Robb's "In Death" series. She does an incredible job with those books. In this book, however, she seriously mispronounced names of very famous people and her inflections were melodramatic and annoying.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Took me back

Where does Girls Like Us rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very high. It was fun to learn more about singers I have listened to for most of my life

Have you listened to any of Susan Ericksen’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no. The only thing about her reading that was challenging was when she quoted lines from a song. If I were reading it instead of listening, I would have heard the song in my head. Other than that I liked her performance.

Any additional comments?

I have been listening to Carly Simon constantly since I listened to this book. I loved Carly and Carole King though I didn't know Joni's work as well.