Saturday, November 19, 2016

Carly and James

I first heard of James Taylor at summer camp, probably in 1987 or 1988.  The counselors played us the song "Fire and Rain" and told the story behind the song -- James Taylor's friends surprised him by buying a plane ticket for his girlfriend and the plane ended up crashing.  I've never investigated to see if that story is true, but it stuck with me, and I liked the song.  

My introduction to Carly Simon was the song "Mockingbird," which was on one of the many movie soundtracks I used to buy.  Can't for the life of me remember which one.

Anyway, I went through a Carly Simon/James Taylor phase in the late 90s.  By that I mean that I listened to both of their greatest hits CDs and sang along to both with great pleasure and enthusiasm (but not great talent).  

When I saw that Simon's memoir, Boys in Trees, was being offered on an ebook sale a month or so ago, I bought it.  I struggle to review memoirs because I don't want it to seem as if I am rating someone's life or personality.  I'll just say that I'm glad I read it.  I had no idea that Simon's father was a founder of the publishing house Simon and Schuster.  I knew that Simon and James Taylor had a love story together, but I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even realize they were married.  Simon's childhood and young womanhood weren't easy and some parts are uncomfortable to read about.  I'd like to know more about her friend/collaborator Jake.  He sounded creepy but she didn't explore that as much as I'd have liked.  She writes with a refreshing honesty (not that I can verify, but she seems to be putting it all out there).  I was impressed by how she wrote about James Taylor with a lot of love and respect.  The benefit of time and perspective, I suppose.  If you're a fan of either, you'd enjoy the book.  I'm a casual fan, and I did.  

One reason I love ebook deals is that they push me to read books that I wouldn't otherwise.  I had heard about Boys in Trees but don't think I would have checked it out of the library or bought my own full-price copy.  I don't recommend others bite on as many ebook deals as I do, but treat yourself here and there so you have options to fit all kinds of moods when you're ready to read.

P.S. -- For those of you keeping track of my NaBloPoMo daily posting (which is no one) ... I forgot to post yesterday.  I'll try to post twice today to fulfill the challenge on my terms.    

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