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Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Storyby Chuck Klosterman
Synopses & Reviews
A star par excellence, Dolly Parton is one of country musicand#8217;s most likable personalities. Even a hard-rocking punk or orchestral aesthete canand#8217;t help cracking a smile or singing along with songs like and#147;Joleneand#8221; and and#147;9 to 5.and#8221; More than a mere singer or actress, Parton is a true cultural phenomenon, immediately recognizable and beloved for her talent, tinkling laugh, and steel magnolia spirit. She is also the only female star to have her own themed amusement park: Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Every year thousands of fans flock to Dollywood to celebrate the icon, and Helen Morales is one of those fans.
In Pilgrimage to Dollywood, Morales sets out to discover Partonand#8217;s Tennessee. Her travels begin at the top celebrity pilgrimage site of Elvis Presleyand#8217;s Graceland, then take her to Loretta Lynnand#8217;s ranch in Hurricane Mills; the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville; to Sevierville, Gatlinburg, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and finally to Pigeon Forge, home of the and#147;Dolly Homecoming Parade,and#8221; featuring the star herself as grand marshall. Moralesand#8217;s adventure allows her to compare the imaginary Tennessee of Partonand#8217;s lyrics with the real Tennessee where the singer grew up, looking at essential connections between country music, the land, and a way of life. Itand#8217;s also a personal pilgrimage for Morales. Accompanied by her partner, Tony, and their nine-year-old daughter, Athena (who respectively prefer Mozart and Miley Cyrus), Morales, a recent transplant from England, seeks to understand America and American values through the celebrity sites and attractions of Tennessee.
This celebration of Dolly and Americana is for anyone with an old country soul who relies on music to help understand the world, and it is guaranteed to make a Dolly Parton fan of anyone who has not yet fallen for her music or charisma.
Cambridge don Helen Moralesand#151;recently transplanted to a new job in Californiaand#151;has written a rousing travel book centering on the life and legacy of Tennessee native Dolly Parton.and#160;and#160; Apart from being a distinguished philologist, Morales is an avid country-music fan.and#160; For years she has especially admired the great country singer, songwriter, actress, and all-round smart cookie Dolly Parton. The Dolly Parton trail she traces is set entirely in Tennessee.and#160; It takes in key sites of Dollyand#8217;s life, from the Grand Ole Opry, where Dolly became a star, to Sevierville, her birthplace, to various homes occupied by Dolly and her gigantic family, to schools she attended. Helen also visits the institutions that have helped immortalize the singer, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, where relics of Dollyand#8217;s life are displayed as those of a saint.and#160; If this is starting to sound like a sacred pilgrimage, well, in a sense it is.and#160; It culminates at the town of Pigeon Forge, where the Dolly Parton Annual Parade is held, featuring the star herself as Grand Marshall, enthroned on a float.and#160; Helen was accompanied on her trip by her husband and their pre-pubescent daughter, Athena, who operates as aand#160; matter-of-fact foil to the authorand#8217;s own romantic and sometimes misguided English notions about American popular culture.and#160; Itand#8217;s good chemistry and makes for a hilarious read.
Former MTV music programmer and MTV blogger Courtney E. Smith delivers a humorous and edgy look at the world of music from the female perspective.
“Record Collecting for Girls is an invitation for all of you stereophiles (who happen to be female), to make your own top-five lists, and then, armed and ready with the books fun facts, to argue their merits to the ever-present boys club of music snobs in your life.” —Sarahbeth Purcell, author of Love Is the Drug and This Is Not a Love Song
You never leave home without your iPod. Youre always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, youve listened to guys talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now.
Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasures and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate lifes glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too.
“Courtney Smith has smarts and sass in spades. Her insights are as hilarious as they are thoughtful, and when you finish reading this book, youll feel like you just got home from a perfect night out with your best friend. And youll want to listen to Prince. At full volume.” —Megan Jasper, Executive Vice President, Sub Pop Records
Building on the national bestselling success of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, preeminent pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman unleashes his best book yet—the story of his cross-country tour of sites where rock stars have died and his search for love, excitement, and the meaning of death.
For 6,557 miles, Chuck Klosterman thought about dying. He drove a rental car from New York to Rhode Island to Georgia to Mississippi to Iowa to Minneapolis to Fargo to Seattle, and he chased death and rock ‘n’ roll all the way. Within the span of twenty-one days, Chuck had three relationships end—one by choice, one by chance, and one by exhaustion. He snorted cocaine in a graveyard. He walked a half-mile through a bean field. A man in Dickinson, North Dakota, explained to him why we have fewer windmills than we used to. He listened to the KISS solo albums and the Rod Stewart box set. At one point, poisonous snakes became involved. The road is hard. From the Chelsea Hotel to the swampland where Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane went down to the site where Kurt Cobain blew his head off, Chuck explored every brand of rock star demise. He wanted to know why the greatest career move any musician can make is to stop breathing...and what this means for the rest of us.
About the Author
Chuck Klosterman is the New York Times bestselling author of seven previous books, including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; Eating the Dinosaur; Killing Yourself to Live; and The Visible Man. His debut book, Fargo Rock City, was the winner of the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award. He has written for GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Believer, and The Onion A.V. Club. He currently serves as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine and writes about sports and popular culture for ESPN.
Table of Contents
1and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Caviar and Fish Sticks
2and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; A Series of Cravings
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Graceland and Other Shrines, Memphis
3and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Country Is as Country Does
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Loretta Lynnand#8217;s Ranch, Hurricane Mills
4and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Music City, USA
5and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Tennessee Mountain Homes
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Locust Ridge
6and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Color Me America
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Dixie Stampede, Pigeon Forge
7and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Sifting Specks of Gold
and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Dollywood Amusement Park, the Great Smoky Mountains
Doing the Pilgrimage
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