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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile

In Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile shares a beautifully open, poignant, tough, rich, gorgeous account of her life and career so far. The audiobook includes over thirty songs, and I highly recommend it.

I listened to Broken Horses: A Memoir by Brandi Carlile, and I highly recommend the audiobook. I can't imagine feeling the full emotion and immersive experience of this book without hearing Carlile's voice tell it--and without all of the music Carlile offers here. She weaves more than thirty songs into her stories and personal history, and the placement of the music feels seamless and illustrative.

Broken Horses feels like a memoir for which I might actually need to experience the audiobook and the physical book, which contains photos from Carlile's life.

In Broken Horses, Carlile traces her life's beginnings, her creative influences, her struggles with feeling at peace with herself, and the specifics of her musical journey and her personal life.

She shares the pressures of the music business, the difficulties in taking care of her voice and her body while trying to create and push and perform, and her magical encounters with idols who have become friends--including Elton John, Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell, and Tanya Tucker.

I often feel torn when I read celebrity memoirs, because while I understand that people must keep some of themselves for themselves, I often find myself greedily wanting more more more vulnerability, detailed experiences, specific inspirations, an exhaustive exhuming of pivotal moments--and also a panoramic view of a person and a career. If I'm getting a peek at a person, I also want it all, however unreasonable that may be.

In Broken Horses, Brandi Carlile shares a beautifully open, poignant, tough, rich, gorgeous account of her life and career so far. She is thoughtful, humble, and so gracefully fluid and curious, I treasured each moment she shared here.

Carlile intersperses songs with stories about their impact on her or the influences that led her to write and create them. The songs are all included again at the very end of the book, by which point the listener understands their import. They felt incredibly powerful as a closure to her story.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

If you like memoirs, you might try the books on the Greedy Reading Lists Six Illuminating Memoirs I've Read This Year, Six Illuminating Memoirs to Dive Into, and Six More Illuminating Memoirs to Lose Yourself In.

And if you like books about music, you might like the books on the Greedy Reading List Six Rockin' Stories about Bands and Music.

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