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Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,270 Ratings  ·  167 Reviews
Born in 1935 into abject poverty, married at age thirteen, and a grandmother by age twenty-nine, Loretta Lynn went on to become one of the most prolific and influential singers in modern country music. The first woman to be named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Lynn boasts sixteen #1 singles, fifteen #1 albums, and sixty other hits including “Honky ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 12th 2001 by Da Capo Press (first published January 1st 1976)
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Katie Thomson
Sep 04, 2008 Katie Thomson rated it it was amazing
read this book or i will take you to fist city.
Jun 17, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
This autobiography was a solid 4 star, (even with the chaotic writing). I always like it when autobiographies/memoirs/biographies feel open and honest, and this one did that. And Sissy Spacek did the narration which was a plus for me.

Loretta Lynn was a strong willed woman and had in her mind exactly how she wanted things. I think that is why this book felt a little chaotic. She wanted this written in a way that would mirror her from her roots to her stardom, including having this written in her
Anna Priest Saylor
Jul 07, 2007 Anna Priest Saylor rated it really liked it
It's an easy read. If you're interested in the hill-billy lifestyle then this is a great book. Loretta Lynn was brought up very backwoods Kentucky and it talks about how she became a big country star. Also, she's hilarious.
Ariana Fae
Mar 17, 2016 Ariana Fae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I remember growing up hearing my father play Loretta Lynn records and recently watched the PBS American Masters on her, so I had to read this book.

I was sucked in from page one by her voice which wasn’t cleaned up or changed, especially in the time it was written, to please the masses. I felt like I was sitting in a country kitchen listening to someone tell their life story. I loved how she bared everything in her life from her roots, to her marriage to her thoughts about people, society and f
Rebecca McNutt
I just saw the 1980 Sissy Spacek film Coal Miner's Daughter (if you've never seen it, you have to, believe me it's worth it), and when I heard that there was a book about the real Loretta Lynn as well, I couldn't wait to read it.

This book is the true story of a woman who went from a poor but happy childhood in a small coal mining community, to being married at thirteen, having children at a very young age, becoming a grandmother in her twenties and becoming famous as a country music star, under
Andrea Guy
Aug 19, 2009 Andrea Guy rated it it was amazing
Coal Miner's Daughter is one of those autobiographies that everyone should pick up and read. Not because you love Loretta and her music, but because her life story is inspiring. Married at 14, and dirt poor for a good part of her young life, Loretta is one of those people who was blessed with luck and talent and a lot of people who love her.

With the help of her husband Doolittle (Mooney) Lynn, she rose to be the First Lady Of Country Music. The story Loretta weaves with the help of George Vecse
Aug 10, 2011 Nicholas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a fascinating story, it really is, but the writing is pretty horrendous. Lynn penned it with George Vecsey, apparently by dictating it to him and then he transcribed and wrote it. But she also refers to "my writer George" throughout. She claims to have all kinds of special insights, ESP, and a kinship with all Native Americans because she is 1/16th Cherokee. She (and her writer George) also continually write in a "hillbilly dialect" that seems totally contrived, especially given that the wr ...more
Mar 26, 2015 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
What an interesting life, married by age 14, babies immediately, and a grandmother at age 29. I was more interested in her life in Butcher's Holler than by her life since becoming famous, but the whole book was good. It's a short read and I would recommend even if you aren't a country music fan. Her life is inspiring-from coal miner's daughter to famous musician. Not many people can overcome those odds and make their dreams a reality. And she may claim to not be into women's lib- as anyone who h ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Andre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
If you ever listened to a Loretta Lynn song, you know what to expect from this book. It's written the way she talks, and I swear I could hear her voice narrating it in my head - accent and all. What impressed me the most in the book was how ignorant and clueless one can be when raised up in a cabin in the mountains. Reading about her childhood and the early years of her marriage, it seems surprising that such a bashful little girl with no knowledge of the outside world whatsoever would grow up t ...more
Jun 08, 2008 Meen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meen by: Bought it at a thrift store.
I adore Loretta Lynn's music, and I saw this movie many, many times from childhood on up before I ever read the book. I am grouping this in the feminist category b/c in her own special way Loretta brought the revolution to (white working-class, rural) women who would never have accepted it from the likes of Gloria Steinem or Betty Friedan. "The Pill" is the fiery pro-choice anthem! :) Of course, she did stay with an abusive and manipulative man for all those years... And she hawked freaking Cris ...more
Jan 05, 2008 Amy rated it liked it
"A you've been makin' your brags around town
That you've been a lovin' my man
But the man I love, when he picks up trash
He puts it in a garbage can
And that's what a you look like to me
And what I see's a pity
Close your face and stay outta my way
If ya don't wanna go to fist city"
(Fist City)
1) She's honest, open, funny and her life has been quite an adventure
2)She's never lost her 'country girl' soul
3)Don't cross her
Apr 29, 2015 Robgonzo rated it liked it
I was watching the movie Coal Miners Daughter for the umpteenth time and became captivated with the scene where her father takes her to the train station and decided to read the book. Sometimes it's the little things.
Lets just say after reading this book I now have a profound respect for Thomas Rickman who wrote the screenplay. He made a very rambling, disjointed mess of a book into a very streamlined narrative.
I expected that, as with most books turned to movies, that the book would hold all th
Jul 25, 2014 Carolann rated it it was amazing
This book is just amazing I admire loretta lynn,
Love her songs and she's the queen of country music. I seen the movie about 20 thousand times it's just amazing sissy spacek and tommy lee jones did an outstanding performance and sissy played loretta lynn so perfectly glad she won the award for this and thanks loretta lynn for picking her in the movie to play her. Grew up listening to loretta lynn my family admires her and so do I, so if you a fan of loretta lynn you should read this book I could
Julia Reed
Jun 06, 2011 Julia Reed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All women should read this book, even if they hate country music they will love Loretta Lynn. Her story is an uplifting, old-fashioned tale that country fans know well: from coal miner's daughter to the First Lady of country music using just her voice and her husband's determination. I got interested in this after seeing Sissy Spacek's Oscar winning role in the film by the same name, but it makes a much better read than a movie (though the movie is great). Loretta is sassy, funny, and smart. Eve ...more
It's probably an odd choice of a book for me - I know nothing about country music, and I'll be honest, I didn't even know who Loretta Lynn was. I think it was a combination of that and the hillbilly dialect the book was written in which just alienated me. Lynn's voice was probably authentic, but I just couldn't warm to the folksy, naive, innocent, proud-to-be-uneducated character that emerged. I am sure that this would appeal to some people, but it didn't work for me.
Laura Lauderback
Apr 01, 2016 Laura Lauderback rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I'm a huge fan of classic country music, and particularly, Loretta Lynn. As I was weeding the biographies in my library I came across this memoir, written by Loretta in 1974 and was very intrigued. She has had one heck of a life, from growing up very poor in Coal Mining Country, to getting married at 14 and then having FOUR kids by the time she was 20. Just an amazing story.
Sarah Ann
May 13, 2016 Sarah Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: books-reviewed
Originally published in 1976, this autobiographical account chronicles Loretta Lynn’s childhood in eastern Kentucky, her marriage and family life, and her eventual rise to fame as a country singer and musician in the 1960s. I found her early life most interesting—for those who don’t know, Loretta grew up during the Great Depression in a poor Appalachian town where her father worked as a coal miner. She only attended school through age 13, when she was married and quickly commenced having childre ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Corey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Loretta's story just made me feel uncomfortable, as it probably should since she was married at 13 and had 4 kids by the time she was 18. Unfortunately, that isn't the part that bothered me the most. She was a grown woman when she wrote this book and yet her stories still felt like they were being told by a child. I found her innocent outlook about everything going on around her to be a bit creepy.
Rena Sherwood
Quick read about one of the first women to really break through country music charts. This was written as if Lynn was talking to you at a pie social, so don't expect it to follow Strunk & White's "The Element of Style." This was also written long before the movie was made, so don't expect any info about the movie (although this paperback edition has some stills from the movie included.)

Lynn and her writer does not go into any great depth but you still get a pretty good look at how hard it wa
Jo (Bloomin'Chick)
Feb 14, 2008 Jo (Bloomin'Chick) rated it really liked it
i love her! (her music and her writing!) she is who she is, she's not ashamed of anything & you can take her or leave her! coal mminer's daughter the movie has been one of my favorites since i was 19 and i finally got to see her in concert in aug of 07! through ebay i own the original hardcover and paperback editions of this book!
Sep 17, 2008 Rick rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kevin and Ashly
I just finished reading Coal Miner's Daughter. You don't have to be a Loretta Lynn fan to read this book, but it would help. I'm not a huge fan myself of country music, but I loved the movie, so I wanted to read the book. I recommend this if you enjoy reading a memoir.
Jul 01, 2016 Evan rated it really liked it
I'm not a fan of new country music but I do appreciate the original stuff from the earlier days, so I thought reading about Loretta Lynn's early career would be interesting. Great book! I liked the candid way the book was written as if Lynn was speaking off the cuff in some dressing room, using her 'girl from the mountains' delivery. I didn't know anything about how she got started nor what she went through as she continuously toured across the U.S., so that was fascinating to read about. Given ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Abbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I listened to the audio of this one which is read by Sissy Spacek, and it was the next best thing to having Loretta Lynn read the book herself. Great literature it's not, but it is an interesting look into a different world.
Steph Fisher
Feb 18, 2011 Steph Fisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Great book, I love her and her story. If watching Deliverance gave you a horrible distaste for hillbilly culture, you should definitely read this as an antidote.
Oct 29, 2015 Stacy rated it liked it
This is one of my all-time favorite movies so I was excited to read the book. Actually, I listened to it and Sissy Spacek reads it! The story of Loretta Lynn growing up and becoming a country music star is fascinating. The movie is very close to her real story. She meets her husband when she is 13 and they create a life together and quite a career. I really likeLoretta - she is real and genuine. I enjoyed hearing about her life and how she made her career. I loved hearing about her friendship wi ...more
Dec 13, 2015 Misti rated it it was amazing
I am a Loretta Lynn fan. 3 months at her Ranch immersing myself in her story and her life has now made us family
Mar 15, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it
A couple of weeks ago we watched the movie, "Coal Miner's Daughter," largely because Levon Helm, one of my favorite musicians, was in it. We enjoyed it very much, and I learned a lot about Loretta Lynn and how her talent and a lot of hard work on her part (and her husband, Doo's) got her to be one of the top country singers ever.

After watching the movie, I was curious as to how well it correlated with her self/ghost-written autobiography, so I read the book. Indeed the movie followed the book qu
Jul 10, 2008 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Loretta is a sweetheart, and her story is heartfelt.
Aug 13, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
OK - so I love this book - sue me!
I decided to read this book after watching the movie recently. I have seen the movie several times in the past but this was the first time in quite a while. The book went into many more details while keeping the same feel as the movie - you are getting Loretta Lynn as she views herself. It was interesting learning more details about her life experience, including the sacrifices she made. You also get a better sense of where she has consciously (or subconsciously) decided to ignore facts or reali ...more
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Loretta Lynn is an American country music singer-songwriter whose work spans almost 60 years. She was the only woman to be named "Artist of the Decade" for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music. Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988
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“Some of these new country singers aren’t really country. I think some of them ought to be singing pop music and just leave country alone. You don’t have to see them, you can hear it. It is what it is, I guess, but I’d still rather they just let the ones that sing country sing country.” 1 likes
“Well, shoot, I don’t believe in double standards, where men can get away with things that women can’t. In God’s eyes, there’s no double standard.” 1 likes
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