Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business” as Want to Read:
Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,062 Ratings  ·  226 Reviews
In concerts, movies and on TV, Dolly Parton's singing and honest-to-God personality has charmed millions. She has never before talked openly about her life, until now. In her unique Tennessee twang, Dolly tells her rags-to-riches story, as only she can--with integrity, insight and her unfailing sense of humor. 32 pages of photos.
Paperback, 332 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by HarperPrism (first published September 20th 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dolly, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dolly

Bossypants by Tina FeyWishful Drinking by Carrie FisherThe Funny Thing Is... by Ellen DeGeneresIs Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingHere We Go Again by Betty White
Female Celebrity Books
7th out of 155 books — 125 voters
True Hollywood Noir by Dina Di MambroStories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob LoweMe by Katharine HepburnNatasha by Suzanne FinstadNever Have Your Dog Stuffed by Alan Alda
Celebrity Biography
51st out of 616 books — 212 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 05, 2011 Bennet rated it really liked it
So maybe I'm from Tennessee and maybe you don't like country music, but regardless, if you don't like Dolly Parton I guess you're just an asshole, as far as I can tell there can be no other reason. Humor, candor, care, literacy projects, not to mention putting her gazillion nieces and nephews and who knows who all through college, and she's one helluva songwriter in the purest Appalachian tradition. I'm sure she has her moments and can be a diva and even a bitch, but I'd bet if she ever comes af ...more
Mar 05, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing
I entered into this buddy read with no preconceived notions about Dolly Parton. I have listened to her sing and I enjoyed her songs. I have seen her moves and enjoyed them as well. Other than knowing she was born in the mountains and had a lot of brothers and sisters, I didn't know too much about her, or her journey through her life and career.

Listening to My Life and Other Unfinished Business has been so enlightening. Dolly Parton is open and bluntly willing to speak her mind. She talks about
Diamond Cowboy
Mar 05, 2016 Diamond Cowboy rated it it was amazing
This was a great autobiography read by the author. Dolly was so funny in her life. She started as a share cropper's daughter in TN. She was the forth child of twelve. She had a dream of stardom and followed that dream.
I highly recommend this book to all.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Apr 21, 2012 Abby rated it it was amazing
i picked this book up (for $2 at a book sale) for two reasons:
1. i am addicted to trashy celebrity biographies
2. the song "9 to 5" has made me dance in the shower more times than any other song will ever hope to.

and after reading it, i am telling you, with no sense of irony whatsoever, that this book is
1. one of the best books i have ever read
2. by far the best memoir.

i don't care who you are, you will take something positive from this book. It is spiritual, simple, wise, hilarious, uplifting.
Feb 10, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Today, most celebrity biographies are ghostwritten --and it shows. They could almost be written using a Mad Libs sheet, just filling in the relevant details for the star in question.

Dolly wrote this book herself, and her singular voice just shines. Anyone who has heard her on a talk show (or listened to her music) won't be surprised to learn that she's a fine storyteller.

She says that God, sex and music are the three big things in her life (though after reading the book, I'd wager that food is a
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I read this one twice! It's just fun and easy to read. Her Southern humor is simple and refreshing, and she tells a good story without getting bogged down in details as so many autobigraphies tend to do.
Dec 22, 2012 Tyler rated it it was amazing
I die.

This book is the antidote for cool. Anyone who thought there was any point in maintaining distanced hipness or stoic cool will probably be reminded by this book that they're full of shit and life is too special for it. Dolly's stories are fucking adorable and chaste in a rather disarming way, and makes the mind wander away from pleasure seeking and towards seeking yourself and your dreams and what makes you truly happy. Yes it's corny as fuck, and perhaps not every lesson should be taken t
May 02, 2008 Candy rated it it was amazing
I read this book a long time ago, so it's hard to remember the details, but parts of it still stick with me- that's how memorable they are.

I don't think I've read another autobiography that I thoroughly enjoyed so much. Dolly's personality shines through every word she writes; it feels like you're sitting next to her hearing her share her life story. Amidst all the current emotional wrecks that constitute a celebrity today, Dolly is a beautiful example of a woman who knows exactly who she is, kn
Nov 15, 2011 noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, thrifted-or-used
dolly parton is forever fabulous, amazing, etc. i admire her honesty and her sense of humor. some other dude said it best: "if you don't like Dolly Parton I guess you're just an asshole."

also lol @ someone describing her as coming off as conceited and selfish. it's her autobiography, for fuck's sake. if ever there was a time to be selfish, it would be now. that said, i do disagree; she seems to never have forgotten where she came from and she gives back to her family, friends, and community. th
ilovebakedgoods (Teresa)
Jan 14, 2013 ilovebakedgoods (Teresa) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dolly Parton fans
For me, Dolly is a national treasure. I love her honesty, her openness and her folksy humor. Inspired by her memoir, I've watched 3 of her movies today. (Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5 and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, for those inquiring minds who may want to know). I've been a fan of Dolly's since I was a little girl and my mom played her album "Here You Come Again." If you're a Dolly fan, I'm sure you'll just love reading her story in her words (and hearing her voice in your head as you do so).
May 20, 2008 Brandy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: autobiography
If anyone needs a pick me up inspirational life story filled with straight joy and laughter, Read this!
Sep 29, 2015 Keri rated it really liked it
I don't know how anyone can read this and not totally love her!
May 23, 2014 Robin rated it really liked it
Just started this...but I do love her. Dolly has a very pragmatic and fun-loving sense of humor. She has no flies on her either. Love the story about her getting lost in the woods, finding the cow at night, hanging on to its collar for dear life, and finally making it back to civilization with some scratches to boot.

Dolly is a great book for a good laugh and some home-grown philosophy. She is a peach.

As she goes along, I get the impression she is not easy to live with and that she sleeps with
Aug 29, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
From my blog Tea & Virginia Woolf Before Bedtime

"She's a sparrow when she's broken
but she's an eagle when she flies."
- Dolly Parton

Recommended Tea: Celestial Seasonings Country Peach Passion

One day, my mama and I decided that we had an itch, and the only way to solve it was to go antiquin'.

So, we hit up what is locally known as "the antique district," about four or five huge shops in a row, full of everything you can imagine (and lots of things that you can't).

In every single one of these s
Jun 30, 2013 Nat rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer2013, favorites
This book was very funny and made me fall in love with Dolly and her carefree, happy-go-lucky way of being. Hearing about her shenanigans past and present was great. She's made a genuine fan of me. I struggled with giving this 3 or 4 stars, but went with 4 because I tend to rate high.

Towards the end of the book, it turns into about 30 pages of acknowledgments. The actual acknowledgements listed over 1.5k names and she did mention her publisher wanting her to edit her original list of
Jan 05, 2009 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have always been a huge fan of Dolly and found her very fascinating. I hate to admit that I was a little disappointed when I read her biography. She comes off as a little selfish and conceited. When I got to the part where she talks about her "diet" and that she chews her food and spits it out, I couldn't bring myself to read anymore. I think that would qualify as an eating disorder and not set a very good example for her young fans. I liked the beginning of the book, however when she talks wh ...more
Nov 29, 2015 Rachael added it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Dolly Parton is a goddamned national treasure.
Oct 10, 2015 Tina rated it it was amazing
Love this book. Love Dolly Parton.
Feb 21, 2015 L8blmr rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a big fan of Dolly's voice though I am aware she has written some exceptional songs. She has a sparkling personality and can be very funny, often at her own expense. However, I did have a couple of major problems with this book. It was entertaining enough, particularly in the beginning when Dolly describes the life she and her parents and many siblings had in the hills of Tennessee. The portions of her story I did not enjoy were those justifying her "relationships" with other men while ...more
Ursula Shelton
May 11, 2016 Ursula Shelton rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It is about Dolly Parton of course, but also her family, her life in the Smokey Mountains and other relations. She is very honest and open about her life, she even expounds on her husband Carl. She talks about religion, sex, etc, again this is a great book if you are a fan or if you just want to know a liittle more about Dolly. Just read it and you will love it, she is a real person with dreams and desires like the majority of us.
Rusty Rector
Apr 07, 2008 Rusty Rector rated it it was amazing
Well..if you are a Dolly Parton fan, this is THE best source of information on the Country diva herself. Very touching, heartfelt writing (as we would expect from Dolly). While Dolly doesn't really reveal anything new or "scandalous" about herself, it is still fascinating to hear about her journey from humble beginnings to the star she has become today. I also highly recommend getting the book on tape for this one...Dolly herself narrates, and it is great!!!!
Jan 04, 2013 BeautifulNerd rated it it was amazing
A great story by a great storyteller (fans of her songwriting will not be surprised to note that her way with words suffuses every page like sunshine), this book is rich with warmth and self-deprecating humour. I always suspected Dolly Parton had a heart of gold to match her locks and this time spent in her world did not disappoint.
Jun 26, 2016 Karen marked it as to-read
* No Such Thing As Witty Women? Think Again

Dolly, by Dolly Parton, hardcover, 338 pages

First up, Dolly, the autobiography of the Tennessee girl with the big voice, and even bigger hair. Dolly Parton grew up dirt poor. Her mother had 12 children by age 35, and Dolly fed the chickens through the floorboards and lined her eyes with matchstick soot. They had running water — "if," she writes, "you were willing to run to get it."

Dolly's memoir is real-deal, rags-to-riches: from "the coat of many colo
Jaylee Neal
Nov 04, 2011 Jaylee Neal rated it it was amazing
ILoved it! and the fact she was so honest about things and talking about her marriage i love that her family is amazing.. so I suggest you read it! because it gives you an insight of her background and who she really is an amazing person she really is .-Jaylee
April Vaughn
Decent at best, not gonna be reading anymore like this. Can't get into books like this anymore. I'm going to start reading books that have Bible study and Bible scripture in it. No Mo autobiography!
Kyle Nicholas
Jul 18, 2016 Kyle Nicholas rated it it was amazing
Okay, despite my being gay, I'm not your typical diva-worshiper gay man*. But I do LOVE Dolly. She's always had a sweet spot in my heart. It was just such a delight hearing her read this book and breaking into song without warning. Sometimes I miss the old South, "travelin' thru" the old Smokies, and connecting with kin. Dolly brought some of that back for me and reminded me where a big piece of my heart lies... though I'm a rambling Seattle man right now (though I'm growing my "hillbilly beard" ...more
Katya Epstein
Jul 26, 2011 Katya Epstein rated it it was ok
Not well-written, or really an interesting story. Almost impossible to put down nonetheless. There's no denying she's fascinating, and her self-awareness, honesty and sass are captivating.
Cassie Sanders
Feb 24, 2013 Cassie Sanders rated it it was ok
interesting portrayal of Dolly Parton's life. Learned many things about her that I would prefer not to know.
Matthew Mcpharlin
Feb 10, 2013 Matthew Mcpharlin rated it it was amazing
I could not put this down! Such an amazing life story and extremely honest and heartfelt!
Jul 14, 2016 Lindsay rated it really liked it
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Loretta Lynn: Coal Miner's Daughter
  • Reba: My Story
  • The First Time
  • Love Can Build a Bridge
  • One More Time
  • Coming Home to Myself
  • After All
  • Forever Yours, Faithfully: My Love Story
  • Love, Lucy
  • Call Me Anna: The Autobiography of Patty Duke
  • The Truth Is . . .: My Life in Love and Music
  • My First Five Husbands..And the Ones Who Got Away
  • Life is Just What You Make It: My Story So Far
  • Luck or Something Like It
  • Smart Blonde: Dolly Parton
  • Keeping Secrets
  • Here We Go Again: My Life In Television
  • I, Tina
Dolly Rebecca Parton is a Grammy Award-winning country music singer/songwriter, author, actress and philanthropist. To date, she remains one of the most successful country artists, with 25 number-one singles (a record for a female performer) and 42 top-10 country albums (more than anyone else).

She is known for her distinctive mountain soprano, sometimes bawdy humor, flamboyant dress sense, and her
More about Dolly Parton...

Share This Book

“They think I’m simpleminded because I seem to be happy. Why shouldn’t I be happy? I have everything I ever wanted and more. Maybe I am simpleminded. Maybe that’s the key: simple.” 48 likes
“When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” 37 likes
More quotes…