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Touched by the Sun: My Friendship with Jackie

3.20  ·  Rating details ·  933 ratings  ·  185 reviews
The instant New York Times bestseller - Named one of the ten best books of 2019 by People magazine

A chance encounter at a summer party on Martha's Vineyard blossomed into an improbable but enduring friendship.

Carly Simon and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis made an unlikely pair--Carly, a free and artistic spirit still reeling from her recent divorce, searching for meaning, new
...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 3.20  · 
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Betty
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Boring

If you are looking for any insight to Jackie, you wont find it here. I do respect Ms. Simon for not giving up any of Jackies secrets but had hoped for a bit more of what Jackies personality. This book is more like a rambling of thoughts, a bit disjointed.
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Amy
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
When I first heard this book was going to be published, I thought about pre-ordering it. Having since read it, I am glad I didn't (admittedly, I feel a bit rude writing that, which will be made clear shortly). However, the more I think about what I read, the more I think I am starting to understand what Carly Simon was trying to reveal.
The title was a bit misleading, and maybe that is part of the reason for the poor reviews. Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis makes frequent appearances throughout,
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Sherrie
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it
In the acknowledgement, Carly mentions that her current partner, Richard, edited this book down from 800 pages to 238. If those edited pages had included more about Jackie, they should have been included. Pictures would have been nice. This really is a book by Carly about Carly. The rich certainly are different.
Simon
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I skimmed some of the other Goodreads reviews, and wonder if we read the same book. People were either grousing about the lack of "private" information about Jackie Kennedy, or spitting nails about Simon's "invasion" of said privacy.

We are talking about the woman who is arguably the iconic 20th century female. Why? Lots of reasons, but at least one of them is that Jacqueline Kennedy kept her secrets. No catering to an avid press, combined with an equally avid interest in personal privacy. Simon
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Jacqueline
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I give this book five stars, as I do anything and everything from the creative powerhouse that is Carly Simon. However, the book is not really about Jackie Kennedy Onassis. This book is about Carly Simon. And that's just fine by me.

In many ways, "Touched by the Sun" picks up where "Boys in the Trees" left off, though not in a linear trajectory. We peek into Carly's marriage to Jim Hart and the aftermath of her divorce from James Taylor. We glimpse career vignettes, deep childhood pains that
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Lauren
Jan 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
Did I mention I know this famous person? Oh, well I do. Let me tell you about this awards show when I discovered I had a cute lil pill problem. Went to rehab and then quit just days into treatment because I didnt like it, lol! Forgot to mention I also know this other famous person. Plus I used to be married to James Taylor with whom I am still in love. Very tragic. My second husband is gay tho! Omg totally forgot to mention why I wrote this book in the first place: Jackie was the most special ...more
Sharon Huether
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Carly Simon and Jackie Kennedy Onassis at first glance..an unlikely pair. They were introduced by a mutual friend. They both had homes on Martha's Vineyard . Being almost neighbors they spent long lunches together.

Sometimes Carly would relate a story from her childhood and Jackie would say."Carly you need to write a book, a children's book." Carly took it to heart, since Jackie was a editor at Double Day.

This book chronicles all the details of a great friendship.

Thank you Goodreads for sending
...more
Evie
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointed because I loved Boys in the Trees so much.
Heather McC
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
With too much 'Carly' and not enough 'Jackie' this book was more of a skimming book for me, no disrespect intended to Ms. Simon, but as I told one colleague, 'If I wanted to read a biography or memoir about Ms. Simon, I would pick one up'.

Another missed opportunity seems to be the lack of images and photographs of the two (save for the front and back cover).
Natalie Tyler
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found many details of this book fascinating but I started to dislike the author's myopia about the way "real" people live when she went into a bitter, vituperative rant about having to sleep on cotton sheets that did not have the customary thread count when she stayed at "Ye Olde" New England country inn. The lumpy pillows and curtains transformed Carly into a hyper-sensitive chronicler of her own pain (oh, those pillows reminded her of great globs of fat one might find in the freezer of a ...more
Wandering Reader
Only a sprinkling about the friendship with JKO. This book is memoir about Carly Simon that any fan of hers might enjoy. Sadly, I read it to learn about the phenom that was JKO, not MeMeMe Simon. This book should have been titled, I am the Sun. ...more
Clay Bryce
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
In the 1970's, Carly Simon was one of the premier female singer/songwriters who was radio-friendly, ratcheting up hit after hit after hit. Whatever was working for her back then, is not working for her now, as this deceptive book of hers proves.

What is being sold as a book about her friendship with Jackie O (is her mystique still relevant or cared for here in 2019?) is really a takedown of, not her only friendship with Jackie, but also harsh, judgmental takedowns of her friends Mike Nichols,
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Irina
Nov 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2019
Some things about Jackie Onassis I took away from this book:

- Jackie didnt hesitate to tell Carly what kind of men Carly should and shouldnt be with. Same went for friendships.

- Jackie liked to refuse dinner invitations and then spend hours on the phone listening to Carly talk about who sat where, and said what to whom.

- Jackie knew JFK had affairs, but in her mind he still loved her more than any of those women.

- Aristotle Onassis was a bully who insulted her in front of others.

- Her sister Lee
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Pocket Watch Purveyor
What a very strange book this is. Jackie is really a peripheral character here. Simon one of Jackie's sycophants. The book really is a recollection of Simon's addictions, insecurity, mental illness and immaturity. What a vacuous figure Simon seems to have been. Definitely one of the oddest memoirs I've ever read.
Laurie Hoppe
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bio-memoir
This is such a strange, melancholy little volume. Jackie was friends with Carly through a difficult time in the singer's life and then their relationship ended with Jackie's death. Plus, it seems Carly can be complicated even in happy times, so this book left me feeling more sad than uplifted.

But it does give us glimpses into what it's like to be friends with this most famous of women and what it was like to have her as an editor. I don't think the "too much Carly/not enough Jackie" comments
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Onceinabluemoon
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been without power for days, felt good to grab an audio book with a fully charged phone and head outside for some real enjoyment. I really liked learning about their frienship, with lyrics liberally sprinkled it was another glimpse into two very different lives, intimate, personal and warming.
Kathy Dekker
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I have always loved the lyrics and melodies of Carlys music. And from the age of eleven, Jacqueline Kennedy became my heroine for the ages, based on my childlike vision of this great woman at the age of 33 leading a nation through one of its greatest tragedies. I ran to the bookstore when I heard of Touched By the Sun. I was slightly disappointed because it was really Carly writing about herself with a few enticing snatches of encounters with Jackie. What would Jackie do? was the theme. But the ...more
Michelle
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
Like the Maggie Smith book I had just attempted via audio book, this is full of name dropping and a great description of the lifestyles of the rich and famous. I enjoyed listening to Elizabeth McGovern of Downton Abbey fame but the content was often Carly Simon whining about her life. I'm sure Jackie's presence in her life was a boost, but it's hard to feel too sorry for someone raised in such privilege who's living on Martha's Vineyard and having dinner with the Clintons. I saw a review of this ...more
Amy Palmer
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I finished "Touched By The Sun" tonight and this single line spoke to my heart: "Oh, Mother. I didn't know that when you died I'd never be me anymore."

After my dad died I had no idea who I was anymore. Even if the rest of the book had been terrible, this line and knowing that someone else understands would have made the book worth reading.

That being said, I found the book riveting and finished it in three sittings, never wanting to put it down.
Debbie
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isnt a book about Jackie Onassis - it is about Carly Simon, her life after divorcing James Taylor, and how Mrs. Onassis was an important part of that life.

I especially enjoyed listening to Elizabeth McGoverns narration of Carlys beautiful blend of words
...more
Christine
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Too much Carly, not enough (and no real insight) of Jackie.
Shaun
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not terribly interesting. I guess Jackie Onassis fans might like this.
Janet
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
First of all, I do love Carly Simon. She was one of my music heroes. This book is 90% Carly and only 10% Jackie. Everything Ive ever read about Mrs. Kennedy says she was a very private person. Why Carly would reveal Jackies last moments and why would she write this book now is beyond me. ...more
Nancy Guzan
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very easy read. But on a personal note, I really enjoyed reading about the friendship between one of my idols (Carly) and one of my moms idols (Jackie). ...more
Janet
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Carly Simon had a 10 year friendship with Jacqueline B. K. O. that ended with the latter's death in 1994. It would have been nice if the book stuck to their friendship and their mutual friends but it delves way too much into the author's own nutty life.
Stephanie
There are moments of lovely writing, but the inclusion of entire lyrics felt a bit self-congratulatory and unnecessary. 3 stars for writing and 1 for content=2
TRISHA
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Private issues

Carly Simon was not respectful of Jackie Kennedy. She stated things regarding Jackie that were too private to print. It sounded like Ms. Simon had a photographic memory of took exceptionally notes. It sounded like she used her friendship for monetary gains.

I would not have purchased this book if I had known what this book was really about.
Rachel
Nov 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book should never have been written.
Ozana
You wont find secrets about Jackie or anything interesting, just a lame try to describe a friendship with icon of 20 century.
Joan
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, arts
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Carly Elisabeth Simon is an American singer/songwriter and musician. She is also an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and two-time Grammy Award winner. Simon was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

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