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Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,850 ratings  ·  287 reviews
The inspiring, tell-it-like-it-is autobiography of one of America's best-loved stars, who tells the rags-to-riches story of her life as only she can -- with honesty, insight and an unfailing sense of humor.

Here, for the first time, Parton talks openly about her life -- both public and private. She reveals how she got to where she is today, her no-nonsense attitude and the
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Hardcover, 338 pages
Published September 1994 by Harpercollins
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  2,850 ratings  ·  287 reviews


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Vicki
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
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Abby
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Steven Walle
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Diamond
Kelly
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
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Tyler
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Jeanette
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.
Melanie
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Candy
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
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Corinna
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I Dolly and this was a fun read! But please do not heed her diet or plastic surgery advice. Yikes! ...more
juicy brained intellectual
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 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.
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ilovebakedgoods (Teresa)
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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).
Char
Mar 18, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really, really loved the first 1/4 of this book and it's Little-House-on-the-Prairie-ness. Then Dolly started name dropping and she didn't stop. The last half of the book is like a Hollywood yellowpages. The last chapter of the book, she actually name drops every doctor that's ever done plastic surgery on her. It was ridiculous. I would have given it one star, but I did really like the beginning.
BeautifulNerd
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rachael
Dolly Parton is a goddamned national treasure.
Cassie Sanders
interesting portrayal of Dolly Parton's life. Learned many things about her that I would prefer not to know.
MundiNova
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
The Devil and I certainly had one thing in common: We were both horny.

Apparently Dolly Parton is like a hillbilly Marx Brother. She's a riot!

Here's an example: When defending a new business venture that sells sexy lingerie, Dolly writes
There are plenty of charities for the homeless, I support those too, but isn't it time someone helped the homely?

Or this gem
Every day I count my blessing. Then I count my money.

Sadly the short quips are the best part. Dolly spends too much time talking about her
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Amanda
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yup. I read it. I saw someone else post about reading this not long ago and thought, I bet that's interesting. I had to find it on eBay! I have to admit, I ate this book up. I'm a sucker for biographies. I love the story of hard work and perseverance and rejection, etc in every one I read. We only see the success so often and not the journey. Now, Dollys book.....well, first of all you'll read the whole thing with a twang. I appreciated her stories from the backwoods of Tennessee. I noted ...more
Amanda
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Eden
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dolly Parton Fans, People who like biographies
I'm not much a fan of country music and there are a select few country singers that I even like. Dolly Parton is one of them. I grew up listening to her music, watching her movies. My parents even took me to Dollywood a few times and I was always hoping that maybe she would be there that day so I could meet her. I've never met her, but I can still hope to meet her one day.

I only know what I've read online about Dolly Parton, but her book is a whole another experience. Really, she is an amazing
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Wick
Mar 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this autobiography because Dolly Parton has always held a particularly strong place in my heart. I'm not a big country music fan outside of Dolly and a few other notable female singers but her story of growing up in a rural area and becoming who she is today is one that I find fascinating. I especially share her sense of (perhaps overly)stylized view of what beauty means.

I read a lot of memoirs and Dolly's was one of the more entertaining ones. She does very well writing with her
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Stacy Fetters
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
"There might be a safety pin in the nose, but there's a hillbilly in the heart."
I can't say that I was ever obsessed with Dolly. What got me into this queen was the book Dumplin'. Plus size gal who adored Dolly and strutted her stuff to her songs. Sold! I instantly became a fan and started singing her songs all over the house. Pretty sure my husband was sick of me. And all I had to say was... "They let you dream, Just to watch 'em shatter, You're just a step, On the boss-man's ladder
And if
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Robin
Apr 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Rusty Rector
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!!!!
DeniseF
I have always liked Dolly Parton and enjoyed seeing her interviewed on tv but I really didn't like this book. It was not edited well (there were a lot of typos) and it was just very slow moving. Some of the stories she told about her childhood were really cute but for the most part I just could not get into this book.
Keri
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how anyone can read this and not totally love her!
Wayne Inkster
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing autobiography by an amazing woman. She writes the way she speaks and often I can hear Dolly's voice and giggle while sharing her stories.
Jasper
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book. Enjoyed Learning about her life and career.
Tina
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book. Love Dolly Parton.
Brandy
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobiography
If anyone needs a pick me up inspirational life story filled with straight joy and laughter, Read this!
Matthew Mcpharlin
I could not put this down! Such an amazing life story and extremely honest and heartfelt!
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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
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“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.” 61 likes
“When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.” 57 likes
More quotes…