Sarah's Reviews > Lady Day's Diary: The Life of Billie Holiday 1937-1959

Lady Day's Diary by Ken Vail
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's review
Jan 29, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: biography-memoir, non-fiction, jazz

It's so hard to to know how to rank this one. A chronology like this isn't exactly a read-straight-through narrative like Wishing on the Moon a more traditional biography. Like that one, however, it does highlight the challenges of recording the daily life of one of the most celebrated jazz singers. Billie's childhood is covered sketchily and backed up mostly with what official documents exist of her hard-scrabble upbringing, primarily in Baltimore. Her concerts and recording dates are nearly all listed, but even those are surprisingly sketchy. Photographs, news clippings, and letter excerpts help flesh out the terse text making it a little more readable, but mostly it just made me want to get to work on filling in the many obvious gaps in Lady's life story.
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Reading Progress

January 29, 2011 – Started Reading
January 29, 2011 – Shelved
February 24, 2011 – Shelved as: biography-memoir
March 5, 2011 – Shelved as: non-fiction
March 24, 2011 –
page 84
40.38%
May 4, 2011 –
page 96
46.15%
July 22, 2011 –
page 108
51.92%
October 31, 2011 –
page 122
58.65%
October 31, 2011 –
page 130
62.5%
October 31, 2011 –
page 134
64.42%
October 31, 2011 –
page 108
51.92%
May 27, 2012 –
page 122
58.65%
May 27, 2012 –
page 122
58.65%
January 29, 2013 –
page 140
67.31%
May 19, 2013 –
page 135
64.9%
July 29, 2013 – Shelved as: jazz
February 24, 2014 –
page 156
75.0%
February 26, 2014 –
page 176
84.62%
February 27, 2014 – Finished Reading

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