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Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words

Written by: Malka Marom
Narrated by: Carrington MacDuffie
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When singer, musician, and broadcast journalist Malka Marom had the opportunity to interview Joni Mitchell in 1973, she was eager to reconnect with the performer that she'd first met late one night in 1966 at a Yorkville coffeehouse. More conversations followed over the next four decades of friendship, and it was only after Joni and Malka completed their last recorded interview, in 2012, that Malka discovered the heart of their discussions: the creative process.

In Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words, Joni and Malka follow this thread through seven decades of life and art, discussing the influence of Joni's childhood, love and loss, playing dives and huge festivals, acclaim and criticism, poverty and affluence, glamorous triumphs and tragic mistakes.

©2014 Malka Marom (P)2014 Tantor

What the critics say

"Mitchell's story will resonate on a universal level, just as her timeless music has already done." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • M. Graham
  • 2015-03-28

Excellent narrator, fascinating subject

Where does Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Second best to Vol. 1 of the new Beatles biography

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

She does everything right--lovely voice, and she manages to capture Joni's voice and spirit not by trying to imitate her but by somehow giving the right inflections with the right energy. Very unpretentious and engaging performance.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Trey
  • 2016-11-03

Painful and Dull

I've read several hundred biographies and this one was the worst. In as much as I love Joni Mitchell as an artist, writer, vocalist, guitarist and poet, I have to believe that it's the tone of the narrator and the fact that this book was simply complied from several interviews by the same writer many years ago. It was a painfully dull and dry read and after listening to about 70% of it I had to put it down.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rose
  • 2017-04-11

Rather Read It

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really. Did not care for narrator, and how she announced the speaker each time, except if it was one of Joni's musicians. Also, reading the lyrics was very lame, should've gotten permission to use the actual song bytes.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words?

Noting memorable, did not finish listening as had trouble with the audio skipping on my Samsung Phone.

What didn’t you like about Carrington MacDuffie’s performance?

She was stale.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Don't think so.

Any additional comments?

In the future all interview books, if it's just 2 speakers, don't need to have their names announced first, I think the reader is hep enough to pick up on who is talking. And again, playing sound bytes rather than reading lyrics would be more entertaining, and not so stale and corny.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 2016-03-07

Fascinating

I enjoyed this book very much and was fascinated by Ms. Mitchell's creative process.

The lyrics of many songs were read, which worked some of the time. Some of the lyrics work as spoken poetry but others need to be sung.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kara
  • 2015-02-25

One of the best artist/poet/composer ever done.

A great relevant dialogue between two women friends opening doors to each other in synchronized storytelling, with casual and relaxed tone.

This book is filled with detailed surprises, engaging about songwriting and composing music. Also understanding of an era through personal experiences of what she and the author learned.

Familiar Songs changing context and rhythm in labyrinth of circular time unfolding sequences of Poetry alive like hearing it for the first time...the bio In between flowed like music. Author achieved understanding of the length and depth of a persons insights, who has often been obscured by shallow culture.

There were passages that made me laugh and sigh, what a magnificent range. Discovered a wise & humble owl with translations of poetic perceptions, ideas, flow of images,complexity of feeling, struggling & critiquing involved in creative process, of art making.

More than a biography, a probing dialogue of sources that clarify an era and guide a large body of Original work. Splendid. Worth a second read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Metaphorical 1
  • 2020-09-23

Great focus on the creative process

I enjoy music bios but am invariably disappointed in the lack of focus on details of the creative process by the subject of the book - not this time. Author and subjects talk like soul mates in an intimate and personal exploration of the bountiful creativity of Joni Mitchell. It's also nice to see, thanks to her brutal honesty that she is indeed human and lacks many of the "left brain" skills.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Fisher
  • 2015-01-25

Almost as good as an autobiography

I love Joni Mitchell's music and lyrics. These interviews put into book form really dig deep into how the songs came about and what she was thinking.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Bill Pennock
  • 2019-05-24

Wanted more of interview, less reading lyrics

When i read how this book was written, from extensive interviews over years, I expected it to be "in her own words" that I had not heard before. Unfortunately way more of "in her own words" are just reciting of the lyrics. Yes they are good poetry but they are MUCH better listened too with the music. I found it tedious, after awhile, to have to listen through entire song lyrics and sometimes more than one before getting back to the interview. That said, I still like the book. There is enough in there that helps augment the love I have for Joni Mitchell's songs. If you're like me you'll be trying to "listen" to the song in your head when the lyrics are being read. The first 2 paragraphs were written before I had completely finished. If you love Joni Mitchell's work you might not want to read the rest of this review. I wish I could un-hear it. At the end of this book and the beginning of the Yaffe biography are descriptions of Joni Mitchell talking about how she hates what her stupid species is doing to the world. She specifically mentions how she can imagine in great detail the death throws of sea life in an oil spill and how stupid other humans are for doing this. The hypocrisy of this from a woman who has traveled the world in Jet Planes probably plenty of them private jets, enjoyed gas guzzling limo's and yachts and has furniture and other things brought by modern transportation all supported by big oil is mind boggling and, as I said, I wish i could have un-heard it. I will still love her music but, as with so many "stars", hate the hypocrisy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • k44993
  • 2018-03-15

love her. love the book. Thank you !

Joni is such a gift to us. very candid without pettiness. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. she is an amazing person and it is uplifting to read listen to her story. the narrator makes me believe she is Joni.

  • Overall
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Les Ross
  • 2018-03-03

At last, Joni in her true voice

Too often I’ve read Joni in interview and rankles at the tone communicated. As ever, the voice and agenda of the interviewer prevails. Not here. Malka brings the truest most believable experience most of us will have of this unique artist. A few errors by the reader annoyed those of us more fully familiar with Joni Mitchell’s work.