The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this monthly feature, we ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.
This month: Maple Valley-based singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, a three-time Grammy winner who just nabbed three nominations for the 2020 ceremony, shares her literary pick.
What book are you reading now?
Right now, I am reading “Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton.” I picked it because I’m fascinated by Dolly Parton. I’ve read all the books written about her. I don’t even know which ones are authorized and which ones are not authorized, but I find her so fascinating. I could read about her endlessly. She has a lot of sides to her that you just wouldn’t think are there. That’s what’s most fascinating about her: She doesn’t give it all to the public. If you read “Dolly on Dolly,” you’ll learn more.
What book have you reread the most?
Probably the Bible. I’m a big Bible enthusiast, both for its archival purposes and the way it affects the culture, both positively and negatively. I think there’s a ton of wisdom to be gleaned from the Bible about why people behave the way they do and why we have learned to behave the way we do over the last 2,000 years.
What book do you recommend other people read and why?
I’ve got two. “Blood,” Allison Moorer’s new memoir, is stunning — an absolutely stunning book. I’m not even going to go into what it is because I feel so strongly that it’s not my story to tell, but I promise you that if you read that book, you’ll be changed. And “Educated” by Tara Westover. I learned so much more than I thought I knew about unconditional familial love and the importance of educating yourself if you’re a woman in this world. I genuinely do believe that almost all the problems in this world can be solved, from poverty to aggression to climate change, by educating and empowering women, because they hold up half the sky. If the other half of the human race is empowered, then I think we could solve all our problems globally. So it at least starts there. “Educated” isn’t as high-minded as that, but it shows you how important it is and how you can overcome extreme adversity.
— compiled by Chris Talbott