8 Ways Carly Simon’s Memoir Is a Psychological Tour de Force

Carly Simon’s memoir ‘Boys in the Trees’ analyzes complex psychological topics.

I stayed up all night reading Carly Simon’s riveting and insightful new page-turner, Boys in the Trees: A Memoir. This is one of those rare books that I had to finish in one sitting. In this memoir, Simon covers so much complex psychological territory with a breezy, conversational writing style and storytelling candor that makes her observations about complicated psychological dynamics easy to digest and relocatable.

I devoured this book. I’m still metabolizing all the nuggets of wisdom and the broad spectrum of emotions covered in this memoir. For this hastily written Psychology Today blog post, I’ve highlighted 8 areas covered in the memoir that broke new ground for me psychologically.

There’s universal appeal in how fearless and honest Carly Simon is about sharing her life experiences of struggling with many internal and external demons—in particular, a self-saboteur she wrestles with regularly given the moniker of, “The Beast.”

Carly Simon Is a Legend in Her Own Time

My parents loved the singer-songwriter genre of the late 1960s and early 1970s. As I was growing up, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, John Denver, and Carole King were constantly playing in the background. This music defined my childhood and shaped my psyche in many ways. I still listen to songs by at least one of these singers on a daily basis. My music library is dominated by these artists.

Of all the singer-songwriters of the ’70s, Carly Simon was my mother’s favorite. Whenever my mom was driving the car, one of Simon’s earlier three albums: No Secrets, Hotcakes, or Playing Possum would be playing on the 8-Track. In many ways, the early ’70s was an idyllic time of innocence and a liberating time to be growing up in America. Having these songs playing in heavy rotation on the radio, 8-track, and turntable defined the era for me. Listening to these songs today still brings back indelible waves of childhood memories.

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