I’ve been meaning to whip up a post about some books & movies I’ve read and watched since May as if everyone in the universe needs to know what I think about books & movies.
The books include some classics and autobiographies. The movies are mostly Netflix with a few movie theatre flicks.
But, hold on, hold on, I’m almost through to the middle of Shania Twains’ bio and HOLY HECK I have to mention it now.
Okay I’m not some huge Shania fan. I don’t know any of her albums, and in general I’ll devour any celebrity autobiographies and memoirs( I see you judging and I do not give!). I’ll often try (almost) any one written by whoever unless it’s rirrrrly bad. Usually if the book has mostly positive reviews and it’s about somebody I’m at least vaguely familiar with I’ll read it. And of course if it’s somebody I really like or am at least super nosy about I’ll pre-order the crap out of it and drool until it arrives.
How I heard about Shania’s book:
I saw Shania on Oprah once several years ago promoting the book From This Moment On. She talked about growing up poor, the breakup of her marriage, the betrayal of a close friend, the one that allegedly had an affair with her husband, and losing her singing voice due to emotional pain. She shared enough to make me curious about her life story and Oprah was into it so I was too. I wish-listed it and never bought a copy. The other day it went on sale for $2.99. S O L D. It pays to keep a wishlist with 402340202 books on it for a century and regularly check for price drops. Or rather, it costs because I did spend $2.99 but, still, it was a deal.
Shania’s story (can’t believe I’m beginning a sentence this way…) is taking me by surprise and sometimes a bit hard to swallow. She’s been through it people! I had NO idea. I knew she was a Canadian born country singer, I knew Shania wasn’t her real name and that she grew up poor (’cause I saw it on Oprah) but I didn’t realize how awful it was for her and don’t ever recall hearing much about it in the press. Jewel on the other hand will never let us forget she lived in van with her mother or something.
Back to Shania:
She was extremely poor growing up. Her home was filled with violence. She squatted in a house in Toronto, alone, when she was 15 or 16 for a while until moving back in with her family that was living a 15 hour train ride away. Dang, Shania.
What I remember about Shania’s Oprah interview was when she talked about how her father was a great guy. Despite his violent outbursts she appreciated him for taking in her and her sisters “as his own”, he was a step-parent, and she found him funny and warm. So it was a surprise to read and learn the details of his brutally violent behavior towards Shania’s mother. The second to last chapter I read reveals he molested Shania. She never used that word to my recollection, so maybe I should not either, and maybe she doesn’t feel she it was molestation or sexual assault but she said she woke up and felt her step-father cupping her breast, I think she was 16 or 17. She pretended she didn’t know what happened. In a previous chapter she talked about waking up at night and how he’d be standing over her headboard whispering insults at her in realm of “you’re a filthy slut.” Scary. Poor Shania. She’d also pretended that those incidents didn’t happen. I understand her reaction, that is so unsettling and horrifying.
I never knew much about her or the painful life she endured but it’s a fascinating read.
Any reading suggestions or musician biographies you recommend?