Readin' and Dreamin'

Love, Janis

Love, Janis - Laura Joplin I don't really write reviews anymore, but I definitely need to say something here.

First, about the book. I thought that maybe being written by her sister, that this might be a biography with a lot of facts and incidents glossed over to maybe not tarnish Janis' reputation. However, that wasn't the case. It was made clear in the very last chapter that Laura wanted people to know the real person that Janis was, not just the legend. In Love, Janis we saw all of Janis: scars, flaws and all. I appreciated it. While I may not have agreed with everything Janis ever did or said, it didn't diminish the effect she has on me, and how much I love her music. In fact, knowing she was such a flawed person even made me love her more.

I've always had such strong emotions about Janis, even before reading this book. I said to my dad a few days ago, "Whenever I listen to Janis, I am both happy and sad. Happy because she was so amazing, but sad because of 'what else she could have accomplished.'" And I got emotional reading the book, especially the end. Her life didn't have to end like that, she had so much left to give. She didn't want to die, and certainly didn't expect to die that night. She was so excited for the future, and that just makes me sad. Looking at the impact she had on people during such a short career, imagine how much bigger that impact would be if she had gone on making music for decades.

Anyway, this is such a great tribute to an amazing force of nature. If you want to read one book about Janis, let this be the one. There are no rumors and crazy fictionalized stories here, just Janis.