5 Books Every Dolly Parton Fan Should Read

With a career spanning over five decades, it’s no surprise that Dolly Parton has become the subject of dozens of best-selling books. She’s become the definition of a pop culture icon, thanks to her obvious talents as a vocalist and songwriter, along with her witty personality, incredible philanthropy efforts, and colorful fashion sense. 

Videos by American Songwriter

[RELATED: 5 Deep Cuts From Dolly Parton]

In October, Parton will release Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, spotlighting her influential fashion choices throughout the decades. If you’re itching to learn more about the 77-year-old icon, there’s plenty of reading material to enjoy.

From a deep dive into her songwriting style to her first fictional novel, here are five Dolly Parton books every fan should read.

Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton

If you are a new member of the Dolly fandom or only know a little bit about the country star, this 2018 release from Randy L. Schmidt is the perfect starting point. This collection of interviews from throughout Parton’s career offers first-hand accounts of famous stories from her life and sweet memories from her childhood.

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics

A must-read for any songwriter or music fan, this 2020 collaboration with music journalist and historian Robert K. Oermann spotlights Parton’s songs in a new way. Readers can flip through the lyrics of some of the country star’s most iconic songs, accompanied by handwritten stories and memories about each song’s origins.

I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton

This 2022 release from Lynn Melnick explores a much more intense subject matter than the other entries on this list but also makes it one of the most essential Parton-related reads. This thoughtful, moving memoir ties Parton’s music and public image to Melnick’s own experiences with misogyny and abuse. It’s a powerful look at the trauma many of us endure and how Parton’s uncrushable spirit and determination can inspire us all.

Run, Rose, Run: A Novel

Parton partnered with best-selling author James Patterson to pen a gripping fictional novel with a musical twist. The story follows the rambling songwriter AnnieLee Keyes as she makes her mark on Nashville, eventually crossing paths with a country music star who’s stepped out of the spotlight. Run, Rose, Run, which is currently being adapted as a major motion picture, offers a unique twist on Patterson’s beloved dramatic storytelling style.

Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business

This candid memoir from 1994 gives surprising insight into Parton’s incredible life, from her early days in rural Tennessee to her streak of cross-genre success that ignited in the 1970s and stretched into the early ’90s. Parton opens up about the details of her long marriage with Carl Dean, the rumors surrounding her friendships with Judy Ogle and Porter Wagoner, and witty commentary on her unpredictable path to stardom.

(Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Leave a Reply

The Story Behind Method Man and Redman’s Writing Partnership