I'm a massive Dolly fan, both for her music, and for her Imagination Library, through which she has donated over 130 million books to children worldwide. Mining her 60-plus years of songwriting, this "show-stopping" visual memoir-cum-annotated songbook charts her journey from impoverished Smoky Mountain Tennessee girl to international superstar, telling the stories behind songs like "Jolene" and "9 to 5". It also includes photos and memorabilia.
It’s all very on-brand but the book is also testament to the fact that Parton has never forgotten her roots or her community – the downtrodden and disenfranchised remain the inspiration for her song-writing, while her Dollywood theme park keeps much of eastern Tennessee employed. Near the end, there is a song about coronavirus that poignantly tells us “Darkness fades when faced with light / And everything’s gonna be alright.” Next to it, a perfectly coiffed Parton poses in a mask decorated with lots of tiny guitars.