Did you know it was Gerry Goffin, not Carole King, who wrote the lyrics to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”? That’s just one of the fun facts I’ve picked up in listening to King’s new autobiography called, what else, A Natural Woman. Her stories about working for hit factory Aldon Music (not in the Brill Building, by the way) resonant with Amazon.com’s attempts to control book-producing and -selling from the top down, and her anecdote about getting a flunking grade for her record “It Might As Well Rain Until September” from the kids on American Bandstand reminded me of certain Best Books for Young Adults meetings I would prefer to forget. One bonus of the audiobook edition of A Natural Woman is that King, as narrator, sings whenever a a song lyric pops up in the text. I’m hoping she’s going to talk about her and Goffin’s controversial “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss),’” featured on this week’s Mad Men.
For more on boys and girls, take a look at Hilary Rappaport’s “On the Rights of Reading and Girls and Boys,” which will be published in the May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine but which we’ve put online now for all you engaged in the most recent guys’-reading debate.