Book Review: Dream More



Title: Dream More

Author: Dolly Parton

Genre: Non-fiction / inspirational

Publisher: Putnam/Penguin

Length: 118 pages

Library: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh–South Side

Challenge: Library Books Reading Challenge 2013

Summary: An iconic diva dispenses warm, witty advice about never giving up.


Sometimes, as a reader, you just want something light and hopeful. Something that will make you feel better about the mishegoss we seem to have gotten ourselves into as a planet. A little light reading that assures you that everything’s going to be okay, whether you really believe that or just want to. Dream More is a short, sassy, fun book you can use as a cobweb-reliever reboot before you turn your mind back to the treadmill of daily life.

Now, granted, it’s also the sort of book that will appeal to you most if you actually do believe in something. It’s entirely possible that you are happier to be a grumpy mcgrumpy-pants, and continue believing that life sucks and nothing you do will ever matter. If that’s the case, this book is not for you. This book is for people who, no matter what, retain a fraction of a drop of hope that things could get better, that they could turn it around. It’s also pretty damn funny, in that blue-collar, bluegrass Hee Haw kind of way, so if those elements were part of your upbringing, this is definitely your book for a smile break.

In four sections–titled “Dream More,” “Learn More,” “Care More,” and “Be More”–Parton tells the reader stories about her childhood and path to fame, dispensing boatloads of encouragement. It’s a contemporary woman’s variation on the Horatio Alger story, the notion that if you work hard enough and believe in yourself, you too can be great. Parton also urges readers to give back and do something for the common good, even before they’ve achieved their dreams, because the only way we truly succeed is by helping each other. These heaps of inspiration are saved from being cloying by Parton’s rollicking wit, which she isn’t afraid to aim at herself (big boob and heavy makeup jokes abound). If you sincerely hold those values, and appreciate this kind of humor, this is the book for you.

Recommended for: Dolly Parton / country music fans, people from similar backgrounds who have achieved success, people who need–and are open to–a dose of inspiration.


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