Radio Bristol Book Club: Woman Walk the Line

Welcome to Radio Bristol Book Club! Each month, readers from BCM and the Bristol Public Library come together to celebrate and explore one book inspired by our region’s rich Appalachian cultural and musical heritage. We invite you to read along and then listen to Radio Bristol on the fourth Thursday of each month at 11:00am when we will dig deep into the feelings and questions raised by the books, learn more about the authors, and celebrate the joys of being a bookworm!

The cover of the book is blue and cream with the main title in red. Several female country musician's names are written in cursive font on the blue part of the cover.
The cover of Holly Gleason’s Woman Walk the Line gives an inkling of the many women who are represented within its pages.

Our book for November is Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives edited by Holly Gleason. Full-tilt, hardcore, down-home, and groundbreaking, the women of country music speak volumes with every song. From Maybelle Carter to Dolly Parton, k.d. lang to Taylor Swift, these artists have provided pivot points, truths, and doses of courage for women writers at every stage of their lives. Whether it’s Rosanne Cash eulogizing June Carter Cash or a seventeen-year-old Taylor Swift considering the golden glimmer of another precocious superstar, Brenda Lee, it’s the humanity beneath the music that resonates.

Woman Walk the Line is a collection of deeply personal essays from award-winning writers and musicians – from Holly George Warren and Madison Vain to Grace Potter and Patty Griffin – on country music’s femme fatales, feminists, groundbreakers, and truth tellers. The book speaks to the ways in which artists mark our lives at different ages and in various states of grace and imperfection – and ultimately how music transforms not just the person making it, but also the listener.

Holly Gleason is a Nashville-based writer and artist development consultant. She’s written for Rolling StoneThe Los Angeles Times, The New York TimesOxford American, No Depression, PASTE, Lone Star Music, Texas Music, Spin, Musician, CREEM, Interview, PLAYBOY, The Palm Beach Daily News, The Vineyard Gazette, Tower Pulse, Request, Rockbill, Bam, Rock & Soul, and Mix. She loves songwriters, roots music, country, R&B and very early rap, as well as life moments, fame and its impact on who we are. Her book Woman Walk the Line was published in 2017 and has become a favorite read of a variety of country stars!

Picture of woman with long reddish brown hair, wearing glasses, a red and blue striped top, scarf, and big hoop earrings.
Author Holly Gleason. © Allistair Ann

Be sure to tune in on Thursday, November 19 at 11:00am – a week earlier than normal due to Thanksgiving the following week – to hear the book club discussion about Woman Walk the Line, followed by an interview with the author. You can find us on the dial at 100.1 FM, streaming live on Radio Bristol, or via the Radio Bristol app. And be sure to pick up a copy and read it ahead of time. We look forward to sharing our thoughts on this wonderful musical journey!

Looking ahead: Our book pick for December is Mama, Me, and the Holiday Tree by Jeanne G’Fellers, which we’ll be discussing on Thursday, December 17 (a week early due to Christmas Eve). Happy reading!

Head Curator at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

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