Dolly Parton Reveals Her Most Treasured Books in ‘Shelf Portrait’

Singer and songwriter Dolly Parton shows Marie Claire her book collection in the latest episode of 'Shelf Portrait.' Find out the icon’s most treasured books and order them for yourself here.

Dolly Parton wants you to take the time to read! (Yes, even if that means in the bathroom.) The icon shows us her very Dolly-esque book collection in Marie Claire’s latest episode of Shelf Portrait (opens in new tab), where celebrities, influencers, and famous bookworms invite us inside their homes to show off their personal libraries.

Aside from sweet family pictures and a mini piano that Parton considers a family heirloom, the singer and songwriter’s bookshelf holds very special books, including the one her sister Willadeene wrote—In the Shadow of a Song: The Story of the Parton Family (opens in new tab) (1985)as well as Oral History (opens in new tab) (2011), by her favorite southern writer, Lee Smith, and Big Stone Gap (opens in new tab) (2001), by Adriana Trigiani. Parton has written several books herself, like the children’s book I Am a Rainbow (opens in new tab) (2009) and Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business (opens in new tab) (1994). Her brand new book is Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (opens in new tab) (2020)which happens to make an excellent holiday gift (opens in new tab)!

As for the book she’s read more than any other? The Bible! Parton finds a lot of strength and wisdom in it, and the verses often inspire her song lyrics. The Little Engine That Could (opens in new tab) is another favorite of hers, especially while she was growing up, as well as The Grapes of Wrath (opens in new tab), which she’s read at least three times. Old classics have helped her cope during this tumultuous year.

Don’t expect her to read on a Kindle any time soon, though. Dolly is a paperback gal. Find out more about Parton’s book collection in her Shelf Portrait video (above), then shop the ultimate Dolly Parton gift guide (below).

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