Willie Nelson, the Outlaw Guru, and Dolly Parton, the Sage in Stripper Heels, have much to say about how to find peace and happiness and the core of the hearts desire.
Now each has produced a slim stocking stuffer, distilling that wisdom into an afternoons read, complete with insight, jokes, song lyrics and a few entertaining nuggets from their remarkable lives.
If Willie and Dolly are talking, its worth listening.
These two backwoods bodhisattvas have been contributing to the greater intelligence of the human race for more than a half-century each. Unmotivated by trends, they have found themselves at the center of the action multiple times.
After inventing outlaw country, Nelson anticipated the American songbook craze by about 20 years when he released Stardust in 1978, introducing a new demographic to the songs of the greatest generation.
A bona fide country star, Parton fused country and disco with 9 to 5, and wrote the Whitney Houston blockbuster I Will Always Love You, which has been a radio hit four times in three different decades.
If they never picked up a musical instrument or stood in front of a microphone, the two would both still be legendary as songwriters.
Yet both made themselves into quadruple threats, writing, playing, singing and performing in movies.
They didnt quit there.
Parton gave an economic bone marrow transplant to her Tennessee community with the amusement complex Dollywood, which became one of the regions largest employers.
Nelson (along with John Mellencamp and Neil Young) created Farm Aid in 1985 to try to keep family farms from going bankrupt in the era of industrial agriculture, and they still carry on.
Their books are different in style and tone. Nelsons book, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die: Musings from the Road, is a Rabelaisian idyll, mixing contemporary journal entries (from 2011 and 2012) with reminiscences from friends and family and plenty of profane good humor.
Partons entry, Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You, grew out of her University of Tennessee commencement address in 2009 (a ceremony during which she received an honorary degree and became Dr. Dolly). Perhaps more self-consciously inspirational, it is also packed with humor, which never violates a PG rating.