Never Sit If You Can Dance
This may be one of my favorite books of this year. Jo Giese has written a wonderfully cheery memoir filled with stories about her mother Babe. This book made me smile as I read it, and it reminded me of the stories my grandmother told me as a child. How I wish I had written those stories down as Jo has. Each chapter is broken down into “lessons” composed of a story Jo tells about Babe and the lesson she learned from it. It is really very neatly written. The title of the book says it all and sets the positive tone of the storytelling. “The Good Goodbye” is one of my favorite chapters because it tells how Babe taught Jo to always say goodbye until you could no longer do so, or until the person has left the building. Having a door shut in your face cannot be fun for anyone, so Babe encouraged waving at the front door until the person has left the premises. This made me think about my own parents and how they stand at the front door to see me off after I have come for a visit. I have always thought that it was so endearing and didn’t realize it was a “thing” until I read this book. I guess I thought everyone’s family did that! Silly me! “Never Show Up Empty Handed” is another lesson that I can relate to. I was always taught by my mom that if I am invited to someone’s house or to a party to bring something. It could be anything from flowers for the hostess to a nice bottle of wine or a homemade dessert. Bringing something is a nice way of welcoming yourself into the person’s home or space, and this is exactly what Babe taught Jo.
Until Babe’s dying day, she was full of spunk and opinions. Going to get Vietnamese food and playing Scrabble with Jo were two things Babe loved to do towards the end of her life. Jo also gives the reader a little glimpse into her own relationship with her husband Ed who seems like a very nice, supportive husband. Her brother Jimmy and sister Wendy are also spoken about a few times in the book. Jo’s father, James, up until he passed away before Babe, was also a big influence in Jo’s life. Babe and James both loved to dance and raised their three children with what I feel are some really wonderful morals and values. This book is fantastic and heartwarming, and I am grateful that the author chose to share her stories.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||144 pages|
|Publisher||She Writes Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|