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She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana
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She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana (Zippy #2)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  6,832 ratings  ·  871 reviews
The # 1 New York Times bestseller A Girl Named Zippy was a rare and welcome treat: a memoir of a happy childhood. Spunky, strong-willed, and too smart for her own good, Zippy Jarvis brought readers delight and joy. In She Got Up Off the Couch, Haven Kimmel invites us to rejoin the quirky and hilarious Jarvis family saga. Zippy is growing up and struggling with both ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 13th 2006 by Free Press (first published December 1st 2005)
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This is a far darker book than Kimmel's first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, and I loved it for that darkness, because while I'd sensed it simmering under the surface of that first book, it never quite broke through—Kimmel hewed closely to portraying her world as she felt it was when she was a young girl. And she was too young and too bright-eyed to quite put things together. So even though there were occasional questionable events, they never added up to an in-depth portrait. Kept Zippy frothy and ...more
This summer I seem to be stuck on reading memoirs of growing up in the Midwest in the 1970's. This is another good one. She Got Up Off the Couch is actually a follow-up to the author's earlier memoir, A Girl Named Zippy. I think I liked this one even better. Kimmel covers a lot of territory related to growing up in small-town Mooreland, Indiana, and she does so hilariously.

The title refers to her mother, who at age 40 got up off the couch and escaped "twenty four years of poverty and terror and
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Zippy is just as charming as she was in the first book, although she loses some of her innocence, as she experiences major changes in her family. I loved reading about her mother who got up off the couch and followed her dreams. I also loved learning about more people from the town, who obviously loved Zippy, and would wash and feed her. It definitely took a village to raise this child!

It’s fun to see Zippy’s dysfunctional family and small-town life, through her unique and amusing perspective. (
Apr 20, 2008 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor, interest in the women's movement, or appreciation of recent history
Recommended to Nicole by: My mom
Shelves: non-fiction
A surprising feminist masterpiece, funny and honest. It's like The Awakening, if The Awakening had sensitivity and heart.
Yet another book I just couldn't put down. I'd read A Girl Named Zippy a few years ago, but didn't think to look for any kind of follow-up until I saw A Girl Named Zippy on sale for eBooks and posted it to my Facebook wall. It was then that my other reader friends let me know about this book, and I immediately put it on hold at my library.

This book is much, much darker than its predecessor. We get some inklings that things aren't too fantastically wonderful for the Jarvis family in A Girl Named
I didn't much care for this book. other people did.
I just love Zippy and love her stories. This book is tinged with sadness - I cried several times because I am a weepy one these days. I often complain about memoirs that are too insular, too self-absorbed. Why don't I level that accusation at Haven Kimmel's two memoirs? Of A Girl Named Zippy I wrote:
there was no self-reflexive narration here, no self-conscious reflection on the act of memoir-writing, no nods or winks or notes to the reader about the author's awareness of crafting a written accou
A follow-up memoir to one of my top 10 favorite books ever. We start up where we left off with Zip, a little older but still fairly enveloped in the warm nostalgic embrace of childhood. But in this book, its less romantic remembrances of family and more the strange and terrifying truths that start to emerge when one is forced as we all are, to grow up. The momentous occansion that inspired the book...the impulse that drove Zip's mother after years of hiding, to literally GET UP OFF THE COUCH...i ...more
I read "A Girl Named Zippy" a few years ago and remember enjoying it, so when I saw this at the bookstore, I couldn't pass it up. I really liked this book, I think even more than the first one. The author knows how to turn a phrase in an amusing and clever way that makes me laugh out loud. I am enthralled with her childhood and equally curious how she manages to remember some of the minute details that I know I certainly couldn't, but I guess that's just good storytelling. She describes people a ...more
For the first third of the book, I wasn't sure what I was reading. Really, this is a memoir? The title character was barely present, but those early chapters that appeared to be tenuously related essays were hilarious. Was I reading Erma Bombeck or what?

Then things started to come together. Delonda Jarvis (mother of the author and nearly invisible in the first part of the book), did indeed get up off the couch, go to college where she performed stunningly well, lose 120 pounds, buy a decrepit V
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Haven Kimmel has done it again. I loved A Girl Named Zippy and this book, I think, is even better. Written in the same voice as the previous book, Zippy continues her adventures growing up in tiny Moreland, Indiana where everyone knows your name and, unfortunately, your business. Much of this book, however, is a tribute to her mother who, in the last book, was spending the majority of her time sitting on the end of the couch reading, watching television, and talking on the telephone to members o ...more
One of my favorite books a few years ago was A Girl Named Zippy, the prequel to this book, Haven “Zippy” Kimmel’s follow up memoir. I am delighted to say that this book is equally as funny and touching, but also a little deeper in its examination of the some of the fallout of a mother struggling to find herself in the women’s movement of the early 70’s.

When last we left Delonda Kimmel she was riding a bicycle, her first step off the couch where she had spent the last twenty years of her life, r
I would give this book closer to 3.5 stars, but ultimately rounded down. Kimmel's novel was filled with quirky characters and funny tales, but the pervading sadness of the memoir stuck in my head. Being alone in a family of searching souls, the dirty home, mothers of her friends being the only ones that realized she hadn't eaten all day, a mother focused on finding herself late in life but forgetting that there was still a daughter who needed something more, a father who finally gives into all h ...more
Sep 09, 2009 Katie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anne -- have you read this?
I'm kind of bereft because there's no more Zippy to be had.

At first I was not so sure about She Got Up Off the Couch. It seemed like outtakes from the first book, and the aw shucks introduction justifying a sequel worried me. ("I didn't expect much from that little book. I was an remain surprised that some people bought and liked it." C'mon!)

She Got Up does take a couple chapters to get going, as if you can feel Kimmel getting back on the bike and finding the pedals. But once she Fa
Pamela Rose
I appreciate the author's sense of humor. Her ability to flip a phrase and make the reader laugh is impressive. However, I think the title of the book is a bit misleading. Her mother's triumphant return to 'life,' while admirable, is only a small part of the book. The rest is an amazing collection of the author's childhood memories strung together loosely under the aegis of the title.

I think this book is far darker than it first appears. The rats...the unheated home, (except for one room)the fr
Haven Kimmel, I have YOU to thank for keeping ME on the couch this entire morning finishing "She Got Up Off the Couch: and Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana." But maybe it wasn't such a bad day to finish a book, and especially this one; a sub-zero Minnesota morning didn't exactly make many other activities (ok, work would have been good) that attractive.

Having previously indulged in "A Girl Named Zippy" by the same author, I was tempted to read the follow-up. Kimmel's account of life (mo
So, I own the hardcover, and have borrowed the audio book from the library, and I have to say that EVERYONE should have this audiobook!!! I mean it - it's UNREAL how funny she is (the author reads it), and Trish has been telling me I've been talking like her for some time now :)

It's an awesome memoir, story of her mother's "coming into her own" without too much "poor me, I grew up poor with the strange and unhappy marriage of my parents shaping who I am" malarky..

Some of the stories had me chewi
Erica Thompson
This one is just as fabulously funny as the first one (minus one part in chapter 18 that was just plain disgusting, and I wish had been left out). If you liked the witty, tell-it-like-a-child-with-no-filter humor in the first book, you will love this one just as much. This one does have Zippy getting older, and she does lose some of her childhood innocence as changes happen in her family. Still thoroughly enjoyable.

I listened to this one on audio again which I definitely recommend.
If Haven Kimmel was ever to write a sequel to her first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy, she knew She Got Up Off the Couch would be the title, and she knew it would be about her mother's transformation. Well, she nailed one of those things. This is an oddly titled book considering her mom's story only accounts for about 15% of the book. The other 85% is very loosely related memories of herself and her classmates. Often I got to the end of a story and wondered, now how did I get there again? Her vague ...more
I didn't love this one quite as much as A Girl Named Zippy, but it was still a fabulous read. Kimmel's quirky (read dysfunctional) family reminded me of my own and I just loved reading more about them. Her mom was amazing and so full of determination--the driving scenes were unforgettable.

It was interesting to get a better glimpse into Kimmel's dad and learn more about his background as well. Kimmel is just a gorgeous writer and I love the way she combines pathos and comedy. I hope she writes m
Jul 13, 2009 Doris rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any woman
Recommended to Doris by: Emily Johnson
Shelves: memoir
I loved this book. It was a joy to read and hard to put down. I didn't read her first memoir, "A Girl Named Zippy," but I certainly will now. She writes about her young life, perhaps age 7 or so to age 13. There is much that is dysfunctional about her home life but she writes with no bitterness. I can't explain how she writes in a child persona but without condescension or mimicry of a child's voice--she does this very effectively. I grew to love this child and wanted to know her personally. She ...more
Katie Henderson
I devoured this book with the same feverish zeal with which I read the first of Haven Kimmel's memoirs, A Girl Named Zippy. In this memoir, Zippy's a little older and therefore more aware of the growing tension between her mother and father. And you get to love her mother and the generation of women she represents-going back to school, pursuing long-lost dreams, etc. All of this is done in between chapters about other funny Zippy-style stuff. I loved it.
Fresh from the last page of Zippy, nothing was going to stop me from reading this book. Quality was wholly irrelevant: I had to know what happened next.

Kimmel's mother is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in a memoir. This is Delonda's monumental story, from a daughter who has the artistry to chronicle her mother's journey in a way that is poignant, funny, and utterly memorizing.

The writing is just as superb, but not surprisingly, the content is much darker than Zippy. The darkness
I enjoyed this memoir more than this author's first memoir, A girl named Zippy. "She got off the couch" is mostly about Kimmel's mother's mid life metamorphosis but also has several bonus random stories from her childhood. I found I tired a little from the random stories when they got in the way of the main story of her mom, but that could just be a reflection of my personal reading preference. I loved the heart of the book which focused on her mom's efforts to change her life. The whole prayer ...more
I enjoy reading memoirs. It makes me wish I could write my own. While I'm not much like Zippy, there were a few things I could relate to in her life. She starts out saying this story is about her mother, but it is still more about her. But that's fair--she knows herself better. I wouldn't mind reading the book on her younger years now. I don't think reading out of sequence is a problem. I'm pretty sure this one didn't give away any surprises.
A more in-depth continuation of A Girl named Zippy. This girl feels things about 100x more intensely than the average kids -whether it's her love of her baby nephew or the things she finds so funny that she almost dies from laughing and has to bite her knees to get ahold of herself or the way she scares herself by replaying things in her mind all night long. I love her big sister, Melinda, who takes care of her, feeds her and allows slumber parties at her house to give a feel of a normal childho ...more
Sara Register
Sep 27, 2007 Sara Register rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a good laugh
Shelves: favorites
This is the sister book to "A Girl Named Zippy" and in my opinion, just as good if not better. This book follows more closely memories of the author's mother and her heroic journey from couch potato to student/worker extrodinaire. It is uplifting, and again, funny. It left me feeling like, if she can do it, then so can I.
I love Zippy! I love her mom and her bravery! I love the childlike perspective of the life going on around her and how it was told from that point of view and lacked judgements of any kind. It was full of love, heartbreak, triumph and freedom. But mostly love.
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Haven Kimmel was born in New Castle, Indiana, and was raised in Mooreland, Indiana, the focus of her bestselling memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana .

Kimmel earned her undergraduate degree in English and creative writing from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and a graduate degree from North Carolina State University, where she studied with novelist Lee Smith.
More about Haven Kimmel...

Other Books in the Series

Zippy (2 books)
  • A Girl Named Zippy
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