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

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  8,166 Ratings  ·  971 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 her hai ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 13th 2006 by Free Press (first published December 1st 2005)
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Naomi Campbell I recently discovered the Zippy books and loved the complete exaggerations that weren't even drama, just life. She just rolled with it, all of it. I…moreI recently discovered the Zippy books and loved the complete exaggerations that weren't even drama, just life. She just rolled with it, all of it. I want to read another, so maybe NOT Iodine, but which one should I read next? Indiana Blues, the title caught my eye. But no reviews on it or anything. But I may just go read it "blind," and see what she's got. But yes, any particular one I should eat up next?(less)
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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
Aug 17, 2010 Gregg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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. (O
Apr 18, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Laura McNeal
Nov 26, 2015 Laura McNeal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
There are a few moments of weakness in this book, a few chapters where Zippy's verbal tics bothered me the way a friend's might if we were roommates too long, but the story of her mother's academic transformation is incredibly moving. I think that what makes Kimmel's stories about Mooreland so popular is her intense desire to view each person and event in the most sympathetic and affectionate way possible, to take a town and a set of people we might drive right past, thinking, "Who could live he ...more
Aug 23, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jun 02, 2016 Marne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If Junie B. Jones was real, but grew up in tee-tiny Moorland, Indiana in a decrepit house, with dysfunctional parents who dearly loved her, but just couldn't be relied upon to actually parent her (e.g., clean clothes, food, baths), she could be Haven Kimmel. I had the same reaction to reading Haven's descriptions of events as I did reading about Junie's escapades. I guess I just have a weakness for strong willed, wacky characters...ones that drive those around them to ask, "hey, is your head scr ...more
Feb 15, 2009 Desiree rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2008 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2008 Malbadeen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't much care for this book. other people did.
Jun 19, 2010 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Kimmel's first memoir, A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana during one of my annual girls' trips to Mexico a couple years back. While taking in the sun, tasty margaritas and enjoying the simple things, I was enamored with this quirky small-town girl and her cleverly down-home way with words. She made childhood in a town of just 300 (THAT'S small!) a bit romantic. Living where everyone knows your name (forget that they all know your business, too) and where life seems ...more
Apr 15, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Jul 09, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful tribute to Haven Kimmel's family and friends. This book is a love letter to them.

But funny (not cheesy). And sad sometimes. And it made me nostalgic for a time that I wasn't even a part of. I loved Delonda, her mother. What a wonderful role model. Nothing was stopping her from getting an education and a job and her very own life. Didn't matter that her husband didn't support her, didn't matter that she didn't have a car (at first, but then oh boy, she finds a car). I loved her.
Feb 14, 2010 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Oct 18, 2012 Carolyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
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
Jan 19, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 02, 2012 Hayley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 18, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2013-reads
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
Sep 22, 2011 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was just ok. It sounded promising. The novel was supposed to focus on the writer's mother, who at an older age finally "got up off the couch" and went to college, however this was only a minor part of the novel. I felt as though the writer really likes talking about herself - a little too much. When reading her voice as a young girl, I kind of got the impression that she was a kind of self-absorbed, know-it-all kind of child and it seems that she is that way as an adult too. There were some p ...more
Feb 16, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This sequel gave a far more sobering picture of Zippy's home life; a more accurate window into her parent's world, especially her mother's. I enjoyed it as much as the first memoir of Haven Kimmel but in a different way. After my last reading of "Zippy" I was more intrigued to know what had happened to her and her family. And I found out. Haven gave more details of her home life and the conditions of her poverty. She talked of her parents and the amazing changes her mom made in her situation. Sh ...more
Jul 13, 2009 Doris rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 26, 2009 Coco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 23, 2009 Tara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
I was trying to describe to Z what this was all about. She said it sounds sad. No, I countered it was really quite funny. HK has a beautiful ability to find the humor in the tryingest of circumstances.
Feb 26, 2010 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The "she" referred to in the title is the author's mother, Delonda. Delonda, raised in a well-to-do family, married at seventeen to man she thought was a successful 26 year-old business man. Instead he turned out to be an 18 year-old gambler. While he never lacked for anything like clothes or cars, Delonda and their three children lived in poverty. Delonda sunk into her couch as into dispair. Then one day "She got up off the couch", took the CLEP test, and started college.
That was the turning po
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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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