Book Reviews

Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew by Jim Higley | Book Review

Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew by Jim Higley | Book Review Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew by Jim Higley
Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction
Original Publication Date: 2011
Source: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Find the Author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon
three-half-stars

Jim Higley was a forty-year-old bobblehead. Just like those collectible figurines with oversized, bouncy heads, he’d put on a smiling face and bobble through his hectic, overflowing days. Higley’s bobbling came to a screeching halt with the diagnosis of cancer, surgery, and a summer of healing. More than a cancer story, however, Bobblehead Dad puts you in a front-row seat as the author discovers the illuminating parallels between events in his childhood and his adulthood. Higley, whose weekly fatherhood column appears in the Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal, unwraps poignant lessons from his family history with rich, vivid detail. His story reveals meaning in simple moments and the people who fill them—including the surprise discovery of his most important lesson, which had been quietly waiting for over thirty years. Written in an informal but eloquent style, Bobblehead Dad will keep you laughing, crying and—most importantly—thinking. Higley’s distinctive storytelling rhythm, combined with a knack for handling heavy topics with an embraceable voice, quickly draws you into his experiences—while launching you on your own journey of self-discovery and reflection.

A New Beginning?

Why is this book called Bobblehead Dad? Jim Higley eventually realized that just like those toys, he would smile and bobble his head throughout his busy days.

As a kid, I collected bobbleheads. As an adult, I had become one. With four older brothers, I sort of inherited their old bobblehead dolls when I was a young boy. They were all baseball player bobbleheads. Truthfully, I didn’t even like baseball that much, but I thought it was fun to play with the little figures and their spring-loaded heads.

When Higley received the news that he had cancer, he realized that he had to take a whole summer off to recuperate.

Receiving the diagnosis was frightening, especially since he had already lost his mother, father, and brother to the disease.

While he was recuperating, mostly lying by the family pool, Higley realized that instead of an ending, this could be a new beginning for him. He realized that he was not quite satisfied with his life and that he needed to do something about it. His life had been consumed with his job, and he wasn’t spending enough time with his children. This was a turning point, and he knew it.

Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew is NOT a depressing study of cancer, but Higley’s journey to finding a better life for himself and his children.

Each chapter details a life lesson that he learned during this journey. He learned a lot about himself during this stage, and in this delightful and easy-to-read book, he set out to find the path to true happiness.

His kids would be talking to him but he wouldn’t be really listening to them. He would just nod his head and pretend to be listening. He realized that life was passing him by that his children were growing up and that he needed to be there for them.

Final Analysis

Higley realized that he needed to give up his job and be at home with his children. He has become a full-time freelance writer and has found out what has made life worth living.

His work is giving him great satisfaction, and he is becoming the dad he always wanted to be.

You can see Jim talk about his work on active parenting and men’s health issues:

You can read more about Jim here.

If you enjoyed this post, please read my review of Borneo Tom: Stories and Sketches of Love, Travel and Jungle Family in Tropical Asia.

Thank you for reading The Literary Lioness!

About Jim Higley

Jim Higley is the Bobblehead Dad–writer, speaker, life observer, and cancer warrior.

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I love books, writing, film, and television.

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