Official Review: Dancing Through Life by Shirley Read-Jahn

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 547
Joined: 20 Feb 2018, 13:22
2021 Reading Goal: 50
Favorite Book: Carmela
Currently Reading: Grit and Granite
Bookshelf Size: 158
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Grit & Granite by Katherine Johnson

Official Review: Dancing Through Life by Shirley Read-Jahn

Post by KristyKhem »

[Following is an official review of "Dancing Through Life" by Shirley Read-Jahn.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review

Dancing Through Life by Shirley Read-Jahn is a memoir about a woman who led a very exciting life. Her childhood was very eventful because her family moved from England to Germany, then back to England when her parents separated. After having an out-of-body experience when she very sick, Shirley developed a zest for life. She traveled to many intriguing places like Turkey, Istanbul, and Greece. She momentarily lived in the Roman burial caves on Matala, Crete. Her memoir describes her adventures, romances, professions, and the incredible people she met while living her remarkable life.

Although this book is a memoir, it is reminiscent of an enjoyable historical novel. Anecdotes and dialogues made up most of the book. The events flowed naturally and were described as if they had just happened. This style of writing was enjoyable and easy to follow. It provided opportunities for little twists and surprises. This is what I liked the most about this book. Oftentimes, it seemed like I was reading a story and was waiting to see what would happen next. For instance, instead of simply stating the outcome of a botched blood donation experience, Shirley explained how she spotted the odd color of blood leaving her body and the terror she felt while screaming for the nurses. I held my breath while waiting to find out what would happen next.

Another thing I enjoyed was Shirley’s ability to capture events of historical significance through her writing. Passively, I learned a lot of history while reading this book. Once, Shirley was so taken with the beauty of the kudzu flowers in North Carolina that she foolishly tried to mail some seeds to her home in England. The kudzu invasion was of great significance in American history. Shirley was also part of the original group of hippies who lived in Matala’s caves in the 1960s. These caves are now a protected area.

Although Shirley’s adventures were exciting to read about, there was one aspect of the book that I disliked. Shirley bragged a great deal about celebrities. She described significant events that didn’t seem credible. For example, Shirley boasted about eating at the same restaurant as Beyoncé. She spoke zealously about the time her dad met Elvis Presley. Also, she was a tad bitter when Robert Redford declined to give her his autograph. In one instance, she claimed that one of her boyfriends was part of the first father and son aviation team to break the sound barrier. While living in the Matalan caves, she claimed that one guy there was actually the heir to the Hush Puppy fortune. Shirley and the others around her seemed to be constantly surrounded by rich and famous people. Moreover, she claimed that she and her sister traveled on the very last ship that visited Cuba before the government’s embargo. Events like these popped up too frequently in Shirley’s memoir. I began to question whether these events were added to make the book more interesting or to make Shirley seem more influential. By the end of the book, I felt rather disconnected from the author. For this reason, I deducted a star from the final rating and awarded it 3 out of 4 stars.

This book was edited fairly well. I would recommend this book to adult readers who like to read memoirs about glamorous people. Those who like to read about travel adventures, history, and family will also enjoy it. However, the book’s frequent ramblings about fame and popularity may put off some readers.

Dancing Through Life
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Posts: 51
Joined: 03 Jan 2021, 14:02
2021 Reading Goal: 30
Currently Reading: Shakespeare
Bookshelf Size: 23
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Please Don't Tell Cooper He's A Dog by Michelle Lander Feinberg

Post by Etienneza »

At first sight, the scene for engaging non-fiction was set. Reading the penultimate paragraph brought an about-turn. Boasting excessively reflects on the character if prolonged or when repeated often enough. The effect of losing a connection with the author and narrative subsequently becomes an overwhelmingly likely outcome. Reading the extensive review assisted in helping with an informed decision. Your candour serves to reduce time squandered.
Posts: 118
Joined: 19 May 2020, 23:59
2021 Reading Goal: 40
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 30
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: Her Lost Words; Her Broken Silence by Shantanel Payne

Post by Dman_1996 »

Shirley Read-Jahn sounds like she lived an amazing life. After having a near-death experience, she did what most people would do, and that is travel every inch of this world. The bragging nature of the author could be due to her over-excitement of being a fan of these people. If I ever met Elvis Presley, then I would surely brag about that whenever I got the chance. Thanks for this descriptive review on Shirley Read-Jahn life!
Gbemisola Akinremi
Posts: 63
Joined: 20 Jan 2021, 08:45
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 35

Post by Gbemisola Akinremi »

The title alone calls for my attention, then the review was informative, detailed and interesting. I believe I'll find pleasure reading this.
User avatar
Posts: 57
Joined: 26 Mar 2019, 04:19
2021 Reading Goal: 100
Currently Reading: The Future of Buildings, Transportation and Power
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Soulmate Prophecy - Book One - The Birth by Yasmina Haque

Post by nikechi »

I live a structured and planned out life. I've always been like that since I was young. I've also always wanted to know what it was like to be free-spirited person Shirley seems to be. Just understanding how different we all are is so beautiful and shows how amazing God is.
Thanks for such an awesome review :tiphat:
Let peace and calm reign the in chaos :reading-4:
User avatar
Posts: 118
Joined: 18 Jul 2020, 09:11
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page:
Latest Review: The Biblical Clock by Daniel Friedmann and Dania Sheldon
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Serenity2010 »

The cover and the title drew me to your review. The book seems like an exciting read. I agree to many exciting events that cause the author to boast in a memoir and not a fiction book can cause disconnection, because the average person does not experience these things regularly. Thanks for a well-written review.
Post Reply

Return to “Non-Fiction Books”