Book Review: Generational Lessons from Dad
By Sheryl Lilly Pidgeon | Editor-in-Chief, Good Life Family Magazine
You immediately are drawn in to Brian Baleno’s memoir, which begins as the 27-year-old’s life is forever altered by a 5 A.M. phone call. His love of and commitment to family is abundantly clear from the get-go, and you feel a bit envious of this family’s incredible bond in spite of the fact that they are navigating a life and death challenge of the family patriarch, Tony Baleno, Brian’s dad. The values instilled by Tony growing up are those many parents share: value relationships, treat others as you wish to be treated, be financially responsible, don’t spend above your means, you are only as good as your word, be humble and disciplined, own your commitments. In short, as Tony would say, “have no regrets” as you look back on your life.
“Regrets in life typically center on the things we do not do,” says Brian as he describes his dad’s calm in the midst of a health storm and how that experience forever altered his life. Brian Baleno’s memoir is an inspiring story of a family built on multi-generational values, but at its core, it is a reminder to seize opportunities, have faith, and leave a lasting legacy of love.
Q & A with Generational Lessons from Dad Author Brian Baleno
GLF: What is the main thing you want your readers to learn from reading your book?
BB: The main thing I hope readers take away from my book is the importance of prioritizing one’s family. This was the single most important generational lesson I learned from my dad.
GLF: Clearly this is a deeply personal journey for you, but you wanted to share your story with a larger audience. Why?
BB: My hope in sharing my father’s story and consequently the story of the generations before him was to share life lessons that others could benefit from, including the emphasis on family, being selfless and humble, and also being kind and honest.
GLF: What’s your favorite “Dad & Brian” memory?
BB: My favorite memory of my dad is the day I left Pittsburgh to permanently relocate to Atlanta for my new job. The event occurred about twenty years ago and right before I was getting ready to climb into my 1999 Chevy Cavalier for the 700-mile trip to Atlanta my dad extended his hand. As my mom stood there with tears running down her cheeks, I thought Dad was trying to hand me some gas money. I quickly realized he wasn’t, and I wasn’t going to accept the money anyhow. For the first time in my life, he was shaking my hand as man to man. I knew he was proud of me and this was a goodbye exchange as well.
Q: What would be the top question for a Book Club group?
A: What generational lessons can be learned from Tony Baleno as you strive to build and grow your own family?
Generational Lessons from Dad
By Brian Baleno
Click here to purchase on Amazon (Kindle $2.99, Paperback $9.87)
One cannot tell the story of Tony Baleno without a nod to the generations that preceded him and those that followed. In Generational Lessons from Dad, we’re invited to explore all that has formed Tony Baleno the man, from the immigrant Italian family that brought the Baleno name to America, to the fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, and eventually children and grandchildren that together help tell this man’s remarkable story. Marked by hard work and an inimitable commitment to family—by both tremendous success and painful personal loss—Tony’s is the story of a family built on values and ethic passed down through generations.
Want some other great paperback reads? Click here to view the New York Times Top 15 Paperback Nonfiction Best Sellers.