This is a post in my 50 Nifty series, in which I’m reading through 50 books that embody each of the 50 United States. Find out why I’m doing this and which books I’m reading when (so you can read along) by checking out my first 50Nifty post, or else browse all 50Nifty posts by clicking here!
The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
— I have no idea why the “W”s on this list were not in alphabetical order. To be honest, I didn’t even notice it until recently. That’s the way it is on the original list from Brooklyn Magazine, so I just kept it the same. —
The Glass Castle is a memoir of Walls’ life, a difficult one growing up with neglectful parents and moving around to various cities until finally landing in Welch, West Virginia and spending the majority of her childhood there. Malnourished, made fun of in school, and living in abominable conditions, it’s a wonder Jeannette and her three siblings survived at all. It was definitely sad reading about all they went through as children, but then there was this other side of the closeness of their family and their view of hardships as adventures that was in some ways inspiring.
It was a great pick for the 50Nifty list as far as descriptions of the people and the land and getting the feel for the place itself. However, while I was interested in her story, I was not a fan of the writing style, which was a little too linear and simplified for my taste. It did bring up interesting ideas, though, about homelessness, situational poverty, and life philosophies about the things that happen to you and your reactions to them. A hard read in the fact that kids are neglected and living in squalor, but a very interesting read as well. Might be a great pick for a book club or something.
With that, I’m DONE with the 50Nifty list! I can’t believe I made it, and maybe I’ll write about the experience as a whole soon, but I guess I won’t officially “see you next week,” after all!