• Regular: $23.95

    Sale: $16.77 (30% Off)

    Club: $11.97


The Glass Castle: A Memoir

Author: Jeannette Walls

Narrator: Jeannette Walls

Unabridged: 9 hr

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Published: 09/15/2010

Genre: Biography & Autobiography - Literary


Topics & Questions for Discussion   1. Though The Glass Castle is brimming with unforgettable stories, which scenes were the most memorable for you? Which were the most shocking, the most inspiring, the funniest?   2. Discuss the metaphor of a glass castle and what it signifies to Jeannette and her father. Why is it important that, just before leaving for New York, Jeannette tells her father that she doesn't believe he'll ever build it? (p. 238).   3. The first story Walls tells of her childhood is that of her burning herself severely at age three, and her father dramatically takes her from the hospital: "You're safe now" (p. 14). Why do you think she opens with that story, and how does it set the stage for the rest of the memoir?   4. Rex Walls often asked his children, "Have I ever let you down?" Why was this question (and the required "No, Dad" response) so important for him -- and for his kids? On what occasions did he actually come through for them?   5. Jeannette's mother insists that, no matter what, "life with your father was never boring" (p. 288). What kind of man was Rex Walls? What were his strengths and weaknesses, his flaws and contradictions?   6. Discuss Rose Mary Walls. What did you think about her description of herself as an "excitement addict"? (p. 93).   7. Though it portrays an incredibly hardscrabble life, The Glass Castle is never sad or depressing. Discuss the tone of the book, and how do you think that Walls achieved that effect?   8 Describe Jeannette's relationship to her siblings and discuss the role they played in one another's lives.   9. In college, Jeannette is singled out by a professor for not understanding the plight of homeless people; instead of defending herself, she keeps quiet. Why do you think she does this?   10. The two major pieces of the memoir -- one half set in the desert and one half in West Virginia -- feel distinct. What effect did such a big move have on the family -- and on your reading of the story? How would you describe the shift in the book's tone?   11. Were you surprised to learn that, as adults, Jeannette and her siblings remained close to their parents? Why do you think this is?   12. What character traits -- both good and bad -- do you think that Jeannette inherited from her parents? And how do you think those traits shaped Jeannette's life?   13. For many reviewers and readers, the most extraordinary thing about The Glass Castle is that, despite everything, Jeannette Walls refuses to condemn her parents. Were you able to be equally nonjudgmental?   14. Like Mary Karr's Liars' Club and Rick Bragg's All Over But the Shoutin', Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle tells the story of a wildly original (and wildly dysfunctional) family with humor and compassion. Were their other comparable memoirs that came to mind? What distinguishes this book?


Comfort Me with Apples
by Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl is the editor in chief of Gourmet and the author of the bestselling Tender at the Bone, a James Beard Award finalist. She has been the restaurant critic at The New York Times and the food editor and restaurant critic as the Los Angeles ...

Narrator: Ruth Reichl
Published: 04/10/2001

Beautiful Boy
by David Sheff

David Sheffs story is a first: a teenagers addiction from the parents point of view, a realtime chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope. Before meth, Sheffs son, Nic, was a varsity athlete, honor s...

Narrator: Anthony Heald
Published: 02/26/2008

This Time Together
by Carol Burnett

"These short memories, of the people Burnett met and interviewed over the years, on- and off-camera, bring it back — the golden age of variety shows....Burnett has a writer's eye for the moment, the detail, the slip that reveals character. She...

Narrator: Carol Burnett
Published: 04/06/2010

Bright Lights, Big Ass
by Jen Lancaster

In my former, auspicious career I addressed crowds ofthousands without breaking a sweat. I negotiated withdour, gray-suited hospital administrators so hostilethey’d drag me into the desert and leave me for dead given theopportunity, yet I stoo...

Narrator: Jamie Heinlein
Published: 05/12/2009

by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch. Her stories and essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure, The Rumpus, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Best American Essays...

Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Published: 03/20/2012

My Friend Leonard
by James Frey

New York Times best-selling author James Frey pens the candid memoir of his recovery from drug and alcohol addictions with My Friend Leonard. After a stint in jail, James is rocked by further tragedy. Teetering on the brink of breakdown, he turn...

Narrator: Andy Paris
Published: 11/03/2005

She Got Up Off the Couch
by Haven Kimmel

When we last saw Zippy, she was oblivious to the storm that was brewing in her home. Her mother, Delonda, had literally just gotten up off the couch and ridden her rickety bicycle down the road. Her dad was off somewhere, gambling or “work...

Narrator: Haven Kimmel
Published: 01/15/2009

A Long Way Gone
by Ishmael Beah

This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than fifty violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How d...

Narrator: Ishmael Beah
Published: 08/05/2008

Such a Pretty Fat
by Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster is the author of Bitter is the New Black. She has lived in Chicago for ten years with her husband and pets, and has yet to get the hang of the subway or returning library books in a timely manner. Visit www.jennsylvania.com

Narrator: Jamie Heinlein
Published: 05/12/2009

Reviews Write A Review

AudiobooksNow review by merri on 2007-06-16 20:43:51

it's hard to believe this is a memoir, because i cant imagine parents so irresponsible. especially given what we learn at the end. i admire jeanette and her siblings so much for getting through that and still making such great human beings out of themselves. if we all put that much effort into living, we'd be really super people.

AudiobooksNow review by Kimberly on 2007-07-12 14:04:59

this is an interesting memoir. the author writes well and clearly. The stories she tells are interesting.

AudiobooksNow review by Bonnie on 2007-10-21 14:41:33

great, read it in one day

AudiobooksNow review by Nicole on 2008-07-28 22:22:07

I couldn't put this one down. 300 pages went by so quickly. I read a lot and this one really made an impression on me. How a family can survive the way this one did is unbelieveable. The real shock is how this woman could actually have any sort of relationship with her parents once she is an adult.

AudiobooksNow review by Amanda on 2008-09-26 21:00:57


{"id":"129443","ean":"9781442339712","abr":"Unabridged","title":"The Glass Castle: A Memoir","subtitle":"A Memoir","author":"Jeannette Walls","rating_average":"4.56","narrator":"Jeannette Walls","ubr_id":"129443","abr_id":"0","ubr_price":"23.95","abr_price":"0.00","ubr_memprice":"14.37","abr_memprice":"0.00","ubr_narrator":"Jeannette Walls","abr_narrator":"","ubr_length":"Unabridged: 9 hr","abr_length":"Abridged: "}