Galveston County Reads Press Release
“Galveston County Reads Selects Glass Castle for 2009”
by Patty Mayeux
Galveston County Reads, a “One City, One Book” program, has selected Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls for 2009.
The memoir begins with Walls slipping down in the back seat of a taxi to hide from her homeless mother, whom she sees sorting through garbage on the streets.
Walls then skillfully unfolds the details of her life beginning with the time when, at the age of three, she was rushed to the hospital after setting herself on fire. She had been cooking hot dogs on the stove while her mother painted in the next room.
Glass Castle is a memoir that reads like a novel, despite the underlying reality of growing up with unstable and generally neglectful parents, whose decisions were more often based on their own needs than those of their children. Walls and her three siblings learned to make due on their own as the family criss-crossed the country, at times fleeing unknown enemies in the middle of the night, slept in cardboard boxes beneath a leaking roof and often went for days without substantial food.
Galveston County Reads encourages reading by offering programs held at various locations throughout Galveston County that revolve around the selection. Past selections include Tortilla Curtain, by T.C. Boyles; Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team , and a Dream, by H. G. Bissinger; A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon; Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America, by Barbara Ehreinreich and A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest J. Gaines.
Programming has included local discussion groups led by trained discussion leaders, theatrical presentations, author visits and panel discussions, including the ever popular evening with three local English professors.
This year voting was open to the public for the first time. The Galveston County Reads committee is excited about the selection of The Glass Castle, one of four finalists chosen from the dozens of books reviewed by the book nomination committee. Other finalists were Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood; The Worst Hard Time, by Timothy Egan and Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen.
For more information or to volunteer as a committee member of Galveston County Reads, visit www.galvestoncountyreads.org.