Book Club & The Glass Castle

by Janette Walls
reading guide

a review
A well written memoir of the author’s childhood with an alcoholic parent and an out-of-touch parent. I was genuinely surprised by the depth of caring toward her parents the author could express as she wrote her account. I had a difficult time finding any empathy for the parents, while Janette clearly found common ground on which to stand with her family. I found myself a hybrid between Janette and her youngest sister, who when the time came, ran from her family and hasn’t looked back yet.

a summary
Janette recounts her childhood and the chaos that one alcoholic parent and one free-spirit parent brought to her life and the lives of her siblings with love and respect for them. While her father was not violent, his drinking left the family with little to no money to provide for basic needs, including food, clothes, and shelters. Her parents pride wouldn’t allow them to accept handouts or help of any kind, rather the children went without meals, clothes, appropriate shelter and more. Her mother would work only when absolutely necessary and kept secrets of her own that may have saved the children a great deal of pain and anguish had she been a bit less selfish. This is a heart wrenching account of a child watching her parents spiral out of control of their lives and their failure to provide for the basic care of their children. The few things the parents did instill were pride in education and pride in self, that one could do just about anything one set about doing.


New planner

For several years I have used a Franklin-Covey planner with varying degrees of success. I have switched from daily classic size to weekly compact and various stages in between. At this point in my life, I still need a planner and don’t see that changing, but I need something bigger and not as big all at the same time. I can’t hold a year’s worth of weekly planning pages in the binder, so I try to squish things into the monthly view. All I end up doing is frustrating myself and writing across the whole silly calendar. Maybe a year or so ago, I visited a site with step-by-step instructions to turn a pocket-sized moleskine into planner of sorts with a system of tracking projects. It reminded me of the F-C system, but without the expense of pages and the binder and the overwhelming size. I found a second site that turned a pocket-sized moleskine into a project management system.

As I was looking at other planners today while I was out and about, I couldn’t find anything that was exactly what I desired, so I purchased a journal of sorts which closes tightly to protect the pages. To my utter shock and amazement, I was able to find both sites tonight without the aid of my bookmarks. Since I found the sites again, I am going make my own hybrid system for managing my calendar for the new year. Yes, I’m planning ahead. Actually, I have F-C pages up through the end of the year and even though I want to stop using it now, I can’t bring myself to waste 1/3 of the cost of the silly pages by not using it. Yes, I’m an illogical glutton for punishment. So I will start creating it and begin using it in January.