Monday, August 7, 2017

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - Movie Release

An “Adventurous” Childhood (Memorable Memoir)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is finally going to be released in the theaters!  

This is a book that I read years ago and what a book it is!  It is a memoir that seemed to take the literary world by storm when it was first released in 2005 and still captures audiences today.  Even though I read it years ago, it made such an indelible impression that it's still one of the first books I recommend if someone asks me for a good book suggestion.  My son, husband, and daughter have now read it at my urging and they were as blown away as I was.  My sisters, mother, and most of my book club members had read it years ago, tooall with the same reaction. It's no surprise that we, along with so many other readers, are excitedly awaiting the movie release on August 11, 2017.  It stars Brie Larson as Jeannette, Woody Harrelson as her dad, and Naomi Watts as her mom. I'm hoping the movie will live up to the book.

For those who have not yet read it, I am re-posting my review from 2013.  

The Glass Castle is a memorable memoir about kids growing up in a highly dysfunctional family.  Both parents were extremely intelligent, but seemed to do everything they could to avoid work and properly provide for Jeannette and her three siblings. Instead, the kids were left dirty, poor, often times homeless, unsupervised, and always hungry.  What makes this book so memorable is that incredible incidents were heaped on one after the other. The hits just kept coming. It left me in slack-jawed astonishment that people could really be like that. And surprisingly, Jeannette didn't seem to judge her parents harshly, when I’m not sure most people would be so tolerant. 

Jeanette's father was an alcoholic. Her self-centered mother only wanted to be an artist. She was seriously devoid of maternal instincts genes. The need to work so her family could eat was a distasteful concept. When she was “forced” to take a teaching job, the kids were the ones who ended up grading her papers and nearly pushing her out the door to work. 

Both parents made sure their kids knew Santa Claus wasn't real, just in case they got it into their heads that they might actually get lavish presents.  They weren't complete scrooges, though.  They did celebrate Christmas—usually just a week later.  That way they could grab discarded Christmas trees, ribbons, and bows after the fact. 

Their unconventional upbringing sometimes made their kids look at the world with a unique perspective. One memorable moment was when Jeannette’s dad gave her a star for a Christmas present. He told her to pick one out of the sky and she could have it for keeps. “Years from now, when all the junk they [the other kids] got is broken and long forgotten,” Dad said, “you’ll still have your stars.” Yet this one touching moment was overshadowed by the alcoholism that would bring him down to shameful and unconscionable depths that no child could forget.

Happy reading,


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

My Own Little Free Library

Open for Business (Little Free Libraries)

After touring and admiring so many Little Free Libraries, it’s no surprise that I wanted one of my own.  Well, this summer my dream came true when my husband built me my own Little Free Library!  The inspiration and centerpiece of the little library is my sister’s rotted 100+-year-old basement window, which my husband painstakingly restored.

Be sure and stop by my library and others if you’re in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho area. I’ve added my location on the Little Free Library Map:  Look us up by zip code 83814.

What is a Little Free Library? Below is an excerpt I lifted right from a LFL flyer.

Although the concept of book exchanges has been around for ages, the term “little free library” was first coined in 2010 when Tod Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, as a tribute to his mother, built a replica of a one-room schoolhouse, filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard with a sign that said “FREE BOOKS.” His friends and neighbors loved it so much that he built several more and the idea spread like wildfire until it has now become a world-wide movement. Bol later founded, a non-profit organization with a web site where you can register your library for a small fee.  It is estimated that only about 1 in 10 libraries actually register yet as of early 2017, the organization reported that over 50,000 libraries have been registered in all 50 states and over 70 countries, with thousands of new applications pouring in every month. A literal “literary” world-wide movement!

Want your own Little Free Library?

If you live in the Spokane, WA or Coeur d’Alene, ID area and want your own Little Free Library but don’t have a husband or handy friend who can build it, I may have just the solution for you.  Little Library Builder of Spokane has been building LFLs for years.  In Jan’s own words: “My sister and I built our first library three years ago and had so much fun we ended up building a few more. Then a gentleman from the Inlander saw one of our libraries, wrote a lovely article about us, and we've been building them ever since. We recently installed our 50th library and we're still having fun!”

I’ve toured a number of their libraries—and they are awesome!  Many of them are made to resemble the owners’ homes, down to the last amazing details.  If a “mini-me” LFL is not right for you or if have another plan in mind, not to worry.  These talented ladies also custom build other designs.

You can contact them about ordering your own library at or call 509-570-3195. Tell them Annette from sent you. 

Here are a couple examples of their masterpieces—both matching the homes.

Making it Official

If you want to make your library official, you’ll have to register it at   By purchasing the Little Free Library sign (a little over $40 for a small sign), you will be registered in the system, which allows you to add your location on the Little Free Library world map.  As a registered Little Free Library steward, you can also be part of the exclusive Facebook community for LFL stewards, and you can sign up to receive inspirational emails about Little Free Libraries everywhere.  

Library Hunting

There are now over 50,000 registered Little Free Libraries in over 70 countries!  However, you don’t have to own a Little Free Library to spread the love of reading.  If you prefer just visiting them, check out the map and find a location near you. It’s fun to make a day of it as I have a few times in the past or locate them while you’re on vacation.  It’s like finding a hidden treasure! 

My Little Free Library Tours

Happy Reading,
Happy Little Free Library Hunting,


Questions or comments?  Email