The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – Book Club Pick


Read this: ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls⁠

Watch this: The Glass Castle, a major motion picture

Background Knowledge

Claire: Nothing. I heard of it, probably the movie, but couldn’t tell you what it was about. Didn’t even know it was a memoir until I started it.

Julie: I read Educated in 2022 and whenever I tell someone I enjoyed that book, they suggest The Glass Castle. But, I had no idea it was a movie until we were Googling screen adaptations.

Overall Opinion of the Book

Claire: Wow. What a life. What a childhood. It’s one of those books where I feel weird saying I liked it, if you know what I mean. Also, it’s hard to rate a memoir because it’s like staying you did or didn’t like someone’s life basically, which is weird.

Julie: It was incredible. I had a difficult time fully placing it in a period. If it weren’t for the dated wedding pic I’d probably have placed it wrong. To me, that sort of makes this story pretty timeless. It could have happened at any point in the last 75 years and it makes sense. Timeless.

Overall Opinion of the Movie

As book adaptations go, I thought it was good. Of course, a lot was left out but it’d be impossible to include it all. I loved the real photos and videos at the end. I almost turned it off before them!

Claire: I think they missed the mark on this one. Especially with her childhood. It was a good movie by itself, but I just think it didn’t match up with the book very well. Certain points from the book were given different meanings and representations in the movie and that part I didn’t like.

Before you say which you liked better, did you read the book or listen to the audiobook… because it matters.

Claire: I listened to the audiobook on Spotify. It was narrated by the author, which I love. BTW did you know if you are a Spotify premium subscriber or higher, you have 15 hours of audiobook listening time included in with your subscription?

Julie: I read a paperback

Which was better?

Julie: The book

Claire: The book


  1. Was the outcome the same in both the show and the book? Yes
  2. Was the main character/primary narrator the same in the show and the book? Yes
  3. Was the primary conflict the same in the show and the book? Sort of
  4. Would you read the book again or recommend it to a friend? Yes
  5. Would you watch the show/movie again or recommend it to a friend? Maybe

Overall rating: 3/5

To listen to the full episode on The Glass Castle, check out But the Book Was Better on Apple and Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe so you know exactly when each episode is released!


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