Saturday, October 2, 2010


Well, of course it's been a long time since I posted anything. I've been slowly plodding through the Byron biography I've been reading. It's really informative, but less catchy than I thought it would be. He lived a pretty flamboyant and fast-paced life, so I thought it would go a bit quicker. But it is really methodical and complete, so I still really like it. It's just that when I read it before bed I can only get through a couple of pages, and the book is big.

I have two items of interest to report in my literary life. The first is that I am being published! That's right - I am going to be a published author. I wrote an article about an area of copyright law that affects both authors and publishers alike, and the article is being published in my school's law review! It's a pretty great feeling. I love books and now something I wrote is going to be in a book. Yay!

The next thing is that I started a book club at my school. We are a bona fide student organization called the Whittier Law and Literature Society - unoffically (and probably unknown to most members) we are called the Whitterature Club. Ha. Our first book selection is White Noise by Don Dellilo, and we're going to meet and discuss it next month. I'm excited about it.

In other news, I haven't read anything new since the Abraham Lincoln book - I've been so busy and I've been re-reading Pride and Prejudice before bed. I've given up on the 50 books this year thing. It's now painfully and embarrassingly obvious that I won't get anywhere near that goal. Maybe after law school. How sad. I know I used to read so much more. But I did read some things earlier this summer that I have not yet written about here, and I've written about one of them below.

The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls

This is the memoir of all memoirs. This is an amazing story. Jeannette's parents were nonconformists. That's putting it nicely. They were vagabonds, drifters, travelers. Their family moved around a lot to avoid creditors. They often went without food. They never had TV or normal things. Her father was often out of work and spent all of their money on alcohol. Her mother only occassionally worked and spent a lot of time and the rest of their money on art supplies so that she could paint.

It's a terrible life full of terrible wrongs committed by a very dysfunctional family. But Jeannette's tone thorughout the story is loving. She loves her family, and despite his bad behavior she loves and looks up to her father. He always encouraged them to learn, to read and to think. And depsite their obvious mental illness, her parents loved their children. That's why it was so difficult for Jeannette to see her mother rooting through a trash can in New York City. A million times and a million ways, her parents could have done things right, could have gotten help, etc.

I have a difficult time understanding why Jeannette is so forgiving of her parents - especially her father. She was let down again and again. He told her so many lies, he disappointed her more often than not, he stole her money, he took her food. I am more angry today about some things my parents did to me as a child than Jeannette is about things that are so much worse. I admire her ability to forgive and love and see past her parent's illeness and dysfunction.

The author doesn't write to villify parents that did so little to help and guide her through life. She doesn't make excuses for them or try to downplay their actions either. She doesn't glorify herself or her siblings for getting out of the situation, or for forgving their parents. The story is well told and I felt every emotion she described. I wonder how many people in the US grow up like this still? There must be so many, and that is sad. It makes me appreciate my life so much more, and makes me feel like a spoiled brat. I like it when something like that puts me back in my place.

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