It’s rare for a book to hit the New York Times bestseller’s list at all, let alone spend seven years on it. But that’s exactly what happened with Jeannette Walls’ acclaimed memoir, The Glass Castle. Published in 2005, the book was an immediate hit, going on to sell almost 3 million copies, win several prizes, and be translated into 22 different languages. Now, twelve years after its publication, the sensational true story has been turned into a movie starring Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, which came out August 11th.
Telling the story of Walls’ abusive, poverty-stricken childhood, The Glass Castle is the kind of memoir that stays with you long after you read it. Walls’ father, Rex, is an alcoholic who can’t hold down a job, while her mother, Rose Mary, is a failed artist and sometimes teacher who’s both stubborn and irresponsible. The two drag their children all across the country, losing and gaining employment, living in squalor and filth. As a child, Walls’ father convinces her that their lifestyle is romantic, but as she grows, she craves stability and a life outside of poverty. A searing, emotional read, The Glass Castle is about a family on the edge, and the complex issues that come with abandoning the only life you’ve ever known. The movie looks like it perfectly captures Walls’ struggles as both an innocent child and a young woman trying to move beyond her troubled past:
In light of the film adaptation of The Glass Castle hitting theaters, here are 4 new memoirs that just might blow up the bestseller list as well:
It’s Not Yet Dark, Simon Fitzmaurice (August 1, 2017)
When filmmaker Fitzmaurice was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease in 2008, he was given 4 years to live. Unwilling to accept his fate, the father of five decided to fight back with alternative treatments. Seven years later, he’s still alive and living every moment as fully as he can. Darkly funny and emotional, Fitzmaurice’s story is as inspirational as memoirs get – he even wrote the entire book with an eye-gaze computer. This is a true story about family, health, and the true meaning of life that you won’t want to miss.
Rabbit, Patricia Williams (August 22, 2017)
Williams, a comedian who often goes by “Rabbit,” certainly knows about struggle. She was born into poverty in Atlanta, growing up surrounded by the crack epidemic with an alcoholic mother and four siblings. By age 15, she had two children of her own. But instead of letting her circumstances consume her, Williams fought back, using whatever resources she had in order to escape her life. Her humor became her greatest asset, allowing her to rise out of poverty and make a better life for herself and her children. Honest and intense, Williams’ life story is both informative and inspiring.
The Hot One, Carolyn Murnick (August 1, 2017)
Family can come in lots of different forms, and for author Murnick that meant her childhood best friend, Ashley. But while the two were inseparable as children, they drifted apart in high school and college. While Murnick stuck with school, Ashley dropped out to become a stripper and escort in Hollywood. Years later, she was murdered by a possible serial killer in her home. Murnick, confused and grieving, decided to uncover the truth about Ashley’s life and murder. The result is a powerful memoir about friendship and loss, and a profile of a magnetic life cut short.
To Siri with Love, Judith Newman (August 22, 2017)
In 2014, Judith Newman wrote an article for the New York Times about her autistic son’s relationship with Siri, and the story immediately went viral. Now, three years later, she’s sharing even more stories of her teenage son Gus and his relationship with the world. Newman expands on the idea of how technology can help kids like her son, as well as the honest realities of what it means to raise an autistic child. From the struggles to the triumphs, Newman truly lets readers into her family life in this intimate and moving memoir.