Cover art for The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

358 ratings

Summary

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict". Cooking a meal that would be consumed in 15 minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town - and the family - Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

©2005 Jeannette Walls (P)2010 Simon and Schuster Audio

Narrator: Jeannette Walls
Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses

36 ratings

Summary

2010 Audie Award Finalist for Narration by the Author Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" ( Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.   "Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls's no nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At 15, she left home to teach in a frontier town - riding 500 miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane. And, with her husband Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle. Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix audiences everywhere.

©2009 Jeanette Walls (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

Narrator: Jeannette Walls
Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
Available on Audible
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The Silver Star

14 ratings

Summary

From one of the best-selling memoirists of all time, a stunning and heartbreaking novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world - a triumph of imagination and storytelling. It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations. An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox. The author of The Glass Castle, hyper-alert to abuse of adult power, has written a gorgeous, riveting, heartbreaking novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love the world despite its flaws and injustices.

©2013 Jeannette Walls (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

Narrator: Jeannette Walls
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
Available on Audible
Cover art for Smoke

Smoke

Summary

After double-crossing gang leaders on both sides of the city, IQ has become LA's most hunted man in this thrilling crime novel from an "electrifying" talent (Time). Isaiah Quintabe is no longer IQ, the genius of East Long Beach; instead, he’s a man on the road and on the run, hiding in a small Northern California town when his room is broken into by a desperate young man on the trail of the state’s most prolific serial killer.  His old partner, Juanell Dodson, must go straight or lose his wife and child. His devil’s bargain? An internship at an LA advertising agency, where it turns out the rules of the street have simply been dressed in business casual, but where the aging company’s fortunes may well rest on their ability to attract a younger demographic. Dodson - ”the hustler’s hustler” - just may be the right man for the job.

©2021 Joe Ide (P)2021 Hachette Audio

Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
Available on Audible
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Dish

Summary

Ultimate insider Jeannette Walls gives us a cook's tour of the dangerously simmering cult of celebrity, from the birth of the National Enquirer to the rise of tabloid TV, from Walter Winchell to Matt Drudge, from the liaisons of Marilyn Monroe and JFK to the deaths of Elvis and Princess Diana. Here is a fascinating look at five decades of dish, a behind-the-scenes look at the personalities who control what we see, hear, and read, not to mention the personalities who wish to be seen, heard, and read about. Hear the inside stories you never knew about the trinity of celebrity, publicist, and reporter - the people who have stoked the American appetite for gossip from the salacious days of silver-screen magazines to the instantaneous communication of the Internet.

©2000 Avon Books, Inc. (P)2000 Audio Renaissance, an Imprint of Renaissance Media, Inc.

Narrator: Jeannette Walls
Length: 3 hrs and 18 mins
Available on Audible