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The Glass Castle - Jeanette Walls

This book greatly influenced me to become a social worker…

“….he said it was interesting. He used the word ‘textured’. He said ‘smooth’ is boring but ‘textured’ was interesting, and the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever had tried to hurt me.”

“I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.”

“One thing about whoring: It put a chicken on the table.”

“No one expected you to amount to much,” she told me. “Lori was the smart one, Maureen the pretty one, and Brian the brave one. You never had much going for you except that you always worked hard.”

“Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you’re young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That’s positive reinforcement for negative behavior.”

“[Mom] said she didn’t want her youngest daughter dressed in the thrift-store clothes the rest of us wore. Mom told us we would have to go shoplifting. “Isn’t that a sin?” I asked Mom. “Not exactly,” Mom said. “God doesn’t mind you bending the rules a little if you have good reason. It’s sort of like justifiable homicide. This is justifiable pilfering.”

“No child is born a delinquent. They only became that way if nobody loved them when they were kids. Unloved children grow up to be serial murderers or alcoholics.”