ATLANTA — The AMA Art Lovers Book Club will return to meeting in person at the Albany Museum of Art with the club meeting set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Club members will discuss “The Glass Castle,” a 2005 memoir by columnist Jennifer Walls that featured more than five years on the New York Times Best Seller List. The host for the meeting will be Tricia Moreschi.
“The museum is now open to members, and we’re re-opening to the public this Friday,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “We conducted the last two book club meetings online, but we’re looking forward to having the club members in the museum again. Everyone enjoyed being able to have the virtual meetings, but I think meeting together — even with social distancing — enhances the experience.”
“The Glass Castle” sold more than 2.5 million copies in its first two years and was on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list until 2018. It was adapted for a film in 2017, and Walls won the Christopher Award, the 2006 American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Books for Better Living Award.
“Walls shares the raw and honest story of her childhood in ‘The Glass Castle,’” Vanoteghem said. “This memoir examines a highly dysfunctional family with three children and nomad parents, one of whom is an artist who allows her work to consume her to a detrimental level. This book has the power to change how you view the world around you.”
In the book, Walls recounts growing up in poverty — and frequently homeless — with her siblings and their dysfunctional parents as they trekked from Arizona to California to Nevada and West Virginia. The title was inspired by her father’s dream of building a grand glass castle for the family.
Walls left for New York City at the age of 17 and earned a degree from Barnard College with the help of student aid and scholarships. She went on to work at a newspaper before becoming the Intelligencer columnist for New York magazine, followed by a gossip columnist stint with Esquire magazine. She contributed to MSNBC.com’s Scoop gossip column until she became a full-time writer in 2007.
Vanoteghem said the museum will follow health officials’ guidelines to ensure the safety of those who participate. The museum is asking guests to wear masks when they enter the building, as well as confirm that they have no COVID-19 symptoms and have not been exposed to anyone with the illness in the last 14 days. Guests are asked to use hand sanitizer as needed and to allow at least 6 feet of space to anyone not in their party.
“The meetings are free, and you don’t have to be a museum member to attend, but the number of book club participants will be limited to 10 people,” Vanoteghem said. “That means it’s important to register. We will reserve space for those who register, and once we reach the limit, we will have to close registration.”
To register for the meeting, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (229) 439-8400 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.
The book club meets every other month so that members have plenty of time to read each book ahead of the meeting in which it will be discussed. One does not have to be a member of the Albany Museum of Art to attend. Club members are encouraged to bring a favorite beverage or snack to share, along with observations and opinions.