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Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Hmm, are we becoming obsolete, as well? :smileywink: I also have such wonderful memories based on food. They are also associated with family gatherings. Boy, would I love to share a homemade slice of bread with butter and jam at your kitchen table or mine...hmmm, maybe some homemade coffee cake too. I don't think many people have the time to do that today. Everyone is rushing someplace trying to do everything, immediately!

 

At the Book Expo, I rolled out of the exhibit hall and noticed an older (probably not much older than me, haha) man patting down his pockets, looking dismayed. He saw me on my scooter (as a result of a broken foot) and he murmured, I must have left my cell phone behind. I said, "Would you like to use mine?" He looked surprised and said, "Could I?" I said, sure, "That's what friends are for!" Anyway, he dubbed me his angel, so it was worth it! He said I saved his day. It was such a simple way to help someone out.

 

The nice thing about "the writing circle" and these Barnes and Noble discussions, is the fact that the communication feels more personal than the usual electronic communique of few words and acronyms. People are actually "listening" to what others are saying, not just giving lip service to them, and ideas are explored. Internet friendships do form and are often very close, possibly because of the anonymity. There is safety in being unknown. Hopefully, anonymity will not be the sacred cow that is sacrificed in our quest to "know" everything.  Electronic devices, on the other hand, are often impersonal, simply sending soundbites, but keeping in constant touch that way, is expedient. I wonder if friendships will also morph into more casual relationships. 

 

When I was young, I remember asking my mom if she was alive with the Indians or if she had electric bulbs. My grandkids can't believe that television wasn't around forever. They program my phone and use the computer as I used to use a typewriter, with total ease.

 

More than two and a half decades ago, I wrote curriculum for a company that produced computer software for schools to use as study aides. It was so innovative then and now it is commonplace to use the computer as a learning tool. Some change is really for the better. Any tool that encourages and helps our kids to learn is wonderful.

 

My grandchildren are never without a book so I imagine they, like me, will mourn the loss of the book itself.

 

Do you remember carbon paper, correcto-tape, mimeograph machines, typesetting, card catalogues in libraries, the time when hard copies turned into microfiche, etc.?  My generation has seen the birth of so many miracles! IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! :smileyvery-happy:

Sunltcloud wrote:

The only way I can envision a "new order" in libraries and in the minds of readers in general is by looking back at devices or procedures no longer in use, and admire the ease with which young people have taken to their modern replacements. And when I see the question mark on my granddaughter's face as I occasionally spread butter on my toast (she has never tasted real butter) I realize that my old world order has disappeared and with it the freshly-churned yellow unsalted butter that was a part of my childhood. I must obey doctor's orders now, but I will forever taste and cherish the rich yet simple flavor of a slab of homemade bread, fresh butter, and gooseberry jam. There is happiness in them there food memories as there is happiness in remembering childhood books.

 

Now, take the telegram for instance. In 1964 I informed my parents about the birth of my daughter by telegram. Telegrams are obsolete. Today there is almost instant access to images of a newborn on facebook, youtube etc.

 

Or, I think I mentioned it somewhere else, look at pay phones. More and more are taken out. My granddaughter would probably ask a complete stranger to use his/her cell phone if hers were not functioning properly,  instead of searching for a pay phone.

 

And....the photographic film is saying farewell too. I am a photographer; I used to have my own darkroom. I loved the smell of the chemicals I mixed. I loved the emergence of a face in the developer. I spent many hours in virtual darkness bringing to life those details that are now available instantly in my camera and can be enhanced on my computer. I still go to exhibits of black and white Ansel Adams prints and I still admire those coffee table books I bought many years ago. But I also like to play around with photo shop; I love new software that allows me instant scrapbooking. I adore Shutterfly and have bought several books from them after I combined my own text and digital photographs onto their colorful backgrounds. 

 

I almost assume that after another generation or two text books will be a thing of the past and young students will have no problem with studying by using electronic devices. It is that generation that will no longer yearn to flip the pages of a book. We "oldtimers" (I mean those of us who have lived with REAL books all our lives) will always look at our first editions with loving eyes. We will cling to the piles of books we have accumulated while we fill our nooks and Kindles and netbooks and laptops and ipads and iphones with new reading material.

 

Sometimes I feel as if we are living double lives. One foot in the electronic age, but an airplane ride away I am back in the "old world." My daughter spent some time in Laos where she helped distribute books to children who had never had a book of their own. They are just beginning to enjoy reading books for pleasure.

And while my friends in Germany love their handys (cell phones) I know of no one who reads books on it.  But the pace is picking up here and I don't want to be left behind. Though I still print out emails now and then "to get a better look at them" :smileyhappy:  I try to pay attention to the frown I get for leaving a paper trail. And I certainly don't want to wake up one morning to the news that my local library has been converted to a digital lending station, without being prepared to catch their digital data flow.

 

PS. As to storing casual reads and important ones, I will probably soon store them on separate SDcards. I imagine there will always be classics as there are classics now, whether on paper - bound in leather or laying around as dog-eared paperback - computer, or in the form of an as yet not imagined intelligence.

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

4-This thought made me wonder about the permanent effect of ebooks and reading devices in perpetuity. Libraries will surely not look like the libraries of today. Will there be shelves of discs or shelves of nooks or kindles or some other devices? Will knowledge be perceived in the same way and will books ever become classics again. I have some first editions that I treasure. How could I treasure an ebook? Would I want to reread it? Where would I store it for the future so it was not mingled with my more casual reads?

 

I guess I really just love the feeling of the solid book in my hands. I love the fact that I can keep it and pick it up whenever I choose. I love the fact that I can refer back to some page or passage. I can't perceive of using an ebook that way...but then, I couldn't perceive of using a cell phone and yet it has replaced the landline! Perhaps we get used to everything, in time. :smileyhappy:

 

 

 

 

Frequent Contributor
camibones
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎12-11-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I really liked the early piece of the story. It interested and intrigued me, and I'm frustrated that we haven't found out more about it yet. It was this story that made me interested in reading the book, but I'm not finding myself drawn in by the characters' sections. Perhaps it's too much of the "instant gratification" mentality.

 

I think that from what Nancy's "said," in her sections, that it could well be part of the story of her father, the story she's not sure she's ready to share. I like the way that the preface is written in a different style from the rest of the book. It sets it apart more and makes it seem like someone else's story.

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nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I thought the prologue and the story about the dead baby were both interesting, more interesting than the actual first chapter. I'm glad we had the prologue. It set up that at least something is going to happen in the novel. The story  about the dead baby suggested that it would be about someone in the book, or someone close to one of the main characters. Obviously it was Nancy's father. 

 

I'm sorry to day, but I am finding the whole book rather disjointed. None of the main characters is appealing or interesting. Why should we care whether this precious, overly intellectual group does anything. Sorry, but none of them, including Nancy, come across as an important character. They all seem rather selfish and some of them are rather mean, Gillian for instance. 

 

I think the elements are there for this book to be interesting, but the first section drags. Some of the best writing was in the prologue and the short story about the baby. Hopefully things will pick up in the later chapters. 

Contributor
JenAL
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎01-08-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I have enjoyed the first pages of The Writing Circle. I am fond especially of Nancy's character- I think she is the most likable with a down-to-earth personality. I really enjoyed the opening story of the doctor and I hope that we will return to it- although I noticed that Nancy says her father was a school teacher so I think he changes fields.

Inspired Contributor
Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009

Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

 

Rachel-K wrote:

What do you make of the early piece of a story we are given at the opening of the novel?

 

Whose story might this be, and what does it lead you think might happen with it?

 

 

When I first began reading the book, it did not occur to me that this would be a portion of a novel that someone was working. I assumed it was one of the characters we would follow. Once I turned to the first chapter, I found myself turning back to notice the difference in font style and realized it is portion of a story. Are we reading a version of the story as was written for a novel or are we hearing a true story as it was passed along from one of the people involved?

 


Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

 

Sherry_Young wrote:

 

Rachel-K wrote:

What do you make of the early piece of a story we are given at the opening of the novel?

 

Whose story might this be, and what does it lead you think might happen with it?

 

 

When I first began reading the book, it did not occur to me that this would be a portion of a novel that someone was working. I assumed it was one of the characters we would follow. Once I turned to the first chapter, I found myself turning back to notice the difference in font style and realized it is portion of a story. Are we reading a version of the story as was written for a novel or are we hearing a true story as it was passed along from one of the people involved?

 


 

 

Sherry,

Your thoughts on the preface have got me thinking. Could the preface be part of Nancy's novel? Or one of the other authors? Nancy comes to my mind. It would make more sense as to why it seems disjoint from the first section of the book we have read.

Thank you for getting my mind going this morning.

pen21

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,827
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

 

Bonnie_C wrote:

Another question I had was in regard to the couple who lost their baby.  The story says that the couple later on had 2 sons.  Could one of the sons be someone in the writing circle? 

 

Bonnie

 

I never thought of that. We'll just have to see.

 

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,827
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

 

pen21 wrote:

 

Sherry_Young wrote:

 

Rachel-K wrote:

What do you make of the early piece of a story we are given at the opening of the novel?

 

Whose story might this be, and what does it lead you think might happen with it?

 

 

When I first began reading the book, it did not occur to me that this would be a portion of a novel that someone was working. I assumed it was one of the characters we would follow. Once I turned to the first chapter, I found myself turning back to notice the difference in font style and realized it is portion of a story. Are we reading a version of the story as was written for a novel or are we hearing a true story as it was passed along from one of the people involved?

 


 

 

Sherry,

Your thoughts on the preface have got me thinking. Could the preface be part of Nancy's novel? Or one of the other authors? Nancy comes to my mind. It would make more sense as to why it seems disjoint from the first section of the book we have read.

Thank you for getting my mind going this morning.

pen21

 

Luanne and Sherry, when I read the first part of the novel I thought it was part of Nancy's novel.

 

Inspired Contributor
tweezle
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎11-03-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

What a gripping and intriguing beginning. I'm wondering where all this will go.

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” - Mason Cooley
**3 NOOKS with 3 separate accounts in one household.**
Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Okay, thewanderingjew and SunItCloud, you just took me for a trip down memory land and "thank you", I enjoyed it immensely.  Growing up in NYC, I remember the trolleys, lived in a tenement with dumbwaiters and coal deliveries and learned to operate a Frieden comptroller.

Literature

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

Hmm, are we becoming obsolete, as well? :smileywink: I also have such wonderful memories based on food. They are also associated with family gatherings. Boy, would I love to share a homemade slice of bread with butter and jam at your kitchen table or mine...hmmm, maybe some homemade coffee cake too. I don't think many people have the time to do that today. Everyone is rushing someplace trying to do everything, immediately!

 

At the Book Expo, I rolled out of the exhibit hall and noticed an older (probably not much older than me, haha) man patting down his pockets, looking dismayed. He saw me on my scooter (as a result of a broken foot) and he murmured, I must have left my cell phone behind. I said, "Would you like to use mine?" He looked surprised and said, "Could I?" I said, sure, "That's what friends are for!" Anyway, he dubbed me his angel, so it was worth it! He said I saved his day. It was such a simple way to help someone out.

 

The nice thing about "the writing circle" and these Barnes and Noble discussions, is the fact that the communication feels more personal than the usual electronic communique of few words and acronyms. People are actually "listening" to what others are saying, not just giving lip service to them, and ideas are explored. Internet friendships do form and are often very close, possibly because of the anonymity. There is safety in being unknown. Hopefully, anonymity will not be the sacred cow that is sacrificed in our quest to "know" everything.  Electronic devices, on the other hand, are often impersonal, simply sending soundbites, but keeping in constant touch that way, is expedient. I wonder if friendships will also morph into more casual relationships. 

 

When I was young, I remember asking my mom if she was alive with the Indians or if she had electric bulbs. My grandkids can't believe that television wasn't around forever. They program my phone and use the computer as I used to use a typewriter, with total ease.

 

More than two and a half decades ago, I wrote curriculum for a company that produced computer software for schools to use as study aides. It was so innovative then and now it is commonplace to use the computer as a learning tool. Some change is really for the better. Any tool that encourages and helps our kids to learn is wonderful.

 

My grandchildren are never without a book so I imagine they, like me, will mourn the loss of the book itself.

 

Do you remember carbon paper, correcto-tape, mimeograph machines, typesetting, card catalogues in libraries, the time when hard copies turned into microfiche, etc.?  My generation has seen the birth of so many miracles! IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! :smileyvery-happy:

Sunltcloud wrote:

The only way I can envision a "new order" in libraries and in the minds of readers in general is by looking back at devices or procedures no longer in use, and admire the ease with which young people have taken to their modern replacements. And when I see the question mark on my granddaughter's face as I occasionally spread butter on my toast (she has never tasted real butter) I realize that my old world order has disappeared and with it the freshly-churned yellow unsalted butter that was a part of my childhood. I must obey doctor's orders now, but I will forever taste and cherish the rich yet simple flavor of a slab of homemade bread, fresh butter, and gooseberry jam. There is happiness in them there food memories as there is happiness in remembering childhood books.

 

Now, take the telegram for instance. In 1964 I informed my parents about the birth of my daughter by telegram. Telegrams are obsolete. Today there is almost instant access to images of a newborn on facebook, youtube etc.

 

Or, I think I mentioned it somewhere else, look at pay phones. More and more are taken out. My granddaughter would probably ask a complete stranger to use his/her cell phone if hers were not functioning properly,  instead of searching for a pay phone.

 

And....the photographic film is saying farewell too. I am a photographer; I used to have my own darkroom. I loved the smell of the chemicals I mixed. I loved the emergence of a face in the developer. I spent many hours in virtual darkness bringing to life those details that are now available instantly in my camera and can be enhanced on my computer. I still go to exhibits of black and white Ansel Adams prints and I still admire those coffee table books I bought many years ago. But I also like to play around with photo shop; I love new software that allows me instant scrapbooking. I adore Shutterfly and have bought several books from them after I combined my own text and digital photographs onto their colorful backgrounds. 

 

I almost assume that after another generation or two text books will be a thing of the past and young students will have no problem with studying by using electronic devices. It is that generation that will no longer yearn to flip the pages of a book. We "oldtimers" (I mean those of us who have lived with REAL books all our lives) will always look at our first editions with loving eyes. We will cling to the piles of books we have accumulated while we fill our nooks and Kindles and netbooks and laptops and ipads and iphones with new reading material.

 

Sometimes I feel as if we are living double lives. One foot in the electronic age, but an airplane ride away I am back in the "old world." My daughter spent some time in Laos where she helped distribute books to children who had never had a book of their own. They are just beginning to enjoy reading books for pleasure.

And while my friends in Germany love their handys (cell phones) I know of no one who reads books on it.  But the pace is picking up here and I don't want to be left behind. Though I still print out emails now and then "to get a better look at them" :smileyhappy:  I try to pay attention to the frown I get for leaving a paper trail. And I certainly don't want to wake up one morning to the news that my local library has been converted to a digital lending station, without being prepared to catch their digital data flow.

 

PS. As to storing casual reads and important ones, I will probably soon store them on separate SDcards. I imagine there will always be classics as there are classics now, whether on paper - bound in leather or laying around as dog-eared paperback - computer, or in the form of an as yet not imagined intelligence.

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

4-This thought made me wonder about the permanent effect of ebooks and reading devices in perpetuity. Libraries will surely not look like the libraries of today. Will there be shelves of discs or shelves of nooks or kindles or some other devices? Will knowledge be perceived in the same way and will books ever become classics again. I have some first editions that I treasure. How could I treasure an ebook? Would I want to reread it? Where would I store it for the future so it was not mingled with my more casual reads?

 

I guess I really just love the feeling of the solid book in my hands. I love the fact that I can keep it and pick it up whenever I choose. I love the fact that I can refer back to some page or passage. I can't perceive of using an ebook that way...but then, I couldn't perceive of using a cell phone and yet it has replaced the landline! Perhaps we get used to everything, in time. :smileyhappy:

 

 

 

 

 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

 

We have to think "time line"  and I tried to figure this out.  If this all happened before Nancy was born, and if one of the two boys is someone in TWC, then it couldn't be Chris because he is too young.  I think Bernard is too old so possibly Adam?  I really hadn't thought that one of the two boys could be one of the participants.  I originally wrote that Chris has two sons but Chris and his boys are too young.  That left Joe, but Joe lived in NYC.   Some good thoughts to ponder.

dhaupt wrote:

 

Bonnie_C wrote:

Another question I had was in regard to the couple who lost their baby.  The story says that the couple later on had 2 sons.  Could one of the sons be someone in the writing circle? 

 

Bonnie

 

I never thought of that. We'll just have to see.

 

 

Contributor
DiamondgirlVA
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-17-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

When I started reading it I  was annoyed by all the jumping around but as the pages progressed I am beginning to enjoy it . I am intrigued to see how the preface is going to play into the story as well.  I especially like the character development of all the characters. I feel like I know each of them.

Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Interesting point, literature. One I have not thought of as I thought Chris was the only one with two kids. It's hard to put a time frame on this event as I don't think it is mentioned about how long Nancy's Father  had taught school. I'll have to see if I can find that chapter.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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LarryOnLI
Posts: 1,983
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

The impression I got was that Nancy's father gave up medicine before having a family.

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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Yes, carbon paper and white-out and those little cards in the library. And there was a card in the back of the book on which the date was stamped.

 

I remember when I was selected from a typing pool to learn about computers. We plugged little connectors into boards to duplicate punch cards and to sort them. There was a whole room full of equipment and next to it a key punch room with thirteen machines. Things have shrunk since then.

 

I still have my high school zoology and botany books; I used to trace certain plants for fun and colored them in. I can see the trace marks on the color plates.Now I hit print.

 

There is definitely a time when it feels awkward to have new books on an ereader. They can't all be opened at the same time unless I use several devices. I frequently open five or six books when I am looking for something - a poem, a sentence, an opinion - I have a desk in the middle of my living room and sometimes there is a pile of books resting on one end, a stack of 8x10 photographs on the other end, a diet soda close-by, a writing pad next to it, a cup with pens, one of my digital cameras, a teddy bear, my daily pills, and now my nook and my Kindle. And, of course, several windows on my desktop are available with google, B&N, a German site, Facebook, email etc.

I love my life!

 

thewanderingjew wrote in part:
 


 

  

Do you remember carbon paper, correcto-tape, mimeograph machines, typesetting, card catalogues in libraries, the time when hard copies turned into microfiche, etc.?  My generation has seen the birth of so many miracles! IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE! :smileyvery-happy:

 

 

 

 

 

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AIRKNITTER
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

When I signed up for The Writing Circle it was to see if I would enjoy "reading" without a book in hand. Well, I'm enjoying the novel but not sure about this 'novel' experience. Maybe I just have to adjust my thought that a computer is not just a tool; it can be used for entertainment.

Aine

Reading in Reading,PA

 

Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.
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Adeline79
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎03-17-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

The preface seems to be a snippet of a story line and then there is the section about the couple with the dead baby. They are both interesting and by having these two very different opening sections it makes it seem like a fast - pased somewhat mysterious story is coming. Now that I think it through though, I assume that the bit about the couple and the baby (in italics) will turn out to be someone's writing they are working on. I am certainly interested in what is going on in the opening anyway!

http://thereadingjourney.blogspot.com
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Well, I grew up in Brooklyn and two doors down from me they had a coal chute for coal delivery. My twin brother got his foot caught in the trolley doors and it left with him still attached...it went really slow and he was only injured slightly, i think his pride was hurt more. It was not a litigious time. The drive apologized and my mom took my limping brother home. There was no real harm done and he never again dawdled while getting off the trolley.

My husband lived in a building with a dumbwaiter. His friend's dad was the janitor and the kids used to ride in the dumbwaiter when his friend was around. It sounds like an awful smelly thing to do, though, doesn't it? Today there would be signs posted forbidding such innocent fun. How did we survive without all the rules they have today...about what to eat and where to play and even what games can be played?

There was a small farm down the street from me where they grew corn and tomatoes. It became a small apartment building. There were empty lots to play in and fallen trees to climb. There were neighborhood policemen who were our friends and protectors. It was such a different time. It seemed more innocent. We didn't lock our doors!

 

literature wrote:

Okay, thewanderingjew and SunItCloud, you just took me for a trip down memory land and "thank you", I enjoyed it immensely.  Growing up in NYC, I remember the trolleys, lived in a tenement with dumbwaiters and coal deliveries and learned to operate a Frieden comptroller.

Literature

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I like the idea that each chapter is about a particular character. Once I sorted them out, it helped me to get to know each one and relate them to each other. I do occasionally have to look back because there are a lot of minor characters mentioned, as well, and sometimes they all merged into one another.

I am actually enjoying the book on my laptop, much to my surprise. This is probably due to the fact that this book is an easy, pleasant and engaging read so far. I have finally sorted out how to highlight and/or make notes so I can access the notes. Actually, I discovered that you don't have to click on highlight. You just select annotations after you highlight the selection and then write away! Still, a hard copy would be more accessible since it could go everywhere with me and my laptop does not!

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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Well, does that mean that it is time for nook? My nook is always in my purse and I read wherever and whenever I have to wait (unless I knit,  and many times I do both.)

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I am actually enjoying the book on my laptop, much to my surprise. This is probably due to the fact that this book is an easy, pleasant and engaging read so far. I have finally sorted out how to highlight and/or make notes so I can access the notes. Actually, I discovered that you don't have to click on highlight. You just select annotations after you highlight the selection and then write away! Still, a hard copy would be more accessible since it could go everywhere with me and my laptop does not!