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Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

This story is definitely more hopeful than The Grapes of Wrath, at least during the first half of the story.  I did think the ending of TGOW was hopeful though.

 


Melissa_W wrote:
As I read through ATGIB I keep thinking of the Joad family from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck's work always seems like it means to crush the soul out of the characters while Smith tries to show how people have optimism and hope.
foxycat wrote:

A wise observation, AJ. And some of the critics, I think wrongly, called the positive slant in the book "sentimentality."  Would it have been so great a novel if the family had been ground down by their poverty? Although I know some modern authors do write novels that are bleak from end to end, I generally stay away from them.


 


 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

The new format's driving me a little batty. I was away for a while just after the changeover.  Some folks post above the quote, some below, and there's no distinction in the typeface. Sometimes the reply is indented, sometimes the quote is. I remember the long discussions with suggestions from users and moderators, but alas...


I've decided to do mine in bold from now on, as there's no color. At least I can follow my own. :smileyvery-happy:


 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

 


Melissa_W wrote:
As I read through ATGIB I keep thinking of the Joad family from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck's work always seems like it means to crush the soul out of the characters while Smith tries to show how people have optimism and hope.

I haven't read TGOW, but I've seen the film several times. Do you feel that Ma Joad is a character very much like Katie? She rises above all obstacles, takes pride in herself  and keeps the family together. There are others in the book who go under, but not her or the Henry Fonda character. 

 

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

 


foxycat wrote:

The new format's driving me a little batty. I was away for a while just after the changeover.  Some folks post above the quote, some below, and there's no distinction in the typeface. Sometimes the reply is indented, sometimes the quote is. I remember the long discussions with suggestions from users and moderators, but alas...


I've decided to do mine in bold from now on, as there's no color. At least I can follow my own. :smileyvery-happy:


 


 

 

Foxy -- So you are going to shout at us, huh?  I gotta admit, the bold is easier to read.

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

Shouting  is usually indicated by ALL CAPS.  I belong to  30-35 forums, and the software in this one is unique in not making any distinction between quote and reply. B&N is, after all, very concerned with the written word. :smileywink:


In addition, I've had only 2 notification emails since 1/20.  Posted it at the Help forum

 

Do you know how RSS works, and IF it works, and whether it's better than constantly checking the boards 3 times a day?

 

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

[ Edited ]

 


foxycat wrote:

Shouting  is usually indicated by ALL CAPS.  I belong to  30-35 forums, and the software in this one is unique in not making any distinction between quote and reply. B&N is, after all, very concerned with the written word. :smileywink:


In addition, I've had only 2 notification emails since 1/20.  Posted it at the Help forum

 

Do you know how RSS works, and IF it works, and whether it's better than constantly checking the boards 3 times a day?

 

 


 

Well, Foxy, I belong to that group of people that says ALL CAPS is not the only way of shouting or, perhaps more accurately, creating emphasis online.  This piece does a decent job of exploring that view; I didn't research further to see if I could find another that gave more supple (yes, I mean supple, not subtle) distinctions.

 

 

It is fascinating, and telling, to me that you return to this board after some period away and basically say that the readability of the font size is not acceptable for "normal" conversations.  I think some of us have tried to say this to B&N developers in the past, but have just given up on the possibility of being heard.

 

I don't understand your statement that this forum does not distinguish between quote and reply.  It seems to me that the system of lines and indentations does that.  In fact, it is one of the characteristics of this forum that I like versus any other that I have used, but I certainly do not have the breadth of experience of 30-35 forums.  Still, I have spent my life around the creation of effective human-machine interfaces.

 

(However, I am frustrated at times with the text editor -- getting spacing as desired is sometimes more time consuming than it should be.)

 

Neither RSS nor the features that signal my outside email box are ones that I have used, so I am no help to you on those topics.  Melissa may have thoughts.  I also do not use the threaded presentation that some people definitely prefer.

 

I am going to copy this discussion into a PM to Jon_B.  He has been an interface to some of the design work.

 

Pepper

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

[ Edited ]

 


Lmfwhite wrote:

I just finished reading Chapter 14 last night so I am late in responding.  However, I did want to say that I feel like I am reliving the lives of both my maternal and paternal grandparents.  They all came over from Italy in the early 1900's.  They lived on Ten Eyck street (I believe this street was mentioned but I can't find it anywhere....can someone with a Nook help me find the page number please?)  They did their shopping on Graham Avenue (mentioned on pg.9 as the "ghetto" street).My paternal grandparents lived their entire lives in Brooklyn.   My grandmother NEVER learned to drive.  She went shopping every day for her food and bartered with the shop-owners.

 

They eventually moved to Woodpoint Road where they lived for over 60 years until my grandmother passed away last year.  Woodpoint Rd is in the Greenpoint Section mentioned on page 105.  I lived in Brooklyn until I was 4 and then moved to Long Island.  EVERY Sunday, we went to Brooklyn to visit my grandparents and my sister and I would play on the stoop and in the very small patch of yard that was there. 

 

I was fortunate enough to bring my children (her great-grandchildren) for a visit to Brooklyn to see such a different way of life to what they are now experiencing in the south.  My then 6 year old son kept complaining that he had to walk so far just to buy food!

 

I also loved the photos of Brooklyn in the 1900's.  My grandparents always described it to me but it was so hard to visualize and compare it to the Brooklyn that I grew up in.  I love the character Francie and cannot believe it has taken me so long to finally read a book that is so rich in a history I'm familiar with!.


LMF -- Ten Eyck is mentioned on page 7 of the paper text, fairly close to, but before, the Graham Street you mention as on page 9.  It is in the section where they are talking about taking junk to be exchanged for cash.
Even today many of the residents of Manhattan and the burroughs do not drive -- including residents that are professionals in their fields.  Once in awhile I accuse NYorkers of being the most provencial people in the world -- their world may be lived in two or three square mile areas, one where they live, one where they work, and one where they play.  Sometimes those even collapse together.  Yet, obviously, these same people can be deeply cosmopolitan in ways unthinkable to those accustomed to small town living in the central regions of this country.
One of the things that keeps me from spending more time in the City is the considerable amount of walking that is taken for granted, even just moving from one subway line to another.
Oh, my, the sky outside the windows where I sit at my computer are bluer, brighter, and sunnier than we have seen for weeks.  It is hard to believe that a Northeaster is on its way by this afternoon.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

I, too. saw many similarities between Tom Joad’s mother in Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” and the Francie’s mother, Katie, in ATGIB.

 

These mothers are the dramatic centers of both stories.

 

Out of necessity, both women take over the dominant parent roles when their husbands give up hope and succumb to despair.

 

Mrs Joad is not a complicated character… she always reminds me of an archetype of the nurturing earth mother. Steinbeck doesn’t put us inside her head.

 

Katie Nolan, however, is very complicated. She is bold and unsentimental.. she’s a disenchanted mother who without hatred wishes Johnny, her alcoholic husband, dead… (“He’s worthless, worthless. And God forgive me for ever finding it out'”).

 

She manages her financial future without his help by cleaning apartment buildings and getting free rent.

 

Katie acknowledges that her son is her favorite child… she says of Francie: ”She does not love me the way the boy loves me. . . . She does not understand me.”

 

I find Smith’s creation of Katie's steely resolve (“invincible steel”)… her fierce sense of reality… her struggle with her own sometimes unlikeable character… not only comprehensible, but somewhat admirable.

 

 

foxycat wrote:

 


Melissa_W wrote:
As I read through ATGIB I keep thinking of the Joad family from Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck's work always seems like it means to crush the soul out of the characters while Smith tries to show how people have optimism and hope.

I haven't read TGOW, but I've seen the film several times. Do you feel that Ma Joad is a character very much like Katie? She rises above all obstacles, takes pride in herself  and keeps the family together. There are others in the book who go under, but not her or the Henry Fonda character.  

 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Brooklyn... not just a place, but a state of mind

Peppermill, it's a running joke how Manhattanites view Brooklyn, like an idiot nephew…. “You live way out there?”

 

“Brooklyn,'” Francie tells her brother at the end of the novel. '”It's a magic city and it isn’t real. . . . It's like -- yes -- a dream. . . . But it's like a dream of being poor and fighting.”

 

I found this wonderful article in Salon magazine about writers who write about and come from Brooklyn.

 

http://www.salon.com/books/literary_guide/2006/07/03/brooklyn/

“…authors all seem to be saying that Brooklyn must be seen as a central character in their fictions. It’s as if Brooklyn is not just a place but a state of mind, or the shorthand for some very specific way of being, which readers… would be able to decode.”


“Brooklyn's schools have spawned generations of bright little prodigies, such as Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller and Woody Allen, who went on to become America’s literary lions, often moving across the river while periodically looking back with fondness or chagrin at their roots."

 

PS: The writer's referring to the East River that separates NYC from Brooklyn.

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

 

... Once in awhile I accuse NYorkers of being the most provencial people in the world -- their world may be lived in two or three square mile areas, one where they live, one where they work, and one where they play.  Sometimes those even collapse together.  Yet, obviously, these same people can be deeply cosmopolitan in ways unthinkable to those accustomed to small town living in the central regions of this country.

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Brooklyn... not just a place, but a state of mind

[ Edited ]

IBIS wrote:

 

 

PS: The writer's referring to the East River that separates NYC from Brooklyn.

 



Now YOU sound like a Manhattanite. You don't mean NYC, you mean Manhattan. :smileyvery-happy:  The 5 boroughs make up NYC, and as a former Bronxite...
Many of them don't have cars because public transportation is so plentiful and parking is so sparse. I think you'll find that in most major metro areas of the country.

 


Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: Brooklyn... not just a place, but a state of mind

foxycat, you're absolutely right.... I should have posted that the East River separated Manhattan from Brooklyn. LOL.

 

 


foxycat wrote:
Now YOU sound like a Manhattanite. You don't mean NYC, you mean Manhattan. :smileyvery-happy:  The 5 boroughs make up NYC, and as a former Bronxite...
Many of them don't have cars because public transportation is so plentiful and parking is so sparse. I think you'll find that in most major metro areas of the country.

 

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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Peppermill
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Re: ATGIB: Brooklyn... not just a place, but a state of mind

 


foxycat wrote:
Many of them don't have cars because public transportation is so plentiful and parking is so sparse. I think you'll find that in most major metro areas of the country.

 Well, some, but not all.  Nonetheless, it still fascinates me that many people with the resources living in this vast country so dependent on automobile transportation may not even know how to drive and qualify for a drivers license.  I have never explored the statistical numbers, but even the anecdotal evidence among my own acquaintances has surprised me. 

 

Certainly cities with well constructed public transportation systems will have numerous non-car-owners.  Insurance alone can be a significant factor.  Yet, consider Los Angeles or Minneapolis/St.Paul, ....  So I wouldn't generalize on U.S. cities. 

 

My son makes fairly frequent use of Zipcar, a creative offering for city dwellers. A car can be rented reasonably for just a few hours -- suburban shopping, move something not amenable to a cab, visit an outlet center  I just learned that Zipcar apparently started in the Boston area.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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IBIS
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Re: ATGIB: zip cars

Yes, zip cars is an enterprise that started in the Boston area. I rent zip cares on a regular basis... when I need to drive out of state; I don't own a car in Boston since finding parking is like hunting for the Holy Grail. Mass transit is good enough for me.
IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

 



 

Peppermill wrote:

 

Well, Foxy, I belong to that group of people that says ALL CAPS is not the only way of shouting

 

 


 

 Just saw this a few days late.. I'll stop the bold text

 

 


 

It is fascinating, and telling, to me that you return to this board after some period away and basically say that the readability of the font size is not acceptable for "normal" conversations.  I think some of us have tried to say this to B&N developers in the past, but have just given up on the possibility of being heard.

 


 

 

I don't understand your statement that this forum does not distinguish between quote and reply.  It seems to me that the system of lines and indentations does that. 

 


I was in on those discussions. My screen is  smaller than some new flat ones.The text is still gray, and zooming in loses part of the screen on the right side. But this is a dead issue. Don't push it.

 

 

 The indents don't carry over to Firefox.  And  FF oes have 20% market share now, has been downloaded over 200 million times.

 


 

 

I am going to copy this discussion into a PM to Jon_B.  He has been an interface to some of the design work.

 

Pepper


Thanks, but they're not going tp fix it so soon. The worst part is not getting the daily email, which used to give me an automatic login to the exact spot of the latest reply.  But I've posted that on the Help board. OK, I've stopped the bold text.

 

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

[ Edited ]

Just an illustration, then I'll drop this:

 

Most forums have software that shows replies with quotes like this.

[URL=http://img231.imageshack.us/i/replywithquote.jpg/][IMG=http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/7597/replywithquote.th.jpg][/IMG][/URL]

 

It shows how much I like this place that I put up with BN's software!

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Re: ATGIB: zip cars

[ Edited ]

And a driver's license is universally accepted in the US as an ID. I don't understand not having a license, even without a car.

 

Anyway, we've gotten too OT. We were talking about Brooklyn having a whole culture of its own. As does Staten Island, more like a New England village than like NYC.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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foxycat
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Coney island and Brighton Beach

I had forgotten that these were part of Brooklyn, although not near Francie's home.

 

http://www.brooklynpix.com/catalog18.php?locality_no=10661
http://www.brooklynpix.com/catalog27f.php?locality_no=11201

 

When my parents were still speaking to each other, in the '50's, we took 2 subways from the Bronx to Brighton Beach, which was mostly Jewish, unlike Coney Island. But if we walked long enough on the boardwalk, we entered the fantasyland of Coney, with far more pinball and skeeball galleries and better rides. My brother and I went on far more rides than our folks could afford, and spent endless nickels (dimes?) on the games. My mother was generous with that money, despite our poverty. The scene in the ice cream shop after francie's graduation reminded me of this. 

 

My mother didn't want us changing in the bathhouse, and we rode home on the subway with our damp bathing suits under our clothing, I can still feel the straw seats, often with broken straws, against my bare legs.

 

 

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Lmfwhite
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

Pepper  - Thank you for the page reference to Ten Eyck street.   It was one of those insignificant things that was driving me crazy!      LMF

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AJ981979
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14

Fozzie - I'm the odd one who sees hope in the end of Grapes of Wrath - something about nourishing someone else in the human race, bonding together for survival, etc.  It's been a long time since I read it, but that's what I remember.

 

Of course, I also firmly believe that Edna lives at the end of The Awakening.  :smileyhappy:

 

~ Happiness is a good book, a sleeping cat, and a glass of wine. ~
Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Re: ATGIB: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 14


AJ981979 wrote:

Fozzie - I'm the odd one who sees hope in the end of Grapes of Wrath - something about nourishing someone else in the human race, bonding together for survival, etc.  It's been a long time since I read it, but that's what I remember.

 


 

 

I took the ending to be a sign of hope.  I took it to be a relatively happy ending in that the Joads, and their extended family of the Okies, would survive.



 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.