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The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck Wow. That's just really all I have to say.

...No it isn't. I'm a big fat liar. I have lots to say about this. I just don't really know how. So I'm going to tell a little story, and hopefully that will be enough.

Once upon a time, there was a princess who was the most beautiful princess in the whole world and all the other princesses hated me because--

What? Oh, sorry, wrong story. Just seeing if you were paying attention. You pass. Anyway, real story now... and it go a little sumthin' like this:

Once upon a time, there was a girl who read The Pearl and thought that she didn't like John Steinbeck. "Steinbeck?" she said, "Meh."

But then, one of the girl's friends chose a Steinbeck book for a book chain, and the girl read it, and was very surprised to find that she liked it. That book was Travels with Charley: In Search of America. Now, this girl considers herself to be decently well read, but she tends to choose fiction over non-fiction, simply for the fact that non-fiction can be so dry and boring, so she was very surprised to find Travels engaging and interesting and humorous.

Cut to today, Thanksgiving Day in the US, as the girl in the kitchen prepared The Traditional Feast while listening to a full cast audio production of The Grapes of Wrath... and she found herself moved to tears several times, thinking of the hardships that not only the Joads endured, but so, so many people during the Depression. She thought of the table full of food she would soon set down, and the days worth of leftovers she'd have afterward, and thought of the Joads and their like starving, moving over and over and over, trying, trying, trying to make it... and it broke her heart.

The Grapes of Wrath wowed her, and Steinbeck's portrayal of these sharecroppers-turned-migrant-workers was as real as the food on her table. The style and language were simple but evocative and beautiful in their own way, and the girl knows that complexity doesn't always equal greatness. Honesty and courage and perseverance almost always do, though.

Now, this girl thinks she might just be a little in love with Steinbeck.