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Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Langdon
Baby Angels by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
Barometer Rising by Hugh MacLennan
Behaving Like Adults by Anna Maxted
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle
Damia by Anne McCaffrey
Dinosaur Roar! by Paul & Henrietta Stickland
Dinosaurs' Halloween by Liza Donnelly
The Dragon in Lyonesse by Gordon R. Dickson
Ducks in Muck by Lori Haskins
The Earth by Émile Zola
Game of Shadows by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams
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Geology by Frank Rhodes
Get Off the Unicorn by Anne McCaffrey
The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender
The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend
Kings of Albion by Julian Rathbone
The Langoliers by Stephen King
The Library Policeman by Stephen King
Lost and Found by Eliabeth Hess
Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
A Man in a Kilt by Sandy Blair
Morgan's Passing by Anne Tyler
The Player by Michael Tolkin
Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King
Sunday's Child by Edward O. Phillips
A Toad for Tuesday by Russell E. Erickson
Trucks by Byron Barton
(Un)Arranged Marriage by Bali Rai
The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

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Zero and a Half

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Comments for Ferdinand

Ferdinando de PapasverdesFerdinand: 03/19/07

Ferdinand the Green Potato was the first car I truly owned. I don't count the Accord I bought with my mom and drove only a couple of times before college. I really wasn't ready to own a car. But four years later and facing a long commute to UCLA, I needed a car. My in laws helped us out by buying Ferdinand for us. He was a brand spanking new Honda built in Canada somewhere (his owner's manual was in French and English. Because of his shape (a hatchback) and his color (green), I named him Ferdinado de Papasverdes. Why I gave a Canadian car a Spanish (or Mexican) name, I don't know. It must have been because we were living in Pasadena at the time.

We eventually bought Ferdinand in our own right from Ian's parents and owned him by the time we made the move up to the Bay Area (Daly City, then Pacifica and finally Hayward).

Before the move, Ferdinand took me back and forth from Pasadena (and later South Pasadena) and UCLA. He survived two crashes in his first two years (once when Ian rear ended a car during a traffic jam on the 110 and once being rear ended at 45 mph on the 10). He later survived another crash in Colma (I had the flu), running over a dead deer (smelled like death for years to come after that), running over a mattress (after 12 exhausting hours of driving solo during the move), riding through a snow berm (the AC never worked right after that) and many other mishaps.

Ferdinand (or his radio, at least) introduced me Physical Graffiti (Kashmir will always make me think of the 110), Copland's Rodeo, the radio play version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Rene Auberjonois reading Zelazny's Unicorn Variations, Amelia Peabody being mentioned in Night Train to Memphis, and many others I'm sure that I'm forgetting so late at night.

For 12 years he was a great car. We put 175,000 miles on him (give or take). By the end though he was bent on the left side (bad luck with a pole), his steering wheel was cracked, his seats were bare, his hatchback struts no longer worked and he leaked water (through the holes where the struts should have been). When he started burning oil it was time to let him go. We hope that the sum of his parts help other Civics stay on the road.

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