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The Android's Dream by John Scalzi
At Ease by Evan Bachner
The Avenue of the Dead by Evelyn Anthony
Bannock, Beans and Black Tea by John Gallant and Seth
Bollywood Babes by Narinder Dhami
Bone 09: Crown of Horns by Jeff Smith
Brain Camp by Susan Kim
Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace
Doodlebug by Karen Romano Young
Early Hayward by Robert Phelps
Fullmetal Alchemist 01 by Hiromu Arakawa
Fullmetal Alchemist 02 by Hiromu Arakawa
Hands of My Father by Myron Uhlberg
Hattie the Bad by Jane Devlin
Havana Mañana by Consuelo Hermer and Marjorie May
How to Crash a Killer Bash by Penny Warner
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Waking Up? by Bill Martin Jr.
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo
The Neddiad by Daniel Pinkwater
The New Gay Teenager by Ritch C. Savin-Williams
The Nightmarys by Dan Poblocki
The Octonauts and the Only Lonely Monster by Meomi
The Octonauts and the Sea of Shade by Meomi
Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
The Phone Book by Ammon Shea
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
Ten Little Mummies by Philip Yates
Welcome to Monster Town by Ryan Heshka
The World at Night by Alan Furst
xxxHolic 01 by CLAMP

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Phone Book

The Phone Book 05/27/11

 cover art (Link goes to Powells)When I'm in school I primarily read for school (of course) and books from my wishlist and my personal to be read collection. But I'm not perfect and since most of my reading material comes from the library, I'm constantly tempted by the new books on display right near the circulation desk.

I'm a sucker for unusual nonfiction. I like to read the books on topics you wouldn't think had been written about. A prime example is The Phone Book by Ammon Shea.

The phone book is one of those tools that has been part of the telephone culture since shortly after the telephone was first being introduced. At first they were marketing tools to show off the early adopters. They were also aids to help the telephone switchboard operators keep track of a ballooning subscriber list. Later as the telephone became a ubiquitous tool, everyone needed a copy. Now a days with smart phones being minicomputers, the telephone directories are online and there are movements to do away with the printed versions.

Shea's book covers most of the history of the different uses of both types of telephone books: the residential (white) pages and the business (yellow) pages. He even explains how the yellow pages came to be yellow. He explains the pre-l33tspeak language of the phone book and how it was developed to save space. Just imagine those same phone books without the abbreviations; they'd be a long as Shea's other reading project, the OED.

Beyond the history and mechanics of the phone book, Shea includes chapters about collectors of the book, people who change their name to be placed either at the beginning or the end of the book, and the strong men who rip the things in half. There are so many sundry details, tangents and other goodies that I couldn't put the book down once I started it.

Five stars.

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Comment #1: Saturday, May, 28, 2011 at 04:18:18

Suzanne

This is going to sound really weird, but the other day I was thinking about Bill Bryson's book AT HOME and how I would read anything he wrote even if it was about the phone book. I guess someone beat him to it. I'll have to check this one out.



Comment #2: Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 18:34:41

Pussreboots

It was a surprisingly interesting, enterainting and educational book.



Comment #3: Saturday, May, 28, 2011 at 07:06:37

che

What a very unusual subject to write a book about. To make a subject like this engaging must take a bit of skill. I love the selection of books you take up. I'm following you now.



Comment #4: Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 18:35:10

Pussreboots

It was a fascinating book. Thank you for the follow. I'm trying something new this week and featuring only nonfiction book reviews. Next week I'll feature something different.



Comment #5: Sunday, May, 29, 2011 at 19:28:25

Callista

Sounds interesting!!



Comment #6: Sunday, May 30, 2011 at 11:59:32

Pussreboots

It is. It's also entertaining.