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Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
Babymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
The Burning Wire by Jeffery Deaver
Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters
The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters
Exploding the Phone by Philip Lapsley
Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian by Michael Rex
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
The Fifteenth Pelican by Tere Rios
Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure by Michael Chabon
Hattie Ever After by Kirby Larson
In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Jane Goes Batty by Michael Thomas Ford
Killer Pancake by Diane Mott Davidson
Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
Listening Woman by Tony Hillerman
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf by David Almond
The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
My Friend Is Sad by Mo Willems
People of Darkness by Tony Hillerman
The Perils of Peppermints by Barbara Brooks Wallace
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Stitches in Time by Barbara Michaels
Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder
Vacationers From Outer Space by Edward Valfre

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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 Exploding the Phone

Exploding the Phone: 05/25/13

cover artI'm a little too young to have grown up in the phone phreak heyday, but as a toddler, I had neighbor who caught the tail end of it. Whenever there was a block party, he would round up us kids, take us to his room and show us a trick with the phone.

I can remember his tricks seeming like magic. To my toddler understanding of the world, the phone was a simple device — a box with either numbers for pushing (for fancy phones), or circle with finger holes that had the numbers 0 to 9 and letters above some of the holes for old fashioned numbers. It also had a hidden bell that would ring if a call came through. Making calls took picking up the phone, asking the operator or if you knew the number, dialing it.

What I didn't understand back then, was that between the two simple devices was a complex (and somewhat bodged together) system. The flaws and short cuts in the system were what made my neighbor's tricks possible.

Exploding the Phone by Philip Lapsley, then, is the history of the phone system in the early days, through the Ma Bell days, and the breakup of the company — and how users have explored and hacked the system in these different eras.

I really can't imagine a more perfect book for my personal library. I wish I also had a copy of The Phone Book by Ammon Shea as a companion piece. This book worked for me on so many levels: the early history, the lengthy but engaging description of the technology (both of the phone exchanges and that the phreaks used), and it's legacy effects on the infrastructure of the internet.

Although I originally read an egalley from NetGalley, I have since purchased a copy for my home library. I have lost track of how many people I have recommended the book to in the last couple of months.

Five stars

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