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Reviews
The Automobile and American Culture edited by David Lanier Lewis
Brown Rabbit in the City by Natalie Russell
Cars Galore by Peter Stein
Cat Vs Human by Yasmine Surovec
The Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse
Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker
Clink by Kelly DiPucchio and Matthew Myers
Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel by Ronda Thompson
Crunch by Leslie Connor
The Discworld Graphic Novels by Terry Pratchett
Fear the Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm
Fullmetal Alchemist 26 by Hiromu Arakawa
Glasses: Who Needs 'Em? by Lane Smith
The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper
Hamlet: The First Quarto, 1603 by William Shakespeare with introduction by Albert B. Weiner
Houdini: The Handcuff King by Jason Lutes
Imaginary Communities by Phillip Wegner
It's My School by Sally Grindley
Lost Cat by C. Roger Mader
Louie's Search by Ezra Jack Keats
Me, Myself and Why? by MaryJanice Davidson
Please, Louise by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
Powder River: Let Er Buck by Maxwell Struthers Burt
Rust: Visitor in the Field by Royden Lepp
Summerland by Michael Chabon
The Suwannee: Strange Green Land by Cecile Hulse Matschat
The Trip by Ezra Jack Keats
Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom by Shane W. Evans
Voltron Force Volume 5: Dragon Dawn by Brian Smith
The Warren Commission Report by Dan Mishkin
Women Aviators by Karen Bush Gibson

Miscellaneous
On playing Sherlock Holmes — or Sarah stares at shoes
Passports, boarding passes, and other carry on items — or Sarah loses things

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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



The Automobile and American Culture: 07/06/15

The Automobile and American Culture edited by David Lanier Lewis:

The Automobile and American Culture edited by David Lanier Lewis is a collection of essays about the affect of the automobile and the highway system had on American culture. It was published as the United States was recovering from the energy crisis of the 1970s and Detroit was facing growing competition from Japanese and European car makers.

These essays cover everything form the early history (including research, development, and long since forgotten companies), romance and sex, cars in the arts (paintings, songs, and books), and some dystopian glimpses of the America post automobile as the cars seem to have destroyed the smaller, people oriented cities, but have created an infrastructure that can't sustain itself.

But they miss across the board economic collapse that Detroit saw with the shuttering of factories and the real estate bubble bursting. But the book still serves as a good cultural census of the automobile industry as it stood in the 1980s.

The purpose of reading this book (actually re-reading it) was to get a large scale time line of the evolving road trip story as the automobile became part of the American life style. The first time I read the book I did so on the prompting after having seen three films with very similar road trip elements, despite being otherwise completely different: Thelma & Louise (1991), Cherry 2000 (1987), and The Terminator (1984). I noticed that the road, including road marks and road signs, were used to punctuate the plots of the films.

In re-reading the book twenty years later I can see the road as grammar is alive and well in American story telling. Much of my reading of these essays were taken against a long running show that at first glance might not seem like a road trip series (despite the inclusion of a 1978 Chevy Impala), Supernatural. What I also didn't expect was that it's not Sam and Dean's road trip, per se, as theirs ended with the finding of their father; instead, it's Castiel's and he bears the hallmark signs in his clothing. That trench coat or duster that he usually wears was at one time the hot ticket item for any young man to wear to show that he owned an automobile that was rugged enough to hit the open road at any time.

To see the results of my live blogging of the book as I read it, please see Tumblr.

Five stars

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