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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



Imaginary Communities: 07/24/15

Imaginary Communities by Phillip Wegner

Imaginary Communities by Phillip Wegner is a literary analysis of the utopian / dystopian story. Utopia is literally "no place", coined by Sir Thomas More in the book of the same title. It was written as a piece of political philosophy and the utopian / dystopian genres continue to be either political or social commentaries.

With books like Lost Horizon by James Hilton, and on the kids' side of things, L. Frank Baum's Oz books, Utopian societies became perfect renditions of the city state. If Utopia is now the best of the best (and perhaps the unobtainable perfection), then there must be a polar opposite, a worst of the worst. Therein lies dystopia (or "bad place").

Imaginary Communities attempts to outline the evolution of the utopian / dystopian dichotomy through a lengthy historical outline from More's book onward through some modern classics. Unfortunately it gets laid up on three things: a never ending rehash of other philosopher's ideas on the subject, a similarly long promise of analysis that never materializes, and pages and pages of plot summary where the original analysis should be.

After slogging through the book I was left with no good sense of what Wagner's views on utopia or dystopia are. I know which books he read and I know which theorists he's a student of. But his thoughts? His contribution to the understanding of the genres? I'm still left wondering.

Two stars

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