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Month in review

Reviews
Amy and the Missing Puppy by Callie Barkley
Art of Freddy by Walter R. Brooks
The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell
A Birthday Cake for George Washington by Ramin Ganeshram
The Categorical Universe of Candice Phee by Barry Jonsberg
The Endless Pavement by Jacqueline Jackson
FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics Vol. 3: Audeamus by Simon Oliver
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins
Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray by Frank J. Barbiere
The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami by Matthew Carl Strecher
Fox's Garden by Princesse Camcam
Freddy Goes to the North Pole by Walter R. Brooks
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible by Ursula Vernon
A Haunting Dream by Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow
Interstate 69 by Matt Dellinger
Moby-Dick: An Ocean Primer by Jennifer Adams
Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Noragami Volume 01 by Adachitoka
Noragami Volume 02 by Adachitoka
Steal the Sky by Megan E. O'Keefe
The Terrible Two Get Worse by Mac Barnett
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
The Underground City (aka Child of the Cavern) by Jules Verne
Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake
What a Ghoul Wants by Victoria Laurie

Miscellaneous
The Road (narrative project) So Far...

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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 Endless Pavement: 02/15/16

The Endless Pavement by Jacqueline Jackson

The Endless Pavement by Jacqueline Jackson is a cautionary tale about the automobile, published during the OPEC oil embargo of 1973-1974. It builds a world where cars are the caretakers of humanity, shuttling them around in circuitous routes away from the rough and tumble natural world.

Josette is an elementary school aged child who lives with her family in their self driving home — something like an intelligent RV. She spends her life like all children, in her rollabout, a small self driving carriage that behaves like the chairs in Wall-E but looks remarkably like a mini version of Google's self driving car. She divides her time between home and school, all of these buildings being self driving vehicles, following a pre programmed route across the remains of human civilization.

The Google self driving car

Like the Lorax, another book from the same era, addressing similar concerns, Josette glimpses something out of the ordinary, a struggling apple tree, forgotten or missed by the machines that keep nature away from people. Her curiosity over the tree, and her desire to eat an apple (something she's learned through forbidden lore), leads her on a dangerous path towards rebellion.

This illustrated poem presented as a children's book still has relevance now at a time when self driving cars are being tested and robots are being used for cleaning floors and mowing lawns, for instance. Our love affair with the multilane highway, though, is over, as evidenced in Interstate 69 by Matt Dellinger, so perhaps the worst of this dystopia won't come to pass.

Five stars

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