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Month in review

Reviews
American Road by Pete Davies
Avatar: The Last Airbender: Smoke and Shadow Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
Curse of the Blue Tattoo by L.A. Meyer
Dead Air by Michelle Schusterman
Dear Hank Williams by Kimberly Willis Holt
Digital Photographer's Handbook by Tom Ang
Doctor Who: The Nameless City by Michael Scott
Everything's Amazing [sort of] by Liz Pichon
Extraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison
Fed, White, and Blue: Finding America with My Fork by Simon Majumdar
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City by Guy Delisle
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
The Last Days of California by Mary Miller
The Locksmith issue 2 by Terrance Grace
The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
The Marvels by Brian Selznick
The Mystery of the Scarlet Rose by Irene Adler
The Numberlys by William Joyce
PopCo by Scarlett Thomas
Reading Up a Storm by Eva Gates
Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
Romance of the Road by Ronald Primeau
Rutabaga the Adventure Chef: Book 2: Feasts of Fury by Eric Colossal
The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Thai Die by Monica Ferris
Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

Miscellaneous
How I spend my time
I don't only post reviews
On leveled reading — or leveled reading didn't make me a life long reader
On reading ebooks and digital fatigue
Twenty-nine years of being a reader
What are my thoughts on audiobooks?

Previous month

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 Last Days of California: 06/05/16

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller could just as easily be called Grapes of Rapture. A family of four is making a last minute road trip from Alabama to California on the belief that the end of days are approaching in four days and only true believers who make the pilgrimage will be spared.

The book is narrated by the youngest daughter who knows secrets about the rest of her family but manages to keep them to herself. She knows her evangelist father is out of work. She knows her mother is unhappy. She knows her sister is pregnant.

Each chapter is a day in their trip, starting in Texas. It's a blue highways journey through areas hit hard by the recession. Each place they stop is more down market from the last.

I read this book for my road narrative project. California, or more generically, the west coast, is often the goal of a road trip story. Here California is a literal promised land much as it was in Grapes of Wrath except that the book is only focused on the journey there, not on the consequences of arriving.

And as it's just the trip, which is obviously going to fail from the get-go, the book begins to drag. The narrator isn't invested enough in the purpose of the journey to sell it.

Three stars

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