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Month in review

Reviews
Across the Continent by The Lincoln Highway by Effie Price Gladding
The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights by John Steinbeck
Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Thief by Maurice Leblanc
Baby Driver: A Story About Myself by Jan Kerouac
Blackwork by Monica Ferris
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Buttons and Bones by Monica Ferris
Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
The Colossus of Roads: Myth and Symbol Along the American Highway by Karal Ann Marling
Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff
Far from Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught
The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
The Isle by Jordana Frankel Jem and The Holograms 1 by Kelly Thompson
Kissing in America by Margo Rabb
The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Missing Ink by Karen E. Olson
Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
No Ghouls Allowed by Victoria Laurie
Painting with a Lens by Rod Deutschmann and Robin Deutschmann
Photography of Natural Things by Freeman Patterson
Splat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton
Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White
Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley
Umbrella by Taro Yashima The Underwater Welder by Jeff Lemire
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
The Woman-Haters by Joseph C. Lincoln

Miscellaneous
My life as a teenage book addict, or, Sarah becomes a reader
Playing Pokémon Go as a parent
The terrible previews before Ghostbusters

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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020

Beat the Backlist 2020



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Playing Pokémon Go as a parent: 07/18/16

Headphones

Pokémon Go was released in the United States on July 7th. It's essentially a re-skinned Ingress. Everything that was a BFD in Ingress is now either a Poké Stop or Gym. Although I never played Ingress, my husband did and I'm familiar enough with the map to know where to look while playing (at least locally).

At the time we were nearing the end of our nine day road trip through the American southwest. We were in Flagstaff, relaxing before our drive to Lake Havasu — a rare point in our trip where we could leave late in the morning. Capturing virtual creatures on an actual road trip seemed counterintuitive, so I waited to install it until we got home.

My initial plan to play it was to add it hikes where I know the route well and have gotten bored of photographing the same areas. I thought that chasing and hunting for Pokémon would encourage me to go further. But I ran into a couple snags with that plan.

First and foremost, I really hate walking around with my phone out all the time. Now I could have set it to allow push notifications but I don't want my phone going off at all hours just because a Pokémon spawned.

Haruyuki Arita is a pretty good stand in for what I looked like that first day playing Pokémon Go

Haruyuki Arita is a pretty good stand in for what I looked like that first day playing Pokémon Go

Augmented reality always makes me think of the anime series (and light novels), Excel World. And like the main character, I am short and round. In the reality part of augmented reality, I stick out. At least I don't have to yell "Burst Link!" to make the game go.

The next big problem, is that my youngest is too young to have her own Apple ID. So her iPad is linked to my account. So the instant I installed it on my phone, the App Store told her about it. Like Ingress, Pokémon Go requires a cell signal and GPS connection. Her iPad has neither and she was crushed.

And then it hit me. She's nearly ten and I'm not. Why not play with her? I suggested to her that I be Brock (or Mama Brock as she has dubbed me) and she be Ash (or Asharriet as she dubbed the player character). Like Brock, I promised to provide snacks, keep her out of trouble, and transportation.

Hunting Pokémon at Sulphur Creek.

I thought we might be weird, a mother daughter Pokémon team. Maybe in some places we are, but here in the East Bay, we are normal. Since we've started playing we've seen six or so other parent/child teams.

    Family teams we've seen:
  • Mother, Father, and twin sons. One parent with each boy and their device (most likely the parents' cell phones)
  • older woman and high school aged girl, sharing a cell enabled iPad
  • Father and daughter walking to the library while hunting on his phone
  • Father and son hunting at the park

Pokémon Go offers us something extra to do at the local parks. My daughter wants to go hiking with me now even when there aren't puddles to jump in. She also gets to hunt from the passenger seat while I'm driving (en route to other events, not just to play).

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