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Month in review

Reviews
Bad Babysitter by Jennifer L. Holm
Beyond Auto Mode by Jennifer Bebb
The Book Fair From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler
Bookmarked For Death by Lorna Barrett
The Broken Lands by Kate Milford
Cadillac Couches by Sophie B. Watson
Cleopatra in Space: Secret of the Time Tablets by Mike Maihack
A Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle
D4VE by Ryan Ferrier
Giant Days, Volume 5 by John Allison
Knight's Castle by Edward Eager
Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding
The Locksmith issue 3 by Terrance Grace
Made for Each Other by Paul D. Storrie and Eldon Cowgur
Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett
Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
Pastoral Cities by James L. Machor
Pi in the Sky by Wendy Mass
Poison Kiss by Ana Mardoll
Pumpkin Town! by Katie McKy
Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm
The Road Movie Book edited by Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark
Rosemary Remembered by Susan Wittig Albert
Roughneck by Jeff Lemire
Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
The Time Garden by Edward Eager
Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert
The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
Volkswagen Blues by Jacques Poulin and translated by Sheila Fischman
Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 07, 2017)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 14, 2017)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (August 28, 2017)
July 2017 Reading Sources
July 2017 Reading Summary

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



Pastoral Cities: 08/06/17

Pastoral Cities  by James L. Machor

Pastoral Cities by James L. Machor is a collection of essays on the cultural back and forth between the urban and the rural in American history. In Europe, the city was a means to socialize people; in America, it was a means of taming and perfecting the landscape.

Machor's thesis is that historians have systematically ignored the "integration of the rural and urban" in the American story. Further more our understanding of American history will remain "truncated" and "incomplete" until the rural vs urban story is fully studied.

So this book is a compilation of essays on repeated attempts by American planners to built urban utopias, walled gardens of Eden. As each attempt failed for one reason or another (sprawl, economic problems, crime, etc), the experiments push west. And for each time this happens, the myth of the farmer and the mountain man as the progenitor of the American way, grows.

As a background for city planning within the United States, the book is fine. For the purpose of understanding the traveling narrative between the two extremes of American life &mdash the crowded city and the sparsely populated rural areas, it falls short. In fact it does what it complains about in the introduction: it stays within the bounds of the cities it discusses.

My notes from the book are on Tumblr.

Two stars

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