Dietland, a satirical novel by Sarai Walker. Plum, A fat woman on a perpetual diet, whose job is to answer letters from unhappy teenagers on behalf of a teen magazine, is saving for a stomach operation which she believes will solve her weight problems forever. But when a mysterious stranger writes "DIETLAND" on her hand, she discovers two networks of feminists, one peaceful, one violent.
Plum is an appealing character and it's rewarding to watch her grow. The satire is sharply observed, just exaggerated enough to be fun: "Waist Watchers" and the "Baptist Plan" are squirmingly realistic.
Politically it's all fairly familiar stuff, at times it does seem a little didactic the way you're taken through various Issues.
Overall though, a good read.
What I'm Reading 2
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. SF/Fantasy about a world plagued by earthquakes where civilization is periodically obliterated by tectonic events.
I really liked this book, found it utterly compelling. The characters are well drawn, the SF elements are worked out well, the world is fascinating. There's an element of tragedy that I found quite hard to read at times.
I quite liked the Inheritance Trilogy I read by the same author, but I thought this one was a step above. Just hope she can keep it going through the whole trilogy.
What I'm Watching
Saw Doctor Strange. Good Marvel movie, nice balance between drama and comedy (apparently some of the lines were improvised) and some nice trippy visuals, though it is very CGI-y. Worth a look.
Took toddler to London Zoo, met up with my sister's family. He had a great time but it's very exhausting to keep up with him and then carry him. It was a bit of a tricky journey especially with some transport problems at the weekend: took 2 hours door to door to get there, a bit faster back. Sometimes he says the giraffes are his favourite, sometimes the lions.
Articles. Spiegel: What happened to Britain? " Fault lines have appeared in British society that are larger and more extreme than elsewhere." The legends of No Mans Land. Julian Assange: "These days, WikiLeaks routinely publishes information without redaction, and seemingly with only minimal pre-vetting. This is merely a change in expediency: There are no longer newspaper partners to keep onside."
Politics. What is behind the right-wing 'Reichsbürger' movement? (Sort of like German "Freemen on the land"). What can British polling mishaps tell us about the US election? Was Brexit an anti-immigration vote? The ultimate causes of Brexit. David Cameron income tax law promise 'made up on the hoof'. "The Republican Party is simply better at being a party of capital than the Democratic Party is at being a party of the working classes".
Random. Classic monster horrorscopes. Balloon stories comic. Sci/Tech. We’re increasingly paying extra to get the digital version of a book or movie (doesn't really consider that producer power or price fixing might be factors, if there's like 3 online stores rather than 10,000 retailers price competition isn't as intense. "Prices are higher in the town with one burger bar than the town with a thousand, why do we like their burgers so much?").
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