Reading project, week ending 9 Dec 2018

What have I read this week?

Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution by Laurie Penny

This is a nonfiction book – I guess I would describe it as being about gender and neoliberal capitalism and how the two are intertwined. I’m not quite sure how I felt about it, apart from excluded. It talks a lot about women and the roles women are expected to play/the limits placed on them, and a bit about the same for men, but as a person who’s neither, I just kept feeling “this isn’t for me” – despite the fact that these issues also affect me. I liked the introduction best; after that it got too cisnormative for me – I don’t disagree with her, I just felt that the book didn’t have anything to offer for me as a non-binary person.

Favourite quotes:

Public ‘career feminists’ have been more concerned with getting more women into ‘boardrooms’, when the problem is that there are altogether too many boardrooms, and none of them are on fire.

There was an understanding that gender liberation, like wealth, would somehow ‘trickle down’. The flaw in this plan, of course, was that it was arrant bollocks. Feminism, like wealth, does not trickle down

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

This is a novel about some strange events occurring in a small town in Iowa. Videos are turning up at the local video store with extra scenes spliced in, and the video store owner and staff become involved in trying to find out who is doing this and why. I didn’t really like this; it just didn’t work for me.

Seventh Decimate by Stephen Donaldson

This is a fantasy novel about Prince Bifalt, eldest son of the King of Belleger, a country which has been at war with its neighbour Amika for a long time. Both sides have magic, but Belleger’s disappears overnight, and Bifalt is tasked with tracking down an ancient book which may allow them to restore it or to remove Amika’s magic also. I quite liked this. It was a little annoying in parts, when things were not being explained very clearly, and Bifalt was a bit irritating at times, but overall I enjoyed it. I might well read more of the series.

The Rule of One by Ashley Saunders and Leslie Saunders

This is a YA about twin sisters in a post-apocalyptic Texas where families are only permitted to have one child. The authors are twin sisters. I thought this was okay, not great. The idea was interesting, but I didn’t feel like it was as fully developed as it could have been.

© bardofupton 2018

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