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Pump Six and Other Stories
Paolo Bacigalupi

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling I really, really, really wanted this to be a four-star review, but it's been two days, and I am still hung up on the first fifty pages of this book, and I can't do it. Kaling is sharp and funny and is so close - so close - to general awesomeness, but I found the entire first section dealing with body image and dieting and fat to be entirely off-putting.

Yes, there's living in the distortions of Hollywood, yes, there's exaggeration for comic effect, but reading about someone describe herself as ridiculously huge but not fat enough to, you know, really own her fatness and be jolly about it, well. That may resonate with some people, but it falls wildly, wildly flat (which I initially typoed as 'fat') with me. It's both alienating and pity-inducing at the same time, neither of which are emotions that inspire laughter. She handles body image and unrealistic size expectations beautifully in the later essay on the photo shoot where they only brought size zero dresses, but it's just very hard for me to read the earlier essays about What It's Like To Be Large from a size eight. Even when it's supposed to be funny. Also, "I have no hobbies but dieting" breaks my fucking heart.

Skip the chubby section. Delight in the rest.