The Method

This is a great little dystopian story focusing on health as the highest ideal, that made me question a few of my beliefs about public health and individual responsibility.

Set in the future, disease has all but been eradicated and citizens are required to constantly measure their health, uploading the data to the state in an extreme form of telemonitoring.
Most people would agree that a world without illness, without pain, would be a better one; an ideal to strive towards.
But it raises some serious questions. Individual public health has a huge economic and social impact – so should we be allowed to live however we want?
I’ve been of the mind that there is a balance to be struck – having worked in the health sector for the past two years, I might be biased here – but one where both individual and state have responsibility for public health.
The problem lies beneath and beyond this continuum of responsibility; at one end, as depicted in The Method, the restrictions and regulations are too extreme. At the other, too many people die needlessly. It’s an interesting question that pertains to many other areas of life – how much is too much? How much is enough?
The main character Mia also has a strange journey; from rationalist to revolutionary with a little free-wheeling philosophy to aid her on her way. Philosophy is actually a key theme of the book (which I love), raising questions around ethics, free will, how far you should fight for what you believe in, and whether it makes any difference in the end.
I encourage you all to read it.

The library is moving

Is relocating. To the town hall, although most of the books will have to go into storage as there isn’t enough space. It’s part of the move before the new main library opens in the Spring (so far away!). I went to city library yesterday – the last day it was open – and felt a profound sense of panic as I tried to gather as many books as I could. It’s a strange sensation, being in a building for what you know is the last time. I realise I’m being overly sentimental, but I will never see those shelves again, never wonder around, eyes peeled for my next book. The temporary library was really close to my work; I could pop in at lunch. Now what am I going to do?

Here’s a list of everything I took out:

The Age of Miracles – Karen Thompson Walker (a slow-burn sci-fi)
The Method – Juli Zeh (medicine and dystopia: a perfect fit)

Selected Poems – Pablo Neruda (because one book of Spanish poetry is not enough, right?)
Pronto 1 – Ken Hall & Steve Haworth (Spanish textbook)
Stories from Latin America – Genevieve Barlow (more dual-language folk tales)
Stories from Mexico – Genevieve Barlow (and again)

20 Something Manifesto – Christine Hassler (because I’ve never tried reading self-improvement. More on this later)

Spanish audio lessons A + B – Pimsleur Language Programs (I can listen to these while I knit, or whatever)

All this is on top of the books I was already making my way through – a bunch of feminist books a friend gave me, the Pinker book, original Spanish poetry book,the Shadow Rising etc.

I’m sure the new library is going to be fantastic. But I don’t know if I can wait that long!