Appalled usually isn’t the best word to describe how one feels while listening to a book, but that’s what ended up happening while I listened to Dave Eggers The Circle. I was appalled but in a way that caused emotion and a fear of our very own realities. At times, 2016 doesn’t seem to far off from the world created in The Circle.
We freely and voluntarily share so much of our lives: it started with Facebook updates, factual information shared through tweets, then beautiful imagery of our lives with Instagram, and now up-to-date commentary of our daily lives with Snapchat. Much of the world pays for their lives through everything with Paypal, uses Google to find and create most their content, and tracks their activity levels with Fitbit type devices. The technological utopia that May experiences in The Circle might just become our own realistic dystopia if we are not cautiously careful.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m all for technology. But if it happens in this cultish way similar to The Circle, I will be very, very scared! The Circle to me was a great forewarning shouting be aware of how much you share and allow to be governed by your tech. I noticed as I was listening to the book that I didn’t check my social media accounts quite so much; rather, I turned on my headset to continue listening.
Dave Eggers, you’ve created a stupendous book one I highly recommend reading or listening to. We could all use a bit of a warning in the form of a reality check in my honest opinion.
PS Make sure to read the book before the movie comes out in 2017!
PPS What was interesting about Dave Eggers and this book is I was not able to find a website for him nor a Twitter account. Let me know if you know where he’s to be found other than his bio….
November 7, 2016 No Comments
Whenever I’m in-between books and don’t know what to read, I can always count on a verse novel. A verse novel is a sensational story format told through poetry. Whenever I read a verse novel, I feel so accomplished; they read fast. The reader enters a sort of rhythm make the pages fly by.
I had always wanted to try one of Ellen Hopkins’ verse novels, but to be honest the size always intimidated me. Her books are quite large–usually over 400 pages. But, Identical, the one I tried had me hooked despite being 564 pages long! There were two points of views from two twins, Raeanne and Kaeleigh. One of these girls is a total bad girl, while the other is a goody-goody. There’s all sorts of abuse: sexual, alcohol, and drug abuse. There are two sets of very elite parents–one a judge, the other a congresswoman. To top it all off, there’s a ton of neglect and hidden family secrets.
When you read Ellen Hopkins you need to be ready for a bit of graphic language as well as scenes. She’s a ballsy writer tackling real issues of abuse. Because of her realistic writing, I could really imagine each of the sisters. There’s also something really cool that Hopkins did with her poems. She’d match her poetry to the content; for example, she configures her poems into shattered hearts, an “L” for loser, or a vodka bottle.
Hopkins has tons of best sellers, (check out her ratings on Goodreads!), and many of her verse novels have become series. Up next for me will be the following with multiple characters telling the story:
Then these two titles look good, but the content of suicide and crystal meth might be too much for me:
November 2, 2016 No Comments
Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes retrieving a book can be just as special as the actual book. This is the case of Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. I was home for the holidays–like actually Home with a capital “H.” It had been a gazillion years since I’d been in the Pacific Northwest for Christmas. Pretty much everywhere I went included a stop in a Stateside bookstore–they are all (even the conglomerate Barnes and Noble) so lovely to me. In Seattle, a must stop was to Elliot Bay Book Company. (Promise if you ever go to Seattle, that you will include this destination on your itinerary.) When we arrived, I cannot explain the physical feelings that pumped through my veins: it was half relaxful bliss tainted with extreme anxiety because I wanted to devour the entire place. It’s stunning!
Because I value personal book recommendations, I marched right up to the desk. I explained to the young lady that I was a high school librarian, so I read a lot of YA, yet I was yearning for a good adult fiction book. Immediately she recommended Fates and Furies. Once it was in her hands being passed to me, another employee–or shall I say reader, stopped and said, “Oooh, that was so good!” This title was also in her current top recommendations. With a quick referral to Goodreads and a high rating, I was sold–although I was sold before the inquiry.
This is what they told me: the book is about a marriage. The first half of the story is from the husband’s perspective; the second half is from the wife’s. This much is true, and without any spoilers I will say a little bit more…
This book explores what is unknown between two people. Not knowing something about a spouse isn’t considered a lie, right? But is withholding information about oneself a lie? Or is it a protective measure. With Lotto, the husband, and Mathilde, the wife, there’s so much about one another that they don’t know. So many of their omissions might have changed the path of their marriage. As a married woman, this book caused me to wonder: are there things that my husband doesn’t know about me that would impact how he feels about me? And, equally vice versa with him–if he knew about that one time that I….
It had been a while since I’d read a book with literary merit, and this is definitely a title that’s being talked about. (Fates and Furies was a 2015 National Book Finalist.) I really liked it–despite not really relating to any of the characters. This book caused me awe; I was left amazed by how an author can so cleverly craft and connect a story. I’d recommend it to anyone looking to read something fascinated by the pathway of life and the intricacies of relationships.
February 25, 2016 No Comments