I am starting to get on a roll with reading again! In March, I read two books (woo!) and that brings my tally up to three for the year. I’ll have the full list in tomorrow’s blog.
I joined a book club with some friends, and it’s the first time that I’ve done a book club in YEARS. I think I did it once or twice in New York, and it was good motivation to read a book and fun to talk to other people to learn their thoughts.
So, this month, we chose to read The Circle by Dave Eggers. I had not heard of this book nor had I heard that there was a movie (apparently I live under a rock) so it was fun to go into it with zero expectations.
Before I get into my review, the synopsis of The Circle:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, Social Media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
This book was pretty insane, mostly because I feel like Social media is already overtaking our lives and now you add an additional layer like they have in this book… the idea that your activity online would become mandatory. I found that I loved the book, but hated Mae and was increasingly annoyed by her.
There were points that made me so angry, and other points where I wish the author would have went into more detail (particularly around her life at work)… I seriously read this book in just a matter of four days because I couldn’t put it down!
I think that it has a strong message, too, especially as we become more engrained and dependent on social media… which I realize is a little hypocritical as I share these thoughts via a form of social media. But I do think it’s sad how dependent we’ve become on likes, what people think about our pictures, and even curating that “perfect” life for people online to see. And in the meantime, we are missing out on the most important moments in our lives… all because we are so obsessed with what our screens have to say.
I would say that for this reason alone, this is why I liked this book. It was an extreme perspective, but an important one to think about… and remember that the value of life isn’t stored digitally, but in our experiences and memories that often can’t be translated onto a social network.
So yeah! There you have it. I would definitely recommend reading The Circle if you are looking for something new to check out, and from what I’ve heard, maybe avoid the movie?
Have you read The Circle? What did you think?
What are you reading now/what’s next on your list?