Dear Great Book Guru, I read with great interest and enthusiasm your review of Dave Eggers’s THE CIRCLE, so much so that I convinced by book group to read it last week. Well, while the overall reaction was not as positive as yours or mine, it did provoke a spirited discussion. Do you have another book we could read to follow up on this debate on privacy, government, and technology? Fan of Fiery Debates
Dear Fan of Fiery Debates, I am sorry that your friends did not appreciate my recommendation but I do think the best discussions are not always about the most liked books. I suggest you read George Orwell’s 1984 as a follow up to THE CIRCLE. Apparently the sale of this 1949 classic increased seven-fold the week the NSA surveillance tapes were released so it is indeed a relevant choice. Set in the then future year 1984, the novel opens with its hero, everyman Winston Smith questioning his role in this strangely gray, frightening world of Big Brother, doublespeak, thought crimes, and memory holes where War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. We follow Winston as he tries to unravel the mysteries of existence in a society where truth is a constantly changing commodity. Many of us read 1984 in high school but a second reading as an adult living in 2014 is a very different experience and highly recommended.
If you find this Orwellian dystopian world a bit overwhelming, you might want to head out to the Village Green on Friday, April 4 for Sea Cliff’s first ever Warm Up. From 5:30pm on local musicians will perform on the Green, bars and restaurants will feature great specials plus live music, and shops will stay open late. A great way to celebrate community and Spring!