Thursday, December 5, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  Thanksgiving was such fun, and followed by the wonderful Hanukkah Happening, and then this weekend we will have the Tree Lighting on the Village Green with an afternoon of Village gift shopping . But now I need the always important good book suggestion.  My book group is looking for something we can discuss at length, something topical, something stimulating….Any ideas? Baffled Book Club Booster

Dear Baffled,  I have just the book for you and your book club: THE CIRCLE by Dave Eggers.  On the first page,  we meet Mae, a young woman  a few years out of college who has been dispiritedly  living home with her parents and seemingly stuck at a dead end  job when  her fairy godmother of sorts appears: Annie,  a close friend  from school.  Annie has a coveted position with  the Circle, a company that bears a strong resemblance to Google, Facebook, or perhaps Amazon.  Annie hires  Mae  and suddenly  life turns golden.  The Circle is magical- everyone is young, beautiful,  smart, and so very friendly and  so, so willing to share. Yes, that is the company motto: "to share is to care." Soon Mae is caught up in the company culture, her parents (and she, of course) are given the best health insurance imaginable, her meals are prepared by gourmet chefs on the exquisite company campus,  her every need - known and unknown- is met. So …what could be wrong?  Nothing really just that she and all those around her have no private thoughts, no private moments. Everything is shared with the entire world. Everyone rates everyone and the company keeps score of all these ratings or "likes" which run into the multi- millions at times.  This novel is our Orwellian 1984, our Faustian bargain with the devil, our Bonfire of the Vanities, and to some degree, all of us are complicit.   A terrifying look into the present and the future!

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