Saturday, March 15, 2014

Karen Zings about the Circle

1. The Circle is a nice pick for The PBR Book Club.  (smile face)
2. It has great one liners that can be zinged. ( smile face) ( like)
3. Example “You’re like part human, part rainbow.”  ( Smile face) (followed by 100 likes). 

The Circle is at its best when it describes the workplace environment. For the main character, Mae, the Circle seems like a great place from the start; "My God, it's Heaven." It is clean, open to innovation, and has many amazing extra curricular activities and events on its campus.  People are hanging out on sunny days going to yoga and viewing Koyaanisqatsi.

Mae learns that working at The Circle is emotionally draining with long hours.  The memorization of the "isms" of the company are daunting. By the end of the book, employees in her department look and react to nine screens simultaneously. Each aspect of her job is rated by a competitive number system, and her work and personal life are relentlessly watched and maintained by superiors. Realistically, no one could maintain this workload.

The book's main point is not about the politics involved in working in a big corporation.  The Circle is a cautionary tale about privacy and social media issues. However, the second half of the book gets preachy on the topic. Perhaps the book should have ended midway.

My rating on a scale of 1-100?  The book needs more love.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Selection: Dave Eggers' The Circle

PBR Book Club is getting dystopian in 2014 with a couple of our selections:  Dave Eggers' The Circle in March and Chang-Rae Lee's On Such a Full Sea in May.

The last time we read one of the heralded young literary hotshots (Chabon's Telegraph Avenue), most of PBR Book Club was not impressed, and some were downright hostile.  So how will a Twitter-loving book club react to Eggers' vision of social media dystopia?  Come join us at the end of March.  In the meantime, keep tweeting!

Margaret Atwood likes the book pretty well:

"Eggers treats his material with admirable inventiveness and gusto. The plot capers along, the trap doors open underfoot, the language ripples and morphs."

Read her NY-Times piece here.