2017, Book, Hardback, Review

Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers

 

Rating: 4

Date Started: 15th November 2017

Date Finished: 16th November 2017

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Library

Cost: £0.00

Blurb: When Mae 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. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – 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.

My Review: WOW. I’m not totally sure where to start with this one which I guess is why it has taken me a while to write this review!  I read the book for my Book Club.- it was our first book and recommended by one of our members who warned us it would make us think.  She wasn’t wrong!

It scared me, made me cringe and outraged me .. but all in a ‘good’ way, as in not because the book itself was badly written, quite the opposite in fact. Dave has a way of making you feel like you are sitting on Mae’s shoulder and going through everything with her.  She is a mostly likeable character, until things get really hairy towards the end maybe, but in all honestly, I think it affected me so much as I know that I would have been like her and done what she did throughout most of the book.

I spent a lot of time reading with my jaw on the floor, saying “bloody hell” in my head and reading excerpts out to my family, but the reality is that we are not all that far from what goes on in this book at all.  There are times when this level of scrutiny might be useful but in general it fills me with dread.  I have a horrid general FOMO anyway so I hope I am gone before this level of interactivity comes along!

I decided to watch the Netflix Film adaptation afterwards and was quite shocked at the changes they made – I totally understand that you can’t ever get everything in and that some artistic license has to be taken, but there were a couple of key story points that were reversed, specifically the ending,  It will be interesting to see if the roamed sequel comes along as I am not sure how they would make a film of it work!

Overall I did like the book and as I read it really quickly (it’s that kind of ‘can’t stop reading’ book) I would quite like to go back and re-read it (or perhaps listen to the audiobook) again and see if my opinions change or I notice new things, especially after the discussions at book club.

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2018, Reading Challenge, Short Story

“Deal Me In!” Short Story Reading Challenge!

So as you know, I love setting myself challenges and I try to do this do extend myself into unchartered territory and to try new things (such as reading Les Mis)!

Another thing that I don’t have a huge amount of experience with is short stories.  I mean I have read many short stories, but not in any specific way and also not as part of a collection, so when I saw this challenge, I thought it would be a great way to experience more.

The details from the site:

What is the goal of the challenge?

To read 52 short stories in 2018 (that’s only one per week)

What is the purpose?

To have FUN and to be exposed to new authors and stories and maybe get in the habit of reading a short story a week.

What do I need?

1) Access to at least fifty-two short stories
2) A deck of cards
3) An average of perhaps as little as just thirty minutes of reading time each week

So, as previously stated, I don’t own many collections of short stories so may have to rely on some of the resources the challenge owner Jay kindly posted for us.

I think I will probably post monthly to update the stories that I have read and make it a ‘Last Saturday of the Month’ – Short Story Saturday thing .. but time will tell!

Either way, here is my list for 2018!

♦♦♦Diamonds♦♦♦

For Christmas, my brother got me “Uncommon Type” by Tom Hanks.  I have been wanting to read this for a long time and so look forward to being able to spread this out over time as I think I will love them!  There are 13 stories in the book with 3 additional pieces that are newspaper cuttings, which will not be included

♦A♦ – Three Exhausting Weeks

♦2♦ – Christmas Eve

♦3♦ – A Junket in the City of Light

♦4♦ – Welcome to Mars

♦5♦ – A Month on Greene Street

♦6♦ – Alan Bean Plus Four

♦7♦– Who’s Who?

♦8♦ – A Special Weekend

♦9♦ – These are the Meditations of my Heart

♦10♦ – The Past is Important To Us

♦J♦ – Stay With Us

♦Q♦ – Go See Costas

♦K♦ –  Steve Wong is Perfect

♠♠♠Spades♠♠♠

When I started reading Book Blogs and watching BookTube Videos, I quickly came across Jen Campbell who wrote “The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night“. There are only 12 stories in this book so I am leaving one as a ‘Wild Card’ which means that when I pick it, I can go in search of a story to read ‘off the cuff’ or one recommended by YOU!

♠A♠ – Animals

♠2♠ – Jacob

♠3♠ – Plum Pie, Zombie Tree, Yellow Bee, Purple Monster

♠4♠ – In the Dark

♠5♠ – Margaret and Mary and the End of the World

♠6♠ – Little Deaths

♠7♠ – The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

♠8♠ –  Pebbles

♠9♠ –  ** WILD CARD **

♠10♠ – Aunt Libby’s Coffin Hotel

♠J♠ –  Sea Devils

♠Q♠ – Human Satellites

♠K♠ – Bright White Hearts

♥♥♥Hearts♥♥♥

I love Jeffrey Archer’s writing and I have had “To Cut a Long Story Short” on my TBR shelf for some time so now is the time I can have a crack at it!  There are actually 15 stories in this collection so a couple will spill over into the ‘Clubs’ category .. which will be a mixture of all sorts of things!

(* = Based on a true story)

♥A♥– Death Speaks

♥2♥ – The Expert Witness*

♥3♥ – The Endgame

♥4♥ – The Letter

♥5♥ – Crime Pays*

♥6♥ – Chalk & Cheese

♥7♥ – A Change of Heart*

♥8♥ – Too Many Coincidences*

♥9♥ – Love at First Sight*

♥10♥ – Both Sides Against the Middle*

♥J♥ –  A Weekend to Remember*

♥Q♥ –  Something for Nothing*

♥K♥ – Other Blighters’ Efforts

♣♣♣Clubs♣♣♣

For me, this category is going to be a bit of a mixture; some from Jeffrey Archer (JA), some from “The Seven Deadly Sins: A Celebration of Virtue & Vice” by various authors (7DS) and some found on the internet.

(* = Based on a true story)

♣A♣ – The Reclining Woman* – JA

♣2♣ – The Grass is Always Greener – JA

♣3♣ – Sloth by Tod McEwan (7DS)

♣4♣ – Wrath by John Sutherland (7DS)

♣5♣ –  Envy by Ali Smith (7DS)

♣6♣ –  Gluttony by Martin Rowson (7DS)

♣7♣ – ** WILD CARD **

♣8♣ – Greed by Dylan Evans (7DS)

♣9♣ – Lust by David Flusfeder (7DS)

♣10♣ – Vanity by Nicola Barker (7DS)

♣J♣ – I’ll Be Waiting by Raymond Chandler (here)

♣Q♣ – I Go Adventuring by Helen Keller (here)

♣K♣ – Death in the SchoolRoom. by Walt Whitman (here)

 

So there you have it .. tune in throughout the year to see how I am getting on, and why not get involved yourself?!