Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Break

The family celebrated Thanksgiving on Thursday with lots of tasty food. I didn’t manage to get a picture of the table or the family gathered around it. So, since this is a book blog, I thought I’d post a photo of one of my bookshelves that I am thankful for. This one is in the hall and was originally meant to be a CD shelf, but it works with paperbacks as well:

Kids book and read alouds on top. Fantasy and science fiction paperbacks on the bottom.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Published: 2013

Genre: fiction (the book’s description made it sound more of a thriller than it actually is)

Length: 491 pages

Setting: California, near future

Interest: I was looking for an E author for my reading challenge and this book sounded interesting.

Summary: Mae is a new hire at The Circle, a computer company that has integrated all online interactions into one identity, TruYu. Mae starts in Customer Experience, and is gently chided when she tries to live a life outside of the company. Doesn’t she like her job and her coworkers? Why would she want to keep things to herself? That’s selfish, or are those actions illegal? Eventually, Mae is convinced to “go transparent” and wear a video camera at all times. Politicians around the world are doing the same, to eliminate backroom deals and improve transparency in the government. The Circle is nearing Completion and Kayden is the only one at the company who seems to think it would be a bad thing to have Circle technology monitoring and recording everyone all the time. The other founders just think of all the crime that would be prevented and money that can be made. Kayden tries to convince Mae to help stop Completion, but Mae had drunk the Kool-aid and just thinks of new and faster ways to reach the ultimate goal.

Final thoughts: I found this book to be highly disturbing. It’s a little heavy-handed in its message, perhaps (social media taken to the EXTREME), but I couldn’t stop thinking about the book while I was reading it. Mae didn’t have time to live a life because she was so busy commenting on other people’s lives and their comments. The Powers That Be kept adding more and more screens to Mae’s life that she had to pay attention to – starting with two screens and working up to eight, plus voices in her ear for her opinion. You had no time to yourself because that was selfish. Why wouldn’t you want to share your experiences with those who couldn’t it themselves? Are you ashamed? Mae lost her friends and family when she went transparent and couldn’t understand why. She didn’t even realize how empty her life was except at odd moments when she would tamp down the emptiness in her life with more work and comments. She also felt so brave by sending frowns to people or organizations. Wow – sending a frown to an organization like ISIS is really going to make a difference. They’ll stop their evil ways when they see how many frowns they’ve amassed. Or not.

The technology is so pervasive and easy to use to monitor everything. Mae couldn’t see how it could be bad to know everything about everyone all the time. What do you have to hide? I don’t know, but I don’t want the government or a computer organization knowing everything about me. It made me a little skittish about social media for a while. I’m still not sure how much of my life I should share online, because once you put it online, it doesn’t go away. Of course, in the book, if you didn’t document your actions online, they didn’t really happen.

Title comes from: The name of the company Mae worked for.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 83/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, and an E in my author Alphabet Soup Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Taking the night off

It was my daughter’s gymnastics show tonight, and after three hours of sitting on tiny bleachers, packed in with all the other parents, siblings, grandparents, etc., my brain is just as tired as my body. It was a fun show, but three hours in those seats in rough. See you tomorrow with another review.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book lengths

As I’m getting more book reviews up, the ability to sort the reviews usefully is becoming more and more important. One method of sorting that I’m starting to realize might be useful is the length of the book. So, I’m going to lay out a couple of book length categories that I’ll be using from now on (and I’ll gradually go back and add these to all my old posts as well).

Short stories are less than 30 pages long.

A novelette is 30-70 pages long.

A novella is 70-200 pages long. Normally it’s up to 160 pages, but anything under 200 pages seems short to me so I’m including it in the novella length. Kids books count as novellas if they end up in this page count.

A novel is anything 200 pages or longer. I’m not going to label this length, although I will put a special tag if the book is more than 500 pages long or more than 1000 pages long.

It’s just a bit of formatting, but if I put up a post, I can reference the lengths and be consistent going forward.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thanksgiving

I’m taking a bit of a break for Thanksgiving. My family lives only an hour away so we won’t be traveling far, but we will be visiting for several days. See you after the weekend!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Joining Amazon

Just a quick post to let you know I’ve become an Amazon affiliate. As a reader, you shouldn’t notice too much of a difference beyond the fact that the image of the book will now link to Amazon. So, if the review piques your interest in the book, you can just click right over to Amazon, buy the book and put a few pennies in my pocket, if you’re so inclined. If not, no problem. Just wanted to keep everyone abreast of what’s going on behind the scenes. And now, I’ll send you back to the regularly scheduled posts…

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I’m back!

Well, I’ve morphed from testing to treatment so life isn’t quite as crazy these days as it was during July. I’m going to start posting again, although it won’t be as regular as I go through chemo. If you’re interested in what’s going on in my fight against the cancer, you can check out my other blog: Young and Battling Breast Cancer. I’ve been writing book reviews for myself so I have a bit of a backlog to get on the web. First one to follow shortly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized