Dave Eggers yet again opens the reader's eyes to a world that could very well be our distant future. In fact, the socie...moreWhat an important book to read!
Dave Eggers yet again opens the reader's eyes to a world that could very well be our distant future. In fact, the society he portrays is scarily like our own and we are at its doorstep, knocking. "The Circle" combines facebook, google, instagram, among all other internet monopolies, and makes them obsolete, while "The Circle" creates its own singular brand that globalizes the internet as we know it. Now people use their real identity for everything online, no more multiple usernames and passwords, and best of all, solving "the chaos of an orderless world" (p. 370) is within "The Circle's" reach. The company is at the head of countless innovations and studies and is very rapidly changing the world in a big way. Now, anyone can purchase a small, but technologically advanced camera and stick it anywhere without it being detected. The live footage at that location comes on your screen, on anyone's screen, with 100% accuracy, as if you were actually really there. Even more daunting, a person may also become "transparent", meaning one's actions, words, body language, activities, etc, are exposed tot he entire world, 24/7 on a live feed- simply by putting on a special high-tech necklace. Privacy has become almost unattainable, while knowledge and "Truth" are virtually uncensored and exposed. Literally.
Protaganist/antagonist Mae Holland is new to "The Circle". Having gotten hired with the help from her college friend Annie, who is already an elite member of "The Circle", Mae falls easy prey to a company who wants control while masking it as utopia. The longer Mae continues to move up in her new place at work, the more she becomes an invaluable member of this digital world, brainwashed by its danerous ideas and becomes convinced that everything, everyone, and every place must be known, seen, and heard, at all times, for anyone to have access to anyhwere.
What begins as a groundbreaking and perfect company, "The Circle" turns out to be the beginnings of the demise of society as we know it where free will and simply being free is nonexistent. We must as readers, and humans, pay attention to a fable like this one. We must recognize now the failings the internet has and the consequences that come with constantly being in touch with all information at all times- our smart phones are already there. Is knowledge really power? And is there ever a point when one can know too much? We need to remember to be human-to be people first- and not just a device. (less)
A Hologram for the King is a a testimoney to our nation's unstoppable and forever growing economic rivals that might be a sea away but is in fact righ...moreA Hologram for the King is a a testimoney to our nation's unstoppable and forever growing economic rivals that might be a sea away but is in fact right in our backyard. More than that however, Hologram is a story of a man whose entire life is in shambles and whose destiny has been thrown askew. Alan is responsible for selling a product to the King in Saudi Arabia, the success of which should be in the bag, however the longer he is in the country the further away the sweetness of that success is. Instead, while waiting for the King's arrival to view his presentation on the product, Alan is forced to examine his own life, his shortcomings, and the fact that sometimes life just is. He meets a series of characters along the way who make him think, make him laugh, and above all learn how to be a human being again. (less)
As a person who usually reads novels that are praised for their ingenius plots, complicated and deep characters, and/or wonderful prose that inspire t...moreAs a person who usually reads novels that are praised for their ingenius plots, complicated and deep characters, and/or wonderful prose that inspire the mind and soul, I was extremely hesitant in reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I wasn't going to read it... and the only thing that pushed me was the fact that the entire series is a bestseller and that everyone is reading it. I am ashamed to say that factors like these intrigue me and absolutely stir my curious mind. I had to read it... and so I did. I will admit that throughout the duration of reading the first of the triology, I was shocked, insulted, and... completely and utterly spellbound. Yes, it is literary trash but I couldn't take my eyes away from the pages. The improbable and at times ridiculous scenarios and lack of "realness" of the characters certainly made me annoyed but at the same time I appreciated the story and the author's ability to take the reader to another planet entirely: fantasy land. A place where things don't make sense but a place where every whim and crazy thought is satisfied. And in a way, isn't this the point of a book? Of any story? Fifty Shades of Grey is imperfect. However, there are times when we need books like these that allow a person to let go in the story and to surrender to its absolute ridiculousness. The only other series to have inspired in me this acceptance of a crappy novel was The Twilight series. I might get in trouble for saying that on this site because of all the Twlight fans out there but we all have to admit that it was junk. But really, really good junk... and I loved it... hey, we all love doritos, or cheese doodles, or what have you... and we all know that they're not good for us... yet we can't help but stick our hand into the bag for the hundredth time for some more MSG.
And... the books get better. Fifty Shades Darker develops more of a plot and a teeny bit less sex, which was kind of a relief because there is only so much you can to do make each following sex scene different and unique...
Anyway, the bottom line for me is rejoice in literary MSG. We all have to treat ourselves once in a while!(less)
**spoiler alert** Everything you think this book will be, it is not. A mix between adventure, romance, and tragedy, The Wives of Henry Oades tells the...more**spoiler alert** Everything you think this book will be, it is not. A mix between adventure, romance, and tragedy, The Wives of Henry Oades tells the story of an English family who pack up their things and move to New Zealand because of a job opportunity offered to Henry Oades. This destiny-changing decision was only suppossed to last for a couple of years, but ended up affecting them for their rest of their lives. At first Margaret, Henry's wife, is grief-stricken to lose the life she has known in England but is consoled by the fact that living in New Zealand is not forever. However, as a couple of years turn into the promise of more years to come living in the alien country, she begins to embrace her new homeland and pressures her husband to move the family from the bustling and dirty town to the quiet and secluded countryside. This move proves to be a treacherous mistake when one night, awaiting her husband's return from work, Margaret and her four children are kidnapped by the local tribe called the Maori. They burn her house to the ground, with her unconcious friend in it, stuff her newborn twin girls into sacks, and force them on a dangerous trek throughout the wilderness of New Zealand. Margaret's husband is griefstricken when he comes homes to find his house burnt to the ground and his family nowhere in sight. Immediately he makes plans to search for them but he himself meets unfortune when he falls off his horse and breaks his leg. He must be rushed to the hospital in town and is confined there for over a month, thus delaying any search for his family. With the finding of the dead body in ashen home, he is convinced that his wife is dead and his children are gone forever. The pain over the loss of the loves of his life is too much for him and so he moves to California. Meanwhile his family are slaves to the Maori and live their lives day by day, hoping for escape and praying that their husband and father come to save them at last.
Six years pass and Henry Oades comes into the good fortune of inheriting a dairy farm from an employer who left his home and business to him after years of working diligently and honestly. His business is booming as well as the prospect of a new wife, Nancy, a widower with a newborn. He relates to Nancy and to her own loss and marries her so that they both won't be alone any longer.
In New Zealand, Margaret and her children are still slaves to the Maori until a stroke of unlikely good luck falls upon them. They are stricken with small pox and are released by their captors. Terribly ill yet free, Margaret and her family make the precarious journey back to town expecting the open arms of Henry Oades. Upon arrival, however, sinking reality sets in as they find out that he has left the country and has left them behind. They follow him to California and finally arrive at his house.... only to be greeted by his new wife, Nancy.
Of course, Henry and Nancy take Margaret and the children in and they all form an odd relationship under their new very strange circumstances. Because of this, they are all accused of polygamy and are must go through a series of trials through the judicial system and are shunned by the town.
The questions are... who does Henry choose? Whom does he really love? Would you take back your first wife after believing for years she was dead and gone?
Ken Follett weaves an intricate historical epic yet again with his first book of his brand new trilogy that focuses on world-changing events in the 20...moreKen Follett weaves an intricate historical epic yet again with his first book of his brand new trilogy that focuses on world-changing events in the 20th Century. Fall of Giants centers primarily around World War I and introduces a variety of characters from all different classes, countries, and points of view. In the beginning the reader is exposed to a harsh, political world that ocurred over a hundred years ago in which the poor were hugely oppressed by the rich and the nobility, women had few rights including the right to vote, and governments were known for their corrupt and often viscious ways. Then comes the murder of an archduke and all of Europe is thrown into the chaos of war. From 1914 until 1918 there is fighting, death, and finally victory for the allies. But all this does not come without a price. (less)
What if you woke up every morning in a strange bed, next to a man you didn't know, unsure if you even know your own name? You get up in your confusion...moreWhat if you woke up every morning in a strange bed, next to a man you didn't know, unsure if you even know your own name? You get up in your confusion and go into the bathroom and look in the mirror only to see that you have wrinkles on your face and you are twenty years older than you thought you were. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn't it? Only it isn't. This is how Christine lives her days, every day, since her horrible car accident that left her like this. She must be told daily by Ben, who claims he is her husband, although she feels as if she is meeting him for the very first time. She is given little choice but to believe and trust him and go about her day only to discover more things about herself and her life, things that she is keeping from Ben and doesn't want him to know about. Christine learns she has been meeting with a doctor quite frequently who calls her every day to remind her that she has recently started writing a journal, a journal describing how her life has been the past few weeks from her point of view. With the help of her own written words, Christine finds out that her husband has been hiding certain details from her, such as the fact that she had a son, that she had successfully written a novel, and perhaps most important of all, that she did not become this way because of a car accident. Instead, the event that impaired her so devastatingly was actually becasue of a horrific attack that left her bloodied, broken, and her memory virtually erased. The more she writes and reads her journal, Christine begins to get glimpses of memory back and starts to show progress. Yet, there are still questions that are left unanswered.... Christine must figure out why Ben has been keeping things from her and is not telling her the whole truth. Most foreboding of all, Christine needs to know why on the front of her journal are the words "don't trust Ben" that are written in her own handwriting.
Before I Go to Sleep is a thrilling first novel that keeps the reader guessing until the twist ending that won't soon be forgotten.(less)