I read about a book a week, but most of what I read is boring non-fiction. But when summer hits and I get some vacation time, I immediately start catching up on my fiction. Here are three novels I just finished that I absolutely loved…
The Circle by Dave Eggers – This book really got into my head; anyone interested in social media, the quantified self, or the privacy versus security debate has to read it. The Circle is a near-future company that is sort of a mashup of Facebook and Google. The story is about a young new hire, Mae Holland, who joins the company and slowly drinks the Kool-Aid of “SECRETS ARE LIES. SHARING IS CARING. PRIVACY IS THEFT.” What happens when cameras are everywhere? What happens when our health metrics are monitored in real-time? What happens when we are all Liking, Sharing, constantly? What happens when the GPS in our car and our phone becomes an embeddable chip that tracks our location at all times? Will security increase? Will knowledge increase? Yes, but at what cost? What makes this book so damn good is that we’re almost already at the future place it describes. The Circle raises very important issues in page-turning thriller genre.
Every Day by David Levithan – Imagine if you wake up every morning in a different body, living a different life. Sometimes you’re a girl, sometimes a boy. Sometimes an athlete, sometimes a drug abuser. And what if you were in love with a girl? Would she be able to love you back? Is love only skin deep? This book has a wildly original concept and was just pure fun. Written for a young adult audience, but adult readers made it a New York Times bestseller.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction back in 2008, but it’s not a heavy “literary” read. As the book jacket describes, “Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love.” The book had me laughing and also gave some insights to this Gringo about the history of the Dominican Republic and insights into life as a Dominican in Patterson, New Jersey.
So what have you been reading this summer?