25 Books to Read Before You Die

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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity

Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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Christopher Hooper has commented on (2) products.

Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tom Robbins
Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life

Christopher Hooper, May 28, 2014

If you love Tom Robbins, this book is for you!

He is hesitant to call this an autobiography, or even a memoir, but it is basically these things in the most Tom Robbins of ways.

Starting from a mischievous childhood, and moving forward from there, Robbins tells tales you wouldn't believe from others but can definitely know to be true from the author of Another Roadside Attractkon, Still Life With Woodpecker, etc.

Instead of using his mastery of words to tell a tale of fiction, he uses each chapter of the book to cover a story from a different period of his life. I hesitate to post specifics so as not to spoil anything for you.

If you are new to Tom Robbins, or aren't a fan of his work, then this book is likely not for you. This book is all about his life and how it formed the person who would write those books. If you are looking for a definitive account of his life, this is probably not the book you are looking for.

On the other hand, if you like the man and his books, this is definitely a must.
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The Circle by Dave Eggers
The Circle

Christopher Hooper, October 21, 2013

Dave Eggers makes his comment on the power of the internet and social media in The Circle, and he makes it strongly.

Showing the complete transformation of an eager to please young woman who lands what she considers a dream opportunity, the book moves briskly to show her rise to power. It begins by touching on the playfulness of a tech company's campus, the belief of every employee that they can change the world and accomplish anything, and quickly turns to showing the degrading of personal relationships when everything becomes public, and the power these companies have to influence policy.

This won't make you quit Facebook or Twitter, but it might make you examine how much you are willing to share. Entering my mid-30's, I think it's a message I didn't necessarily need; I only have to look around on a bus or a cafe to see everyone connected to their phones or tablets, and can see how the internet has become ever present.

Despite the obvious harsh criticism of this behavior, the story was definitely entertaining, making you care about the fate of Mae. This book is much longer than Eggers last work, A Hologram for the King, and that isn't a bad thing. Eggers is certainly a talented writer, and it becomes clear here that he can master that talent with just about any topic.
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