Current Book

The Circle Front Cover

The 2017 Common Book: The Circle

The Common Book: One Book One Auburn Program is made possible by Auburn University’s Office of the Provost in partnership with the Auburn Public Library. The 2017-2018 Common Book is The Circle by Dave Eggers.

Dave Eggers will be on campus this fall and hold a keynote and book signing on September 12, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.

The Circle, follows recent college grad Mae Holland in the not-too-distant future as she begins working at the world’s most innovative tech company, the Circle.  At first the technology and innovations she experiences are inspiring and exciting, but Mae also finds that our online and connected culture may also have some unsettling costs.  Similar to The Twilight Zone and Dark Mirror, The Circle offers insight into modern issues of privacy, communication, and personal identity.

Some themes you may consider when teaching or reading this book include:

  • How do online relationships compare to face-to-face relationships?
  • Can (and should) every aspect of life be quantified and evaluated?
  • What is more important: verifiable facts or personal opinions?
  • Do you communicate differently online versus in person? How?
  • What types of personal interactions do you value and why?
  • Does your online persona reflect all aspects of yourself? Why or why not?
  • Is privacy a right or a freedom?
  • What is your opinion on the Circle’s mottos of “Privacy is Theft” and “Secrets are Lies”?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of knowing everything about anyone?
  • How would history change if everything was recorded?
  • What would you do without the internet or social media?

Written by Dr. Jeff LaMondia, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and Common Book Program Chair.

Last modified: July 24, 2017