Welcome to my first end-of-year roundup. I have read a lot of good contemporary literature this year -- more than usual, because I've been doing some official reviewing -- though I don't claim to have an exhaustive sample.
Americans who haven't given up on liberal democracy should pay close attention to what's going on behind Singapore's glittering facade before they praise Yale's role in plunging Yale-NUS' idealistic young students and faculty into a reinvention of liberal education there.
The Circle, Eggers' first foray into dystopia, is set in a near future where the world doesn't look that much different than now. Eggers does a great job here of taking our current reality and stepping it up a notch.
The Circle joins Gary Shteyngart's hilarious Super Sad True Love Story in its prediction of the kind of world we might get to live in if we continue to outsource our data and decisions about it to Silicon Valley's technocrats.
On one side are the forces of egalitarianism, economic opportunity, and self-determination. On the other is a well-funded and entrenched elite bent on hijacking our media, our political process, and our institutions, for their selfish ends.
With an ever-widening gap between the number of rich and poor that earn bachelor's degrees, dropping out of college often has devastating effects on their lives. ScholarMatch harnesses technology and the community-at-large to make up these shortfalls.
In honor of their 10-year anniversary, 826 Valencia asked would-be authors (including children and adults) to round up pledges for 8/26 Day, then join them at 826 Valencia on Sunday, August 26 from noon to 8:26 p.m. to write.
Author Dave Eggers and physician/human rights scholar Lola Vollen have founded a nonprofit division of McSweeney's Books called Voice of Witness, meant to empower those most closely affected by contemporary social injustice.