“Encircling,” by Carl Frode Tiller, is the first book in the Encircling Trilogy. It’s about a man, David, who wakes up and doesn’t remember who he is. He then places an ad in the paper encouraging people to write to him in hopes that it will ignite his memory. The book is divided into three parts corresponding to the three individuals who respond. Each section alternates from the letter that they are writing and their current state of affairs. Each of the respondents is from a different point in David’s life, and together the three letters paint a conflicting picture of David. I found the format of this novel fascinating. David doesn’t remember who he is, and the readers have to question how well the respondents remember who David is. Readers will have to stay tuned to see if David is able to piece a sense of self together. I know that I will be patiently waiting for the next installment of this trilogy. — Review by Hunter Gillum
‘A Truck Full of Money: One Man’s Quest to Recover from Great Success’
The subject of Tracy Kidder’s new biography, Paul English, made his first millions in the computer industry and went on to co-found Kayak, the travel website. Kidder follows English through his Boston upbringing and relates the story of his first hacking, which was into the attendance records at Boston Latin. Although not a stellar student, his SAT scores earned him a scholarship at University of Massachusetts, where he was drawn into the nascent field of computer science.
His skill at coding soon gave way to his skill at managing teams of computer “nerds,” landing him in management. He went on to found Kayak and several other businesses, all while dealing with his bi-polar disorder. After making his first million, he also became a major benefactor to Boston’s homeless and Haiti, thereby spending some of his “truck full of money.” — Review by Harriet Leitch