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Friday, 11 July 2014

Justine Roberts, founder and CEO of Mumsnet, shares her top 3 reads

1) The Circle, by Dave Eggers

Hamish Hamilton, £8.99

This is a cautionary tale about our state of perpetual electronic connectedness. With more than a nod to 1984, Eggers' dystopian vision centres on a company called The Circle, a thinly disguised version of Google, as it becomes ever more powerful and controlling of the world's entire population, preaching the twin mantras of 'Secrets are Lies' and 'Privacy is Theft'. It's not subtle but it is clever and unnerving.

2) Red or Dead, by David Peace

Faber & Faber, £15

This epic and painstaking account of the career of Bill Shankly and his beloved Liverpool football club is not just for fans. It's a long and lyrical study of selfless aspiration and the constraints of mortality. Shankly is brought to life as a pioneering obsessive, utterly relentless in his meticulous pursuit of glory for his club and, even more importantly, the people of Liverpool. It ends tragically with Shankly in retirement, a saviour without a cause.

3) The Curve, by Nicholas Lovell

Portfolio Penguin, £13.59

This brilliant book explains how to make sense of, and money from, the radically disruptive digital economy. It's a must-read for anyone trying to get their head around pricing models, and it gave me a sharp theoretical insight into why it has always felt financially right not to charge users for access to Mumsnet. Lovell explains that all is not lost for digital businesses. All you need to do is to find, nurture and embrace your superfans.

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