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The Circle: What Books the 5 Finalists Likely Read to Prepare

by  | March 19
Rebecca with a bear from the Circle TV show

It’s been about two months since The Circle came into my life like a whirlwind. I am still recovering. From meeting the contestants to the final reveal, the twists and turns had me shaking. At a time of uncertainty, The Circle provided the perfect combination of escapism and renewed hope in humanity. Because despite the catfishing and secret agendas, in the end, everyone was accepted for who they are. *sigh* If you’re anything like me, you’re missing Sammie, Shubham, Joey, Chris, and Rebecca (Seaburn?), and secretly wish you could be on the next season. Netflix has yet to announce a Season Two of the US version, so in the meantime, get pumped for more competition by escaping into the books I’m sure each contestant read to prepare for their time in The Circle.

This Will Only Hurt a Little

This Will Only Hurt a Little

by Busy Philipps

Sammie

Sammie was herself from day one: open, honest, and never holding anything back. She was flirty and fun, but also wouldn’t take any crap the other contestants tried to peddle her way. From the beginning, I wanted Sammie to win because she felt real to me. If there was one contestant I’d want to grab a drink with after the show, it would be her. In my mind, she must have read Busy Philipps’s This Will Only Hurt a Little. The authenticity fills every page as Busy recounts everything from her first acting gig to the bullying and body shaming she encountered in the industry. I can picture Sammie and Busy becoming best friends as they discuss female empowerment and share crazy stories from their youth.

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Karamo

Karamo

by Karamo Brown

Shubham

Shubham was so sweet and pure. I really can’t get over how much trust and faith he put in the other contestants. It was heartwarming to see him have such confidence in the process. His bromance with Joey? One of my favorite parts of the series. If they ever had a podcast together just discussing life, you know I’d be tuning in. Shubham’s an intelligent guy who was humble and realistic in his expectations, and it honestly seemed like his main goal was just to make friends and enjoy the experience. For these reasons, I think he read Karamo Brown’s self-titled memoir, Karamo, to prepare for his time in the Circle. There’s something about how Karamo can tap into the most vulnerable parts of a person and help them begin healing that I sense in Shubham as well. They both care deeply for others and only want to see them thrive. They’d make quite the dynamic duo, I’m sure.

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Let Love Have the Last Word

Let Love Have the Last Word

by Common

Joey

Oh, Joey. What a flirt he was! I don’t know about you, but I actually screeched when Miranda went to his apartment and they kissed. While his digital flirting felt authentic, I was still taken aback by how quickly he jumped on the chemistry in person. Besides his flirty spirit, Joey was known for his love of family and loyalty. He brought up stories of his mother frequently and made everyone watching want to give their family, biological or found, a great big hug. To help him bring that piece of his personality to the competition, Joey likely picked up Common’s Let Love Have the Last Word. In this follow-up to his One Day It’ll All Make Sense memoir, Common touches on God, self-love, partners, children, family, and community, all huge influences in Joey’s life. He advocates for everyone to open their hearts and minds and come together as one, a goal I wouldn’t be surprised if Joey took on himself with his newfound Circle fame.

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My Squirrel Days

My Squirrel Days

by Ellie Kemper

Chris

Chris was the contestant who made me laugh from day one, with his crazy stories (drinking a whole box of wine and ending up naked in the woods??) and laugh-out-loud flirtations (“You must come down to Texas one day and get a taste of this taco”). I tell you, I howled after he sent that. Chris was the one who didn’t cause waves, who was just friendly with everyone, taking each day as it came. His stories and one-liners ranged from enviable to awkwardly lovable, something he has in common with the star of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper. Her memoir My Squirrel Days is full of essays that will make you laugh out loud and find incredibly endearing. She’s not afraid to let the unpolished parts of herself show, and that’s a trait I know Chris would appreciate. Embracing every aspect of her personality, she shares stories that some people would find too mortifying, but which she just laughs at, appreciating the unexpected moments of the human experience. Chris definitely took a page from Ellie Kemper’s book of being everyone’s lovable best friend.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

by Amy Schumer

Rebecca/Seaburn

Now this “duo” is the one that truly made me lose my mind while watching. Seaburn’s strategy of pretending to be his girlfriend, Rebecca, throughout the show had me rolling with laughter. That conversation with the other girls about periods when Seaburn said he gets pain on his left side?? The awkward comments about the other guys on the show?? I can’t! The fact that no one suspected him of being a catfish still blows my mind, but honestly, kudos to him for pulling it off. Plus his candid moments showing how much Rebecca meant to him had me saying “aw!” (though I would love to know what his girlfriend’s reaction was to some of the things he had her say during this show). All this, mixed with his determination to stick to his guns until the very end, reminds me of Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. In her extremely honest memoir, Amy exposes parts of her life never before shared with the general public. From wild stories about her stand-up stardom rise to romantic encounters, she lays it all bare, never backtracking or cowering from her decisions. I think Seaburn would find that inspiring.

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