Dream library.
Evidently I can be charmed.

Holiday! (Imagine Madonna singing it.)

I love Labor Day weekend. Let's explore the many ways it is awesome: 1. it heralds the beginning of fall, my favorite season; 2. no family get-togethers, therefore, no fights about which family get-together to attend; 3. it's a holiday that doesn't celebrate war; and 4. it celebrates labor, of which I am a fan. (Just because I'm not good at laboring doesn't mean I think it's a bad idea.)

So, forthwith, a list of some of my favorite books about work:

1. Gil Reavill's Aftermath, Inc., in which the author joined a group of workers who clean up death scenes and accidents (particularly those which involve any kind of biohazard). Not for the faint of heart, but a good rollicking read nonetheless.

2. Scott Rosenberg's Dreaming in Code. Hands down one of the most interesting and illuminate books I've ever read about computer programming. I still don't understand it but I have a better understanding of what I don't understand.

3. Ted Conover'sNewjack: Guarding Sing Sing. Good lord, I hope I'm never convicted of anything. I couldn't handle being a prison guard, much less being IN prison.

4. William Langewiesche, The Outlaw Sea. It is William Langewiesche, writing about modern-day pirates. Ask no questions, just read.

5. Stacy Horn's The Restless Sleep; discussed at length earlier this week but an unbelievable look at those who work around murder victims, particularly cold case investigators. Read this one and you'll be halfway there for our next Book Menage!

6. John McPhee's Uncommon Carriers, in which he makes trucking and the profession of trucking fascinating.

7. John Bowe's Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy. Well, it's about work, unfortunately the work isn't really voluntary. I quoted this one to my poor mother again just the other day: I continue to be floored by Bowe's brilliant, and brilliantly simple assertion that (I'm paraphrasing, but this is fairly close) "the system isn't broken--the system is working exactly the way the system was set up to work." Holy Christ. Think on that one for a few minutes.


8. The Working Stiff's Manifesto, by Iain Levison. I don't agree with this author's rather casual attitude toward stealing from one's employer (although I'm no innocent--I still have and use the apron I was provided with as a Country Kitchen waitress--and I'm not giving it back!), but it's still a great book.

Happy Labor Day, all. Now go take a load off.