Labor Day snuck up on me this year, which is ridiculous, considering that a. Labor Day was at late as it could possibly be this year, and b. Labor Day is my favorite holiday of the year.*
In past years I have been doing some lists of great books about work. This year I thought I'd look over my last year of reading (roughly) and see if any of the books I read had anything to do with work, jobs, labor, etc. Here's what I came up with. Links go to my posts about the books, when available. Must-reads are in bold.
Catherine Bailey's Black Diamonds: The Downfall of an Aristocratic Dynasty and the Fifty Years that Changed England. About coal mines, the miners, but mostly the people who once got rich off those coal mines.
Michael Gibney's Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line
Megan Hustad's More than Conquerors: A Memoir of Lost Arguments Hustad's parents were Christian missionaries.
Sandeep Jauhar's Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician.
Michael Lewis's Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. Book about finance and flash trading by one of my favorite authors of all time.
Judy Melinek's Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner
Mimi Pond's Over Easy. Graphic novel; waitress/artist memoir.
Ronald Rice's My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop
Brigid Schulte's Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time
Gina Sheridan's I Work at a Public Library
Victoria Sweet's God's Hotel. Doctor's memoir.
Lizz Winstead's Lizz Free or Die. Winstead is a comedian and one of the original creators of The Daily Show.
The following titles are about homemaking and parenthood, both of which certainly strike me as work.
Shannon Hayes's Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture
Wednesday Martin's Primates of Park Avenue
Jennifer Senior's All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
Susan Gloss's Vintage. Women's fiction about a woman who owns a vintage clothing shop.
Stuart Rojstaczer's The Mathematician's Shiva. About math, and math professors and theorists. So great. One of my favorite novels of the year.
Julie Schumacher's Dear Committee Members. About academics, written entirely in the form of recommendation letters. A great book; a million times better than I'm making it sound.
Kathryn Stockett's The Help. Oh my God, what a terrible book. Set in the American South during the 1960s; about African American women who worked as "the help" in the homes of white women. I read it when I was reading about civil rights. I was going to say something (at length) about how I thought reading this book actually made me dumber, but I won't. Oops. Just did.
Daphne Uviller's Super in the City. Chick lit set in New York City; about a woman who becomes the super of an apartment building her parents own.
Michelle Wildgen's Bread and Butter. A story of brothers, set in the restaurants they own.
Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I was not a fan.
TERRIBLE MYSTERIES. REALLY, THEY WERE JUST AWFUL.
Cleo Coyle's On What Grounds. Mystery set in a coffee shop.
Chrystal Fiedler's Scent to Kill: A Natural Remedies Mystery. A crime-solving aromatherapist. (Really.) Honestly, I got these two titles just because I love reading about jobs, so I'm always suckered into these mystery series that focus on specific jobs, and they always turn out to be horrible.
HAPPY LABOR DAY!
*No religious ceremonies, no celebration of war, no enforced family gatherings, heralds fall (the best season of the year). The perfect holiday.