And welcome to my favorite holiday weekend of the year.
If you've been a reader for a while you might remember that I love Labor Day. I love it, I love it, I LUUURVE it (as Georgia Nicolson would say in the superlative teen novel Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging). A holiday with no family get-togethers, no church*, no memorializing of war. Just a good old-fashioned day off work (if you're lucky enough to get the day off work), and I can always get behind that. Particularly in 2020, when the coming of autumn and winter, traditionally my favorite seasons, seems a bit more ominous than usual. In Wisconsin, where I live, I notice people have been mobbing outdoor seating at restaurants, and doing a very good job of pretending "Hey, we can go out to eat in a pandemic, we're outside, everything's cool, everything's getting back to normal..." Tonight it was a bit chillier than it's been, with a bit of autumnal nip in the air, and you could almost feel the OH NO WE'RE ALL ABOUT TO BE STUCK INSIDE AND ALONE FOR SIX MONTHS OF DARKNESS vibes starting to thrum under the thin veneer of summer gaiety.
But I'm here and you're there and there's really nothing to do now but get through it, right? I am wishing good wishes for you and hoping winter will not be too bad but mostly, mostly, I am happy to share with you, as is our Labor Day tradition, the best books about work that I read during the past twelve months. So, without further ado:
So, now, here are the books about work I read in 2020. Links go to my reviews of them.
- Permanent Record, by Edward Snowden.
- Adam Minter's Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale,
- Henry Marsh's Admissions
- Kristin Kimball's The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
- Arlo Crawford's A Farm Dies Once a Year
- Bonus: The Wire
Please note this is a very small list; I didn't get as much reading done during the past year as I would have liked, and what reading I did do tended to be about whistleblowing and whistleblowers. On the other hand, whistleblowing stories are almost always work stories, so there is that.
I added The Wire, even though it's a TV show, because The Wire is perhaps the most work-oriented show I have ever seen. It shows Baltimore cops at work, teachers at work, politicians at work, journalists at work. It even shows what a shitty, non-ending job it is to do drugs, sell drugs, and keep your drug-selling empire on top. Have you watched The Wire yet? You should really do that.
In the meantime: Happy Labor Day, all. Take care of yourselves and squeeze in all the end-of-summer picnics that you can.
*And I even really like my family and I don't mind church. But still.