Monday, May 14, 2007

[Book Review] FOR HERE OR TO GO by Leah Ryan

Nonfiction/Workers and Working

Philip Williams reviews FOR HERE OR TO GO: Life in the Service Industry by Leah Ryan

Leah Ryan, the author of For Here or To Go, earned a Master's in Fine Arts and is now a teacher. But Ms. Ryan worked for years in restaurants and in restaurant kitchens. She experienced first-hand the drudgery of service industry jobs and of having to live from paycheck to paycheck. In For Here or To Go, Ms. Ryan has collected essays, interviews, diary entries, and short stories by men and women who work in the service industry. The writers recollect the daily grind at some of the worst jobs in America. In some ways, Ryan's book is depressing and disheartening because of the conditions that these people have to endure, but there is also humor. There are even inspiring stories about people who, despite working crappy jobs, manage to survive and be happy.

Philip Williams, Cordova Branch Library

Also recommended: The highly-acclaimed NICKEL AND DIMED: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

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