Friday, December 4, 2009

Labor Days: An Anthology of Fiction About Work, David Gates, Editor

4 stars!

This is a really fun book I came across while trying to fill out November's books about work series. I did manage to finish it on the 30th, so the month timed out just perfectly.

This is a collection of stories and book fragments, all taking place at or centered around work. A departure from the purely office fiction of the rest of the month, these pieces look at all kinds of work, much of it physical labor. They span time periods, class and styles. I read most of them, skimmed a few, skipped a couple. I was reminded of some old favorites and read a few authors whose work I'd like to pursue - the ultimate joy of anthology.

Here's what I learned about work this month:

1. Everyone has to do it - even those who don't really seem to work at all have at least to manage those who do the work.

2. Even if you don't feel that your job defines you, you do spend the better part of your waking life at it. Ultimately that has an enormous effect on the hours you spend living your "real life".

3. The people you work with often have a greater influence on you than the job itself.

4. Most people consider their work to be important, no matter what it is, and derive a great sense of pride and worth from accomplishing it.

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