Saturday, January 28, 2012

Library Loot - January 28

Or, in reality, January 27th as I borrowed the books yesterday.

Library Loot is hosted this week over at The Adventures Of An Intrepid Reader.

This time I've only gotten out two books:
Bait And Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit Of The American Dream
Barbara Ehrenreich

The product description:
The New York Times bestselling investigation into white-collar unemployment from "our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism"--The New York Times Book Review
Americans' working lives are growing more precarious every day. Corporations slash employees by the thousands, and the benefits and pensions once guaranteed by "middle-class" jobs are a thing of the past.

In Bait and Switch, Barbara Ehrenreich goes back undercover to explore another hidden realm of the economy: the shadowy world of the white-collar unemployed. Armed with the plausible résumé of a professional "in transition," she attempts to land a "middle-class" job. She submits to career coaching, personality testing, and EST-like boot camps, and attends job fairs, networking events, and evangelical job-search ministries. She is proselytized, scammed, lectured, and--again and again--rejected.

Bait and Switch highlights the people who have done everything right--gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive résumés--yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster. There are few social supports for these newly disposable workers, Ehrenreich discovers, and little security even for those who have jobs. Worst of all, there is no honest reckoning with the inevitable consequences of the harsh new economy; rather, the jobless are persuaded that they have only themselves to blame.

Alternately hilarious and tragic, Bait and Switch, like the classic Nickel and Dimed, is a searing exposé of the cruel new reality in which we all now live.
I picked up this one on a whim. I've seen her other books in the Community and Culture section of the bookstore and thought they looked good before, but I was passing through the library and saw the book. I'm now most of the way through it and finding it both enjoyable and disheartening at the same time.

Tortall and Other Lands: A Collection of Tales
Tamora Pierce

The product description:
Collected here for the first time are all of the tales from the land of Tortall, featuring both previously unknown characters as well as old friends. Filling some gaps of time and interest, these stories, some of which have been published before, will lead Tammy's fans, and new readers into one of the most intricately constructed worlds of modern fantasy.
I've enjoyed Tamora Pierces's novels for years now - I remember borrowing the Alanna books from the children's department of the library as a kid myself. This was another of those impulse borrows - I certainly didn't go to the library with the intent of borrowing this book (or any other - just to return the last set of books), just saw it on the shelf, and that was that.

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