Earlier in the fall, the theater department at my husband’s university performed Nickel and Dimed. I was familiar with the book so I was interested in seeing the show, but somehow I’d never read the book. It was one of those books that was highly talked about when it came out and that I can remember thinking, “I should read that.” But didn’t. I recognize that I can’t read everything. I don’t like it but I accept it.
The stage show is amazing. One of the things that struck me was how the character of Barbara (the author) was able to talk about her new colleagues in each location (as she took minimum wage jobs rather than her middle/upper middle class life as a journalist) with immense respect and care and without condescension. I left the show wondering if the book, written twenty years ago, was equally respectful. My thought was that this would be a norm now but maybe not twenty years ago.
The book is. And, sadly, the book may be about two decades old but it feels, in many ways, that it could be written today. If you missed it, like I did, I highly recommend it. It is, unfortunately, still worth reading.
This next one, like Matrix (which I wrote about before), was recommended by Roxane Gay. This review, from NPR, pretty well sums up my feelings about this book. I was uncertain about this book, as I frequently am about books to be honest, but in the first chapter I was hooked. I didn’t want to stop reading. The main characters shouldn’t have been likeable, in many ways, and yet I loved them and was deeply invested in their mission. I need to check out his other books.