Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America,

Barbara Ehrenreich

I got this book at the same time as Fast Food Nation and read them back-to-back. This is one that I had wanted to read for quite a while. Barbara Ehrenreich is an author and homemaker who decided to investigate the conditions of the working poor by becoming one of them. She took jobs at Wal-Mart, a restaurant, a cleaning service, a hotel and a nursing home and then tried to live on the wages she made. Her experiences as a waitress were similar in many respects to my own experiences waiting tables. My only complaint with the book was the ease with which she quit some of the jobs. It was pretty easy for her to return to her upper-middle class lifestyle when she needed to. My good friend Manda, who was the one who reminded me that I needed to read this, said she doesn't view the Target workers in the same way at all. Read this book.