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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Sunday Conversation Topic 5/20

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Gonna make this real open ended. Here's the topic jobs and employment in books. Go!


message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9371 comments Seriously going to make this super quick. I have really appreciated novel set in 1920s, and I have a few examples in mind but I don’t have time to list them, where women are in the workforce for the very first time. Nowadays it’s far more common place. But it captured a certain point in history, where women were involved in certain kinds of work situations and work jobs that were absolutely not familiar. And in fact it was off and look down for the society women to even think about working. So this question in advertently tapped my historical fiction tensioned. Haven’t read it, but have been interested in reading Modern Girls, set at that time in history. I’m friends with the author I’m good rates. And the other lives nearby.


message 3: by Doughgirl5562 (new)

Doughgirl5562 | 816 comments Jobs and employment in books - OK.

On a serious note, I just finished a memoir written by the daughter of a Hmong man who escaped from Thailand with his family to America (Minnesota - my home state). He and his wife both took menial, physically difficult jobs to pay the bills. His wife was a filer at a law firm. She eventually developed carpel tunnel syndrome from lifting and filing so many heavy files. She was let go from her job because she was out of the job so long for recovery from the surgery. He worked as a metal polisher in a factory, and had to fight for safe working conditions. After many years in the job, he and his fellow Hmong workers were forced to walk out due to the conditions that management was unwilling to change. Both of these, if true (and they probably are) were disillusioning because I would have thought that (1) companies cared more about their workers and (2) we had laws in place to prevent this.

On a lighter note, I like to read cozy mysteries and most of those feature a main character whose occupation is something that is fun and/or interesting to read about. In one of my favorite series, the lead character owns a flower shop. While it's not something I want to do myself, I really enjoy the passages when she is arranging flowers. In another of my favorite series, the main character owns a mystery-themed bookstore. So obviously that makes for lots of fun passages!


message 5: by LibraryCin (last edited May 20, 2018 08:26PM) (new)

LibraryCin | 9079 comments Hmmm, here's another one I remember being really good (though it's been a long time since I read it!):
Triangle: The Fire That Changed America


message 6: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6883 comments So I went to my last 10 books to check about professions-

Did You Ever Have a Family the main character June ran art galleries.

Last Train to Istanbul and The Honest Spy were both diplomats during WWII

The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq - the title says it all he went from being a beekeeper to rescuing women.

Tomorrow - He was a doctor.

Fire Dance - She is a poet, seer and diplomat.

What She Left Behind- an unmarried young woman

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery - title says it all

Census - census taker and Doctor

Mercy Dogs - ex- homicide detective.

I'm not sure what that tells you but it was an interesting exercise for me.


message 7: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 9079 comments Another interesting one from a while back is
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (sp?).


message 8: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments I work in the hospitality industry (hotel sales manager- AKA I book our groups, events, weddings, whatnot) and commonly enjoy when books are set in hotels, and have that aspect of it. I will seek out books, and add books to my TBR that I might nor usually because they have a hotel setting. (The Paying Guests, The Elegance of the Hedgehog even if I hated that one). I have A Gentleman in Moscow high on my TBR. Also wedding books have always peaked my interest, and now that that is part of my job, and I'm getting married- that has not changed. Lol. It's just weeding out the terrible books using weddings as a topic to entice readers.

Nonfiction wise, I have enjoyed Anthony Bordain's in a restaurant setting, lots of food-related memoirs out there. Less hotel/hospitality related memoirs. Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality is the only one I can recall reading, and it was alright.


message 9: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments I love books set in libraries or book shops. Not surprising since I am a (retired) librarian. I adored The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry


message 10: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2300 comments Joi wrote: "I work in the hospitality industry (hotel sales manager- AKA I book our groups, events, weddings, whatnot) and commonly enjoy when books are set in hotels, and have that aspect of it. I will seek o..."

I loved A Gentleman in Moscow!
Oh, and congrats on your impending wedding! What's the date? If you already posted, I apologize because I seem to have missed (or forgotten) it.


message 11: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Barbara wrote: "Oh, and congrats on your impending wedding! What's the date?"

I loved Rules of Civility, so I'm pretty sure Gentleman in Moscow will be a win for me.

Also, I'm getting married August 19, 2018! It's coming up so quickly!! Thanks :)


message 12: by JoLene (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments I do like reading books which highlight different occupations. I just finished a book today about a bookseller in the years just after the plague. Booksellers way back when (before the printing press) actually had to make their own books.

I’m not really sure if I specifically pick books with people in certain occupations in fiction books. However, I do seem to read a lot of memoirs from chef’s or people in the food industry.


message 13: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments I adore the James Herriot books even though as I think I've said I'd never be a vet. I also really like reading about artists both fiction and nonfiction and almost any creative profession.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 9371 comments Thinking about books set in the financial world. Or law and legal cases. Medical settings. Workplaces are also easy backdrops for Romance.


message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments Booknblues wrote: "So I went to my last 10 books to check about professions-

Did You Ever Have a Family the main character June ran art galleries.

Last Train to Istanbul and [book:Th..."



I really enjoyed this. Thank-you or taking the time to do this.


message 16: by Jason (new)

Jason Oliver | 2105 comments I am really glad that I left this question really open ended because everyone went an opposite way than what I was thinking, which is great.

I had finished Silver Linings Playbook recently, and the main character does not work. I was thinking how even if he did (say get a fast food job or secretary) it wouldn't change the story. Then I started thinking about "cozy" mysteries and how eventually the job is left behind and many times the realism of money in these stories.

Yalls (yes I'm from Georgia so Yalls) comments allowed to remember books I did enjoy the profession mentioned and it played a larger role in the story.


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