Back Labor Day Reads | Book List

SelectReads News
Simple News Pro
  Labor Day Reads  
Work: A Deep History, from the Stone Age to the Age of Robots

James Suzman
Format: Hardcover

Work defines who we are. It determines our status, and dictates how, where, and with whom we spend most of our time. It mediates our self-worth and molds our values. But are we hard-wired to work as hard as we do? Did our Stone Age ancestors also live to work and work to live? And what...
Read More check catalog
 
 
My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Isabel Quintero · Kokila
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also...
Read More check catalog
 
 
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

Kate Moore · Sourcebooks
Pages: 479
Format: Hardcover

A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts Bestseller!
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf Bookclub Selection - May/June 2018

"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still." -- NPR Books

The incredible true story of the women who fought...

Read More check catalog
 
 
Janesville: An American Story

AMY GOLDSTEIN · Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

"Moving and magnificently well-researched...Janesville joins a growing family of books about the evisceration of the working class in the United States. What sets it apart is the sophistication of its storytelling and analysis." - The New York Times

A Washington...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968

Alice Faye Duncan · Calkins Creek
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover

This historical fiction picture book for children ages 9-12 presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final stand for justice before his assassination--when her father, a sanitation worker, participated...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

Stephanie Land · Hachette Books
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover

Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich.

"My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter."

While the gap between...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Bullshit Jobs: A Theory

DAVID GRAEBER · Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover

From bestselling writer David Graeber, a powerful argument against the rise of meaningless, unfulfilling jobs, and their consequences.

Does your job make a meaningful contribution to the world? In the spring of 2013, David Graeber asked this question in a playful, provocative essay...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Night Job

KAREN HESSE · Candlewick
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover

With lyrical narration and elegant, evocative artwork, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse and illustrator G. Brian Karas share the nighttime experience of a father and child.

When the sun sets, Dad's job as a school custodian is just beginning. What is it like to work on a Friday night...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home

Megan K. Stack · Doubleday
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover

A National Book Award finalist's unforgettable account of raising her children abroad with the help of Chinese and Indian women who are also working mothersWhen Megan Stack left her prestigious job as a foreign correspondent to have a baby and work from her home in Beijing writing a book,...
Read More check catalog
 
 
The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America

Jack Kelly · St. Martin's Press
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover

"Pay attention, because The Edge of Anarchy not only captures the flickering Kinetoscopic spirit of one of the great Labor-Capital showdowns in American history, it helps focus today's great debates over the power of economic concentration and the rights and futures of American...

Read More check catalog
 
 
On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane

Emily Guendelsberger · Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover

The bitingly funny, eye-opening story of a college-educated young professional who finds work in the automated and time-starved world of hourly labor
After the local newspaper where she worked as a reporter closed, Emily Guendelsberger took a pre-Christmas job at an Amazon fulfillment...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Front Desk

Kelly Yang · Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants

Alison Maloney · Thomas Dunne Books
Format: Hardcover

UPSTAIRS, an Edwardian home would have been a picture of elegance and calm, adorned with social gatherings and extravagantly envisioned dinner parties.DOWNSTAIRS, it was a hive of domestic activity, supported by a body of staff painstakingly devoted to ensuring the smooth running of the household.Brimming...
Read More check catalog
 
 
The Jungle

Upton Sinclair · Ten Speed Press
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback

A compelling graphic novel adaptation of Upton Sinclair's seminal protest novel that brings to life the harsh conditions and exploited existences of immigrants in Chicago's meatpacking industry in the early twentieth century.

Long acclaimed around the world, Upton Sinclair's 1906...
Read More check catalog
 
 
The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR'S Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience

Kirstin Downey · Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
Pages: 458
Format: Print book

"Kirstin Downey's lively, substantive and - dare I say - inspiring new biography of Perkins . . . not only illuminates Perkins' career but also deepens the known contradictions of Roosevelt's character." - Maureen Corrigan, NPR Fresh Air One of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Undocumented America

Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla · SPIEGEL & GRAU

One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn...
Read More check catalog
 
 
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond

Daniel Susskind · Metropolitan Books
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover

From an Oxford economist, a visionary account of how technology will transform the world of workFrom mechanical looms to the combustion engine to the first computers, new technologies have always provoked panic about workers being replaced by machines. For centuries, such fears have been...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909

Michelle Markel · Balzer Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover

From acclaimed author Michelle Markel and Caldecott Honor artist Melissa Sweet comes this true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography includes a bibliography and an author's note on the garment...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America

Mark A. Bradley · W. W. Norton & Company
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover

The shocking assassination that catalyzed groundbreaking reform in Big Coal.In the early hours of New Year's Eve 1969, in the small soft coal mining borough of Clarksville, Pennsylvania, longtime trade union insider Joseph "Jock" Yablonski and his wife and daughter were brutally...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez

Monica Brown · Rayo; Bilingual edition
Format: Book

Every day, thousands of farmworkers harvested the food that ended up on kitchen tables all over the country. But at the end of the day, when the workers sat down to eat, there were only beans on their own tables. Then Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez teamed up. Together they motivated the workers...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Maiden Voyages: Magnificent Ocean Liners and the Women Who Traveled and Worked Aboard Them

Siân Evans · St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover

During the early twentieth century, transatlantic travel was the province of the great ocean liners. It was an extraordinary undertaking made by many women, whose lives were changed forever by their journeys between the Old World and the New. Some traveled for leisure, some for work; others...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream Became Temporary

Louis Hyman · Viking
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover

The untold history of the surprising origins of the "gig economy" --how deliberate decisions made by consultants and CEOs in the 50s and 60s upended the stability of the workplace and the lives of millions of working men and women in postwar America.

Every working person...
Read More check catalog
 
 
In Dubious Battle

John Steinbeck · Penguin Classics
Pages: 274
Format: Paperback

A riveting novel of labor strife and apocalyptic violence, now a major motion picture starring James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Selena Gomez, and Zach Braff

At once a relentlessly fast-paced, admirably observed novel of social unrest and the story of a young man's struggle for identity,...
Read More check catalog
 
 
On Our Way to Oyster Bay: Mother Jones and Her March for Children's Rights

Monica Kulling · Kids Can Press
Pages: 32
Format: Print book

Though eight-year-old Aidan and his friend Gussie want to go to school, like many other children in 1903, they work twelve hours, six days a week, at a cotton mill in Pennsylvania instead. So when the millworkers decide to go on strike, the two friends join the picket line. Maybe now life...
Read More check catalog
 
 
The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America

Rick Wartzman · PublicAffairs
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover

Having a good, stable job used to be the bedrock of the American Dream. Not anymore.
In this richly detailed and eye-opening book, Rick Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers--General...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

JESSICA BRUDER · W. W. Norton & Company
Pages: 273
Format: Hardcover

The end of retirement?

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the National Forest campgrounds of California to Amazon's CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older Americans. Finding that social security...

Read More check catalog
 
 
A History of America in Ten Strikes

Erik Loomis · The New Press
Pages: 288
Format: Hardcover

A thrilling and timely account of ten moments in history when labor challenged the very nature of power in America, by the author called "a brilliant historian" by The Progressive magazine

Powerful and accessible, A History of America in Ten Strikes challenges all of our contemporary...

Read More check catalog
 
 
Me and Momma and Big John

Mara Rockliff · Candlewick
Format: Hardcover

Momma is a stonecutter at the cathedral called Big John — and little John and his sisters can't wait to see her special stone — in this luminous true-life story."Building a cathedral isn’t a job, it’s an art."Momma comes home from work, tired and sore...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

Gordon H. Chang · Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 304
Format: Hardcover

A groundbreaking, breathtaking history of the Chinese workers who built the Transcontinental Railroad, helping to forge modern America only to disappear into the shadows of history until now.

From across the sea, they came by the thousands, escaping war and poverty in southern China...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone

Sarah Jaffe
Format: Hardcover

You're told that if you "do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life." Whether it's working for "exposure" and "experience," or enduring poor treatment in the name of "being part of the family," all employees are pushed to make...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights

Deborah Hopkinson · Peachtree Publishing Company
Pages: 36
Format: Hardcover

How many years will it be until you turn sixty-two? What year will that be? Once you've read Thanks to Frances Perkins, you'll know why these are important questions--and why you may want to thank Frances Perkins. After Frances Perkins witnessed the Triangle Waist Factory fire...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Worked Over: How Round-the-Clock Work Is Killing the American Dream

Jamie K McCallum · Basic Books
Pages: 272
Format: Hardcover

Most Americans work too long and too hard, while others lack consistency in their hours and schedules. Work hours declined for a century through hard-fought labor-movement victories, but they've increased significantly since the seventies. Worked Over traces the varied reasons why our lives...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Hidden America: From Coal Miners to Cowboys, an Extraordinary Exploration of the Unseen People Who Make This Country Work

Jeanne Marie Laskas · Putnam Adult; First Edition edition
Format: Hardcover

Five hundred feet underground, Jeanne Marie Laskas asked a coal miner named Smitty, “Do you think it’s weird that people know so little about you?” He replied, “I don’t think people know too much about the way the whole damn country works.” Hidden America...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor

Steven Greenhouse · Knopf
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover

From the longtime New York Times labor correspondent, an in-depth look at working men and women in America, the challenges they face, and how they can be re-empoweredIn an era when corporate profits have soared while wages have flatlined, millions of Americans are searching for ways to improve...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Who Was Cesar Chavez?

Dana M Rau · Grosset & Dunlap
Pages: 112
Format: Print book

Learn more about Cesar Chavez, the famous Latino American civil rights activist.When he was young, Cesar and his Mexican American family toiled in the fields as migrant farm workers. He knew all too well the hardships farm workers faced. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Midnight in Vehicle City: General Motors, Flint, and the Strike That Created the Middle Class

Edward McClelland
Format: Hardcover

The tumultuous Flint sit-down strike of 1936-1937 was the birth of the United Auto Workers, which set the standard for wages in every industry. Midnight in Vehicle City tells the gripping story of how workers defeated General Motors, the largest industrial corporation in the world. Their...
Read More check catalog
 
 
Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America

Eyal Press · Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Illustrated edition
Format: Hardcover

Drone pilots who carry out targeted assassinations. Undocumented immigrants who man the "kill floors" of industrial slaughterhouses. Guards who patrol the wards of the United States' most violent and abusive prisons. In Dirty Work, Eyal Press offers a paradigm-shifting view...
Read More check catalog