Two nonfiction books about work came my way last week. They are alike in their topic, but quite different in their subject matter and style. The first is a coming of age memoir, the second is a history book.
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff. This one is the memoir. Rakoff spent a year working as an assistant for J. D. Salinger's literary agent, responding to Salinger's fan mail. She uses that job as the hook for her memoir about starting her career as a writer in the the literary world of New York in the late 1990s.
Even with its eye catching cover, I missed this book when it came out a few years ago. I got my copy this week at a wedding. The bride and groom had the charming idea to give copies of their favorite books to each of the guests as wedding favors. They had a table spread with books and each person chose one that appealed to them. I loved the idea, of course!
Persistent Callings: Seasons of Work and Identity on the Oregon Coast by Joseph E. Taylor III, new from OSU Press. This one is the history book, as you can tell from the title.
It is the history of the Nestucca Valley in western Oregon, from aboriginal times to the present. The Nestucca Valley is a river valley with no incorporated towns and more cows than people. The watershed abuts the Pacific Ocean and the economy long depended on farming, fishing, and logging, before gentrification brought vacation homes and tourism, often to the detriment of the hardest-working residents.
Persistent Callings is a local story that speaks more broadly about the social, economic, and environmental changes to rural life in the American West.
What books came into your house last week?
Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts and read more about Books that Caught our Eye.
Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.