Here are some reader reviews of October's Book Club selection, "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not Getting By in America)" by Barbara Ehrenreich:
"Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America" is a disturbing read from Barbara Ehrenreich. This book would be an eye-opener for those who think the American poor are sitting on the couch watching (Jerry) Springer while collecting welfare checks. That someone with her resources and education was unable to make ends meet in the service economy sends a message that it takes a lot more than just hard work for many to achieve the American dream. This book should be required reading inside the (Washington, D.C.) Beltway.
Why write fiction?, I ask myself. You couldn't make up a novel as engrossing as "Nickel and Dimed."
I appreciated most Ehrenreich's Minnesota experience as a Wal-Mart "associate." Her work experience there reveals the true face of this retailing behemoth. (Think "drug testing." Think "idiotic pre-employment test.") She even mentions the Forbidden Word ("union") to fellow employees, and gets a positive response. Wal-Mart, beware!
Ehrenreich reveals that beneath middle-class America exists a vast underground third-world country that bears no resemblance to the country proposed in the Declaration of Independence.
Ehrenreich reveals a graphic and eye-opening account of the life of the working poor. Few of us take into consideration the importance that transportation and inexpensive lodging plays in whether one is employed or not. We think that the soup kitchens are the answer to the problems experienced by these low-wage earners. I admire Ehrenreich's fortitude in experiencing this difficult, demeaning ordeal.
Joanne B. Lucas
Reader review of September's book, "The Lake of Dead Languages," by Carol Goodman:
I loved the way Carol Goodman interwove Virgil's Aeneid, written in the not-so-dead language of Latin, into her up-to-date mystery about events past and present at a girls' boarding school. Although sometimes the character development falters and the plot veers implausible, it is a page turner. As an ex-Latin teacher, how could I not fall headlong into a story whose main character has a favorite Latin verb (praecipitare to fall headlong, page 281)!
Send review (100 words maximum) of November's selection, "Empire Falls," to firstname.lastname@example.org or Buffalo News Book Club, Features Department, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240