The Reading List: Unemployment
Tuesday 02 August 2011
'Down and Out in Paris and London' by George Orwell, Penguin Classics £8.99
Orwell's first full-length work recounts his experience of living on the margins. In Paris, he embraces a kind of bohemian poverty, living day-to-day, spending his last money on cigarettes and working restaurant kitchens. In London, things become far grimmer: homeless and unemployed, he experiences the squalor of hostels and life on the street.
'Downsize This' by Michael Moore, Pan Books (out of print)
Moore is on classic, loudmouth campaigning form in Downsize This, an examination of business and industry in American and their cosy relationship with the government. Corporations are seen prioritising the interests of their shareholders over the welfare of their employees and environment.
'Then We Came to the End' by Joshua Ferris, Penguin £8.99
Ferris's first novel chronicles the mini-dramas of life in a Chicago advertising agency. With redundancies looming, the office workers set about trying to look busy, despite the lack of work. Both funny and poignant, Ferris captures life in a white-collar office with total aplomb.
'Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put On My Pajamas & Found Happiness' by Dominique Browning, Plume Books £9.26
Browning spent 13 years as editor of House & Garden, but when the magazine closed she found herself at a loss, struggling to maintain her glamorous existence and family of two grown sons. In this humorous, self-deprecating memoir, she recounts how she came to terms with life outside the fast lane, baking muffins, gaining weight and rediscovering her passion for music.
'Nothing Happens Until It Happens to You: A Novel Without Pay, Perks, or Privileges' by TM Shine, Broadway Books £11.73
When Jeffrey, a middle-aged editor at a Florida newspaper, loses his job, his humdrum life is changed forever. He befriends a young female neighbour and attempts a few "unemployed" rituals: drinking in the daytime, doing odd jobs. But as time passes, he realises he may not return to the office, and his life takes a turn for the adventurous. A neatly executed journey of self discovery.
game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers
North London meets The Exorcist in eerie suburban drama
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lucy Hawking: Stephen Hawking's daughter writes impassioned open letter to Katie Hopkins about rights of disabled people
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: 'You gotta vote Labour'
- 4 General Election 2015: 14-year-old boy asks Nick Clegg – 'can you kill Katie Hopkins?'
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
The C-Word - review: Sheridan Smith shines in a warm, honest adaptation of Lisa Lynch's book about living with cancer
Top Gear: Jodie Kidd, Philip Glenister and Guy Martin 'in advanced talks' to join show
X-Men Apocalypse: First look at Jubilee and Jean Grey played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American Horror Story: Hotel Angela Bassett set to make 'lots of trouble' with Lady Gaga in season 5
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 4 - review: Sansa is in danger of becoming another footnote in Westeros' bloody history
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils