Then We Came to the End is one of my favorite books, but I always have a hard time describing it to friends I’m trying to persuade to read it. Thanks for including it in your list.
I'm so glad that you mentioned Christine Sneed's PLEASE BE ADVISED (I was going to leave a comment to recommend it if you hadn't!). It's absolutely in keeping with this post--and great fun.
I'm paywalled out of the Tribune piece on John Jakes but amused that just this very morning I was reminiscing with my sister-in-law over coffee about one family vacation to cabins at Moosehead Lake in Maine when I was about 11 and was allowed to stay back at the cabin while everyone else hiked, and I stayed the whole day in the loft reading North and South and eating gingersnap cookies...one of my favorite childhood memories :D
I know—I read it when it first came out and feel like I need to go back for a reread. I just did that with Mrs. Bridge and it was such a good experience.
One of my very favorite work place reads is "Temporary" by Hilary Leichter.
Thank you for an enlightening and on-target piece. Two other novels to consider --
-- avoid spoilers by reading only the first paragraph of that article. The book is hilarious and a fast read.
Also, the recent The Maid --
-- I’m not sure the plot holds together as tightly as the hype proclaims, but it is a solid look at a group of ordinary people trying to live their best daily lives with kindness and quiet joy.
This newsletter really hit the nail on the head for me, so thank you. And I can't wait to read some of these books!
I think The Circle by Dave Eggers merits a mention among those very interesting-sounding books about work that you recommend. I know The Circle is about more than "just" work, but it certainly is a workplace novel, with plenty of neo-Kafkaesque absurdity around bullshit work.