I guess today is the day I will reveal my deep dark secret I have hidden for sixteen years. I’m afraid to cross the border of fiction to nonfiction. No, it’s not because I’m scared of facing reality. No. Rather it is because I have always found myself falling asleep trying to read a piece of work that is so dry that it would have put the desert to shame. So I was very reluctant to start Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. However, I can now say that this book has allowed me, the nonfiction anti-fan, to jump into the world of nonfiction without grimacing my way in.
Nickel and Dimed is the documented story of Barbara Ehrenreich, a journalist, going undercover as a minimum wage worker. She plunges into the lives of lower class Americans which differs from her life as a well off journalist. Throughout her journey, she works as a waitress, a maid, and even a Walmart employee across America. Ehrenreich works countless hours while using this money to pay for her shelter and food. Her mission: to seek the truth on whether the minimum wage can actually support the lives of Americans and their families.
The reason why this book has changed my critical perspective on nonfiction is the way Ehrenreich adds her commentary through sarcastic yet hilarious language. While I was learning this information, I didn’t feel like I was nodding off to a textbook but rather being entranced into a story told by a person I can relate to.
However, I will warn you that this is not a book you can knock out in a few days. This book is best enjoyed when you can absorb the information and let the story unravels on its own. This book really changes the views and the presumptions of the lower class workers in society. This story not only expanded my knowledge, but also altered my view of the world.
If you are also a reader who wants to take a dive into the large pool of nonfiction, then Nickel and Dimed is a perfect book to start off with. It is a book that doesn’t overload you with information but enough for you to gain some new knowledge about the society we live in. Nickel and Dimed is the perfect book to start with for any new nonfiction readers.