Book Reviews

I have always enjoyed reading about careers in novels. The following book reviews are samples from the soon-to-be-published Storybooks Careers: Learning about careers through fiction, non-fiction and memoir.  This collection was personally read/reviewed by my co-author, Alison Beale, and me.They are divided into the six interest categories based on John Holland's theory of career and vocational choice: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional. To identify your Holland Code, visit O*Net Online at www.mynextmove.org. 


If you have a book you would like us to consider for inclusion, we welcome your suggestion. Just send the title, author and occupation to terry@bibliopilepress.com.


Realistic

Animal Trainer

The $80 Champion: Snowman, the horse that inspired a nation, Elizabeth Letts – Non-fiction
          Harry de Leyer, a Dutch immigrant, owns a small farm on Long Island and teaches riding at a fancy girls’ school. When he saves a raggedy plow horse from the slaughter house for a mere $80 he is doing it out of kindness. Eventually, he sells Snowman to a neighbor, but the loyal horse keeps jumping fences and returning to the man that saved him. Harry detects spunk in this animal that he is determined to nurture. Harry’s training methods are unconventional but effective. Against all odds, Snowball becomes a trophy winning show jumper.


Investigative

Anesthesiologist

Oxygen, Carol Cassella – Fiction
          The author, an anesthesiologist, writes about fictional Dr. Marie Heaton, a highly-lauded anesthesiologist working in a Seattle hospital. After losing a young patient during a routine surgery, Maria struggles to save her reputation in a malpractice suit, as well as make sense of the guilt, self-doubt, and the work and family relationships that encroach upon her previously orderly and well-planned life.


Artistic

Broadcast Journalist
Edward R. Murow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism, Bob Edwards -  Non-fiction
          Written by the former popular broadcast journalist at NPR, Bob Edwards chronicles the life of Edward R. Murrow and his establishment of broadcast journalism shortly before World War II. He sights many great journalists, known as Murrow’s Boys, including Charles Colingwood, Eric Sevareid and Howard K. Smith. He also laments the demise of broadcast journalism with Walter Chronkites last broadcast in 1981. With the advent of cable T.V., hundreds of stations began to compete for advertising and viewers. It was then, claims Edwards, that journalism lost its integrity and became strictly business.


Social

Waiters and Waitresses

Waiting: The true confessions of a waitress, Debra Ginsberg – Memoir
          Debra Ginsberg spent over 20 years waiting tables, initially as a teenager looking for excitement and pocket change. Later, to support herself, young son and a writing career. Included in her observations of working in the food service industry are chapters on tipping, romance, cocktail serving, back of house activities and much more. After reading this book, you will never be rude to a food server again, and you will tip a whole lot more.


Enterprising

Financial Manager
The Job, Douglas Kennedy - Fiction
          Ned Allen is earning a decent living as a regional sales manager for a computer magazine. But when the magazine is sold and his numbers tank, Ned, who is willing to do just about anything to save his job, is fired anyway. Unemployed and desperate, Ned chooses to compromise his values to save his lifestyle when he accepts a job from a real estate tycoon to work on an off shore private equity fund. This novel is a thriller as well as a morality tale about how far some will go for the big bucks. Like most of Kennedy's stories it is a good summer read.


Conventional

Repossession Agent
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man, W. Bruce Cameron – Fiction
          Ruddy McCann has fallen from grace. Once a popular high school football star, he spent some time in prison and has now return to a job repossessing cars for those who have defaulted on their loans. One night, after a disturbing dream, a dead man takes possession of Ruddy’s thoughts and engineers the capture of his killer. Once Ruddy starts hearing voice, you may want to suspend disbelief. However, he is a charming protagonist who applies his repo skills in clever ways that will keep you turning the pages.


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