April 29, 2012

The Reading Files - To rant, to tip, to move

This week I found out about the life of those who wait on us and how to make their lives better with a nice big tip. Plus I took a plunge into living the country life in Cornwall.

Waiter Rant (Steve Dublanica)
Source: bought new
Genre: Non Fiction / Memoir / Economy

According to The Waiter, eighty percent of customers are nice people just looking for something to eat. The remaining twenty percent, however, are socially maladjusted psychopaths. Waiter Rant offers the server's unique point of view, replete with tales of customer stupidity, arrogant misbehavior, and unseen bits of human grace transpiring in the most unlikely places. Through outrageous stories, The Waiter reveals the secrets to getting good service, proper tipping etiquette, and how to keep him from spitting in your food. The Waiter also shares his ongoing struggle, at age thirty-eight, to figure out if he can finally leave the first job at which he's truly thrived.

Title & Cover: Perfect fit!
Story: Memoir that grants insights into the life of a waiter. And, take note of this, a waiter's not just a waiter.
Narrative: Hilarious and spot on, though maybe a bit over the top for some readers.
Characters: Waiters and customers.
Thoughts: This isn't the first behind-the-scene book I've ever read about the service industry - some are great (Retail Hell by Freeman Hall), others not so much (Save Karyn by Karyn Bosnak). This one's both a hoot and well written to boot!

Keep The Change (Steve Dublanica)
Source: bought new
Genre: Non Fiction / Economy / Humor

Tipping is huge in America. Almost everyone leaves at least one tip every day, more than five million American workers depend on them, and we spend $66 billion in tips each year. Omnipresent yet poorly understood, tipping has worked its way into almost every nook and cranny of daily life. In "Keep the Change," bestselling author Steve Dublanica dives into this unexplored world, traveling the country to meet strippers and shoeshine men, bartenders and bellhops, in a hilarious and eye-opening effort to answer those perennial questions: Should we tip? and How much?

Title & Cover: Obvious choice, but nicely done!
Story: Oh to tip! When and where and to whom? And most of all, how much?
Narrative: Again, well written and fun, yet not quite up to par with the previous book.
Characters: Steve meeting lots of folks in the service industry whose lives literally depend on tips.
Thoughts: Contrary to Waiter Rant this one's less a memoir style book than a venture to find out all there is to know about tipping. Bottom line is that the consumer (in the US, at least) must make up for what companies do not invest in their staff.
P.S.: Between 15-20% work in pretty much every situation!

Home To Roost (Tessa Hainsworth)
source: from Random House
Genre: Non Fiction / Memoir / Travel

This is the third instalment of Tessa Hainsworth's escape from the rat-race with her actor husband to a Cornish seaside town.
Seagulls in the Attic left Tessa thrilled as Annie, her best friend from London, fell in love and married a local Cornishman. Alas the newlyweds decide to settle out of the county but Tessa and her husband are delighted when a new young family arrive in the village fresh from the city. However what looks such a promising new friendship turns to a nightmare as these are people who think money can buy them acceptance -- and the village is soon in quiet revolt. Tessa finds herself in the thick of it -- and realises that she has grown very strong roots in the community in the two years she has been in Cornwall.
Like so many in the country, she has to think about turning her house into a source of income in the summer months. Having finally got the place up to scratch, she and her family are wondering whether to camp for a couple of months when they are asked to take over a B&B owned by friends of friends. Tessa is bubbly, outgoing - but quite inexperienced at being a landlady. She muddles through only with the generous help of the 'customers' on her postal round.
Written with her usual warmth and good humour, Tessa Hainsworth enchants us again with her stories of life as a newcomer to 'deep' Cornwall and makes us dwell on the true value and meaning of 'home'.

Title & Cover: I adore painted cover art! And this one's real neat too!
Story: Postie Tessa, who's living the country life in Cornwall with her family, recounts her third year in the close-knit community which has become home for her.
Narrative: A little bland. And boring, for that matter.
Characters: Tessa and quite a number of quirky townsfolk. Add a new family, fresh from London, who doesn't quite fit in.
Thoughts: This book sounded so promising, a bit like a cozy mystery without any dead bodies turning up. Unfortunately the narration just trickles by with nothing much happening and the writing doesn't help much either.

1 comment:

  1. Waiter Rant sounds like fun, I've never worked in the field but I have been appalled at the behaviour of fellow diners on occasions.

    Shelelyrae @ Book'd Out