Friday, November 28, 2014

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado

Linda Tirado was a college student, mother of two, and working two low-income jobs. In 2013, she posted a response on a discussion board titled "Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or Poverty Thoughts." The post went viral and then came a book deal, Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America which is gritty, tough, and inspiring.

Tirado discusses what life is like for the working poor - making just enough money to possibly make the bills and feed your family, but not enough to ever really get ahead. When criticized for her authenticity, Tirado posted a video of her dental issues online and sent copies of her welfare records to The Washington Post. She is a spitfire determined to have a voice in a world of calamity. The whole basis of her argument being that people just don't realize how tough it can be until you've lived it - yet someone has to be the garbage man. So why can't the garbage man make a living wage?

She is a writer with gumption and grit, defending her actions regarding her struggle to survive. Much like her initial essay, her book is taking the world by storm, contributing to a much bigger discussion on poverty, medical care, minimum wage and more. Wherever your opinion may lie on such matters, it's a worthwhile read if only to be inspired by one woman's determination.

For similar titles, you might also try Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich or Hidden America by Jeanne Marie Laskas.

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