This short and impactful book outlines a concise and clear strategic framework for choosing whether to negotiate, to build power, or to vanquish your opponents.

Saving Time

Jenny Odell

“This book is my panoramic assault on nihilism.”

Just Culture

Stanley Dekker

Drawing from safety practices in transportation and medicine, Sidney Dekker outlines how to (and how not to) create a culture of trust, learning, and accountability.

The Factory

Hiroko Oyamada

Three workers reluctantly take jobs at the factory.

In this well-argued polemic, Devon Price outlines three tenets of what they term the “laziness lie”: that your worth is your productivity, that you cannot trust your own feelings and limits, and that there is always more you should be doing.

Lost in Work

Amelia Horgan

“Our entrance into work is unfree, and while we’re there, our time is not our own.”

The Problem with Work

Kathi Weeks

A provocative and irresistable argument that the need to “work for a living” is not a natural order but rather an invention—and one that can change.

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber

An expansion of the immensely popular essay of the same title, here David Graeber takes a long hard look at why so many jobs are rank bullshit, and what can be done about it.

Breaking Things at Work

Gavin Mueller

A brisk read that locates echoes of Luddism in current practices like the free software and right-to-repair movements, and makes the case for rescuing Luddism from the dustheap.

From the title through every chapter, paragraph, and sentence, this book is a deeply researched polemic against the myth of the “labor of love.”

A Collective Bargain

Jane McAlevey

A brisk, fist-pumping read from veteran labor organizer Jane McAlevey, A Collective Bargain tells stories of unions who won big—and who won during the Trump years, perhaps the darkest time in decades of waning worker power.


Nikil Saval

An insightful history of professional work, Nikil Saval’s Cubed interrogates how we work by digging into where we work, and the way those workplaces have changed and evolved.


Studs Terkel

Terkel interviewed people of all walks of life (though mostly the working kind) about what they do and how they feel about it. The result is a massive collection of failed dreams, despair, hope, and pride.

Managing Oneself

Peter F. Drucker

An essay turned pamphlet, short enough to reread regularly. Drucker’s advice comes down to knowing yourself well enough to make the right decisions.