New to the Book Club — Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

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Sometimes raw and even offensive, in Hand to MouthLinda Tirado describes for middle class readers what it is like to live in working class America. Tirado is an educated white married mother of two who needs two jobs, in addition to her husband’s two jobs, to make ends meet. She describes in vivid detail why she makes decisions that may seem (and often are, she admits) self-defeating, including health risks like smoking and eating junk food. Her take on government assistance is revealing – Catch-22 eligibility rules that make no sense and so many holes “Moby Dick could swim through.” Chapters include “You Can’t Pay a Doctor in Chickens Anymore”, “I’m Not Angry So Much as I’m Really Tired”, “We Do Not Have Babies for Welfare Money” and “I’ve Got Way Bigger Problems Than a Spinach Salad can Solve.” Readers should definitely get to the final chapter “An Open Letter to Rich People” – her description of “rich people” work meetings is funny but embarrassingly true. Her comparison of “rich people’s” jobs with minimum wages jobs and the work ethic will make you think. For more, visit the CT Health Policy Project Book Club