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How Come I Don't Have This Job? The Coolest Career Memoirs EVER

Posted 6 months ago by Amy H

I keep lists of fun-sounding books as I order them and every now and then a theme becomes apparent. The books below are about careers that obviously intersect with passions, which is what most of us long for, and it's so wonderful to read about people living the dream!

Fascinating Stories / Career Memoirs

Marine Archaeologist

The Shipwreck Hunter : A Lifetime of Extraordinary Discoveries on the Ocean Floor by David L. Mearns
The Shipwreck Hunter : A Lifetime of Extraordinary Discoveries on the Ocean Floor by David Mearns

David L. Mearns has discovered some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. From the mighty battleship HMS Hood (sunk in a 1941 pyrrhic duel with the Bismarck) to solving the mystery of HMAS Sydney, to the crumbling wooden skeletons of Vasco da Gama’s sixteenth century fleet, Mearns has searched for and found dozens of sunken vessels in every ocean of the world.

"The Shipwreck Hunter" chronicles his most intriguing finds, describing the extraordinary techniques used, the detailed research and mid-ocean stamina (and courage) required to find a wreck thousands of feet beneath the sea, as well as the moving human stories that lie behind each of these oceanic tragedies. Combining the adventuring derring-do of Indiana Jones with the precision of a scientist, "The Shipwreck Hunter" opens an illuminating porthole into the shadowy depths of the ocean.

Wildlife Photographer

The Man Who Climbs Trees: The Lofty Adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman by James Aldred
The Man Who Climbs Trees : The Lofty Adventures of a Wildlife Cameraman by James Aldred

Every child knows the allure of climbing trees. But how many of us get to make a living at it, spending days observing nature from the canopies of stunning forests all around the world? Wildlife cameraman James Aldred spends his working life high up in trees, poised to capture key moments in the lives of wild animals and birds. In Borneo, home to the tallest tropical rain forest on the planet, just getting a rope up into the 250-foot-tall trees is a challenge. In Venezuela, even body armor isn’t guaranteed protection against the razor-sharp talons of a nesting Harpy Eagle. In Australia, the peace of being lulled to sleep in a hammock twenty-five stories above the ground— after a grueling day of climbing and filming—is broken by a midnight storm that threatens to topple the tree.

In this vivid account Aldred blends incredible stories of his adventures in the branches with a fascination for the majesty of trees to show us the joy of rising—literally—above the daily grind, up into the canopy of the forest.

Chocolate Taster

Bittersweet : The Life and Times of the World's Leading Chocolate Taster : A Memoir by Angus Kennedy
Bittersweet : The Life and Times of the World's Leading Chocolate Taster : A Memoir by Angus Kennedy

As the world’s leading chocolate taster, Angus Kennedy may have the best job of all time. But with this sweet life, there was also a sobering realization: that the cocoa bean is in grave danger. When Kennedy first publicly shared this, hysterics ensued. Here he tells the full story. This book reveals the secrets of the chocolate world and its king, the bitter and the sweet.

Food Critic

Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl
Garlic and Sapphires : The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl


Ruth Reichl, world-renowned food critic and former editor in chief of Gourmet magazine, knows a thing or two about food. She also knows that as the most important food critic in the country, you need to be anonymous when reviewing some of the most high-profile establishments in the biggest restaurant town in the world—a charge she took very seriously, taking on the guise of a series of eccentric personalities. In Garlic and Sapphires, Reichl reveals the comic absurdity, artifice, and excellence to be found in the sumptuously appointed stages of the epicurean world and gives us—along with some of her favorite recipes and reviews—her remarkable reflections on how one’s outer appearance can influence one’s inner character, expectations, and appetites, not to mention the quality of service one receives.

Automobile Designer

Fins : Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit by William Knoedelseder
Fins : Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit
by William Knoedelseder

Chronicles the birth and rise to greatness of the American auto industry through the remarkable life of Harley Earl, an eccentric six-foot-five, stuttering visionary who dropped out of college and went on to invent the profession of automobile styling, thereby revolutionized the way cars were made, marketed, and even imagined. His impact was profound. When he retired as GM’s VP of Styling in 1958, Detroit reigned as the manufacturing capitol of the world and General Motors ranked as the most successful company in the history of business.

Librarian

This Is What a Librarian Looks Like : A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy ... and ... I Work At A Public Library : A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan
This Is What a Librarian Looks Like : A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy ... and ... I Work At A Public Library : A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan


Okay, these are a little bit of a cheat because I DO have this job. But I can honestly say it is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers I know about. And I'm a librarian.... so I know a lot of stuff. And it is indeed among the coolest careers.

Except those days when it drives us crazy (and oooh, do we have stories...) ... then it might be more like the third coolest.

Uncommon Occupations

Weird Jobs by Michael J. Rosen and Ben Kassoy
Weird Jobs by Michael J. Rosen and Ben Kassoy


All right, these might not all be ideal jobs, but they certainly are interesting! Sniffing armpits. Scuba diving for golf balls. Building secret passageways. For some lucky people, these strange tasks are all in a day's work. Want to learn about the men and women who destroy old buildings or make movie sound effects? Discover a range of weird jobs from around the world!
Give 3 Get 3

What's Give 3 Get 3 you ask? It's a personalized reading/listening/viewing recommendation service provided by the Toledo Lucas County Public Library. Basically, librarians provide customers with reading, listening and/or viewing suggestions based on a short questionnaire. Tell us about 3 titles you enjoyed recently (and why) and we'll send you back 3 more recommendations based on your responses.

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