Yes OK this book has been out for a little while but, just in case you missed it, Alain de Botton‘s The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is well worth the while. The book is a startling, almost poetic tribute to the commercial world, taking the time to appreciate work which is rarely celebrated.
In one chapter, he follows a trail of electrical transmission towers across the countryside, starting at a nuclear power-plant on England’s east coast and ending in central London. These towers provide electrical power relied on by millions of people who don’t give it a second thought. Yet every one of them were built by someone; someone who was just ‘doing their job’.
He follows a catch of tuna from where it is caught, in the ocean off the Maldives, all the way to the supermarket aisle and then to someone’s dinner table, noting all of the people involved along the way: fisherman, packers, truck drivers and shop assistants.
The book is part photo essay, part actual essays, with each story extensively illustrated. Happily all the photos are available for viewing or purchase online so, if you don’t have time to read the book, you can at least enjoy following the tuna from the shallow seas off the Maldives to a dinner plate in England. Go on, you won’t regret it:
- Related post: Where’d That Shrimp Come From?