Joe repairs homes. With each job,he enters somebody’s private world. Revealing a life. Or changing it.
"This is a delightful book, full of engaging stories about work and working life. It is humane and warmly funny."
—Mike Rose, author of The Mind at Work.
"In this gritty and entertaining memoir, Cottonwood presents his experiences working odd jobs as a contractor, carpenter, plumber, and electrician. As the title suggests, the work wasn’t always easy, but it brought Cottonwood into contact with a variety of colorful characters and situations. Cottonwood’s prose is lively and his stories charming. Readers will find it easy to relate to the author and his experiences, which are likely to appeal to anyone who has worked a less-than-perfect job."
Five stars! "A master’s skill for wording and style. He has a gift for observation – his descriptions, whether of a person or a landscape, are brilliant. A wry sense of humor brightens the essays, and a reader prone to reading aloud choice bits of prose to a patient spouse or family member will find this book a gold mine. Essay-writing at its best."
"With an Ian Frazier-like sense of humor, general contractor and author Joe Cottonwood reveals a lot about human nature via the sometimes short-lived, sometimes years-long relationships he forms with those who hire him. Each tale about walking into someone’s house, negotiating a price, completing the job, obtaining payment, reveals another world. Flooded with detail of Cottonwood’s work (noting the durability of a spider web, getting a face full of sewage, falling off a roof), it’s a well-written voyeur’s delight."
—Karen Schechner, judge's comment for IndieReader Discovery Award
“A house is alive. It breathes. It expands and contracts. It ages. Sometimes it falls sick, and then I’m a doctor of houses. I probe intimate cavities. I study the bones, the nerves, the flesh of an old house where generations of remodels have built upon themselves. The structure tells a story: tragedy, comedy, or heartwarming family drama as day-to-day life slowly, inexorably leaves an imprint over the attic, on the walls, under the sink—or in the crawlspace.”
—From 99 Jobs
Ninety-nine stories that are gritty, funny, wise. And always deeply humane.
—IndieReader Discovery Award, 2014
Print edition available now from Clear Heart Books (fulfilled by Amazon). Order on-line with this link. Or order the good old-fashioned way — through your local bookstore.
E-book edition available now:
Order the Kindle edition with this link to Kindle.
Order the iBook with this link to Apple iBooks.
Or order any format of the e-book (Sony, Nook, Kobo, PDF, etc) with this link to Smashwords.