Book Club Pick for May is Jessica Bruder’s Nomadland

Surviving America in the 21st century

By Janet Moore

The Andover Libraries Book Club meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month at the Bachelder Library, just up Chase Hill Road in East Andover. Anyone is welcome to pick up the monthly read and come sit around and talk about books.

On Wednesday, May 25, at 7 PM, we’ll be discussing Jessica Bruder’s “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.”

The Great Recession of 2008 hit older adults pretty hard, so hard in fact that a number of them gave up the struggle to maintain their brick and mortar lives and took to the open road to work seasonal jobs. They moved between trailer parks and campgrounds, forming a new and often unwilling segment of society; those who couldn’t afford to live on Social Security, lost their pensions, but were aged out of mainstream jobs with benefits. What they discovered was a mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Amazon fulfillment centers across the country rely on their “camperforce” workers to fill in during the fall rush toward Christmas. It’s not a pretty picture, as the elderly are held to the same “standards” that pressurize the younger workers. State and federal camping associations haggle over what they term petty grievances but what the transient workers call overtime.

But the camaraderie and sense of community and downright ingenuity make the struggle worth living. Compassion rules as these nomads travel back and forth across the country, living a new kind of American dream in the retirement years.

Pick up a copy of “Nomadland” at either library and join us on the 25th. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Janet Moore at 735-4018