Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

I’ve been loving Nina MacLaughlin’s series on the Senses of Dawn this week in The Paris Review, so I scurried to the library to find her book. It’s a memoir tracing her pivot from working as a Boston-area journalist to becoming a carpenter with the tremendous help of her mentor and boss, Mary. Most interesting were the bits about their work, the story of her learning the trade and all the plumbers, haulers, clients that she meets along the way. Less interesting was her attempt to heighten the tone by sprinkling in literary references (mostly Ovid), along with the history of tools and random mentions like the Alaskan hammer museum (simply an excuse to write-off a trip to Alaska?). I was pleased to see her mention We’ll Call You If We Need You, Susan Eisenberg’s interviews with dozens of women in the construction industry that I  enjoyed reading a few years ago.