SOCIAL SCIENCES

Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

Norton. 2015. 240p. ISBN 9780393239133. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393246469. MEMOIR
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OrangeReviewStarWhiling away her days as a journalist at the Boston Phoenix, MacLaughlin watches her industry shift from respecting deadlines to prizing page clicks. After having spent most of her 20s working from a computer chair, she decides to quit in favor of a more hands-on vocation: carpenter's assistant. MacLaughlin's memoir traces her first years apprenticing for Mary, a skilled craftswoman who takes the author under her wing despite her lack of training.
VERDICT Because of MacLaughin's years of experience as a writer, the crown molding on her story is her effortless blending of literary craft with woodcraft. [See Memoir, 12/16/14; ow.ly/MBEsA.]

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