Books of Redemption in the Workplace

Feeling stunted by your job? Underpaid and overworked? Ever want to tell your boss what you really think? These books of redemption may be just the right medicine.

Camille Perri's The Assistants is more fun than you can legally have. Brooklynite Tina Fontana is the woefully underpaid personal assistant to a media mogul not unlike Rupert Murdoch, except with a Texas dialect. When she accidentally gets reimbursed twice for strong-arming an airline, Tina realizes she can pay off her expensive education with what is chump change to her employer and his company. Emily, an assistant in the Finance department, catches her but instead of turning Tina in, figures out how to pay off her own post-secondary education (with Tina's help, of course). Things quickly spiral out of control. Perri keeps all the chainsaws in the air in this delightful, fast-paced fantasy.

Robin Lynn Williams also has written a book called The Assistants, which takes place on the opposite coast. This group of personal assistants to the stars meets weekly, with drinks flowing freely. They live in constant fear of being fired and find various, hilarious ways of coping with their bosses' outrages. Williams actually was a personal assistant in Hollywood for a while, so one is left to wonder deliciously about what's drawn from life and what's not.

And finally, there's a true story -Lynn Povich's The Good Girls Revolt. Povich chronicles the making of the civil rights lawsuit by the women of Newsweek, who were just as qualified as their male counterparts but were shunted into lower-status-and-paying jobs. When 46 women (including Povich) stand up for themselves and take on a magazine that considers itself liberal, they encourage other women at other workplaces in the media to do the same and change the American workplace. Povich, who eventually became Newsweek's first female senior editor, writes a fast-paced, yet thoughtful book about one of the unsung battles of women's liberation.

Got more books of revolts by the invisible? Let us know in the comments.