Apr 9, 2015

Driving Hungry, by Layne Mosler (July 2014)

I very rarely read memoirs, and the first 50 pages or so of this one did nothing to change my opinion of them, but then Mosler's story grew on me. It follows a theme that many people of my generation, Millennials, are starting to become more aware of: with the Great Recession and the ever-growing dominance of the internet, along with the continued "shrinking" and interconnectivity of the world, career options are much more fluid than they used to be. Outside the realm of what we call white or blue collar jobs are the livelihoods that people like Mosler are cobbling together. We are no longer required to fit ourselves into perfect pigeonholes in order to achieve financial and emotional success.

Mosler discovers this in Berlin, while on hiatus from New York, to which she moved after a stint in Argentina. Tango plays a big role in the first part of the book, the one based in Argentina, which is why I had a hard time getting into it. Sudden tango obsession is nothing new, in fiction nor in memoir, and I found it rather boring. But once she leaves Argentina for NYC and eventually decides to try her hand at taxi driving, the book gets a lot more interesting. Mosler got the idea to drive a taxi because of her blog, Taxi Gourmet, where she details stories of getting into a taxi and asking the driver to take her to their favorite restaurant. The blog blows up, opening doors for her in New York and, eventually, Berlin. It's cute and fun, joining Mosler through both the physical spaces she travels and her own inner journey as she figures out what exactly she wants to do with her life. It's a theme that will resonate with many my age, and perhaps serve as inspiration for those who feel they can't be quite happy living within "the norm."

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