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Reader recommendation: Picking Up

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If you're ready for some great "trash talk," read Picking Up: On the Street and Behind the Trucks With the Sanitation Workers of New York City by Robin Nagle. Dr. Nagle is the Department of Sanitation of New York's "anthropologist-in-residence" (no kidding) who believes that today's sanitation worker does a Herculean job, yet gets no respect from the city she serves. Her writing is a cross between a no-nonsense reporter and a poet. Just her study of the history of garbage collection and disposal makes this a fascinating book. Toss in her real-life experiences as a DSNY worker and you have an unbeatable combination.