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In the never-ending pursuit of happiness most of us end up trapped behind a desk, doing work which we might or might not enjoy with more or less the same result: getting stuck in a rut. Some of us are courageous enough to step out of this world and enter one that involves rolling up your sleeves and doing more tangible work. One such person is Nina MacLaughlin, who worked as a writer for a Boston newspaper and on one faithful occasion decided to apply for a carpentry job. Little did she know that this decision would change her life and would lead to the writing of an amazing testament to manual labor called Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter. This work chronicles her experience from the rough start in the field to getting to know the tools of her new trade quite well.

The author of Hammer Head

Nina MacLaughlin, the author of this amazing work

Despite the fact that MacLaughlin knew next to nothing about the world of carpentry, she describes both the joy and frustrations of learning how to work as one. She takes her readers on a journey which visits the sites of her various jobs, from remodeling a kitchen, building a wall and even renovating a house. Along the way we are introduced to a large number of people from fellow carpenters, plumbers, very interesting clients and her carpentry mentor. The author also discloses the struggles of trying to succeed in a field which is almost entirely male dominated. Similarly to commercial plumbers a male dominated trade, you don’t get to see a lot of female carpenters even in this day and age. However, these struggles aid MacLaughlin to change her view on the world and especially the world of manual labor.

Hammer Head cover

The cover of Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter

This brilliant work can serve as an inspiration to all who seek a much needed change in their lives and fight the undesirable “getting stuck in a rut” feeling some get from spending their day in a cubicle from 9 to 5. MacLaughlin’s work celebrates the immersion in working in a field with tangible results and achieves its peak when she decides to build a bookshelf for her father in its last pages. The combination of her talent in writing with her colorful experience of becoming a carpenter will provide you with an amazing and encouraging read.

Get it from Amazon here.

Check out MacLaughlin’s detailed discussion about her work, Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter.

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