While in high school, I worked at Wallingford Farm, a somewhat touristy food and garden store. My coworkers were an odd mix of local workers: people spending a lifetime in dead-end jobs along with some high-school students like me. As a fairly privileged and definitely homeschooled kid, Wallingford was quite the learning experience.
Stewart O'Nan brought me back to those days. And his was a helpful reality check. It moved me way outside of my social circle and normal thought patterns. I highly recommend this sort of book.