Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is one of my all-time favorites. Amazon impressed me with their "persons who bought this" feature - when I bought Kitchen Confidential I was told others had also bought Orwell - its gotta be for Down and Out. If you work in a restaurant in any capacity and haven't read it, you gotta get it! I read it the first time between my junior and senior years in college, waitressing in a NYC restaurant for the first time - it was an occasion of the perfect book for that moment in life. I'll never forget the pleasure with which I read it that summer, and a few more times since. Don;t think Animal Farm or 1984 - its quite different.