Shadow Work, Reviews


new-york-times-logo“…he explores all the ways corporations and new technologies fiendishly generate new tasks for us—each of them seemingly insignificant but amounting to many hours of annoyance.”

The New York Times Sunday Book Review
Front cover, May 17, 2015


Editors’ Choice
The New York Times Sunday Book Review
May 22, 2015


“…he is right about the enervating cumulative effect of all the instances where personal service has been replaced with self-service. Being able to do one or two things for yourself can feel liberating; having to do everything can make you feel like a slave to the machine.”

The Economist
May 9, 2015


atlantic-logo“You doubtless feel too busy to read yet more about why we all feel so busy, but here’s a short book to put on your long to-do list….avail yourself of his very useful lens: before you can hope to rebalance your time, you’d better first understand how you actually spend it.”

The Atlantic
May 2015


“Lambert’s straightforward, lucid writing illuminates the many obvious – but often glossed over – aspects of daily life in which shadow work is intruding.”

The Boston Globe
May 21, 2015


“…his genius is in bringing together so many contemporary pet peeves, from unpaid internships to struggles with checkout machines to the co-opting of children’s sports by expensive, high-stress leagues.”


“Shadow work also diminishes social interactions, an important part of our wellbeing. Your conversation at the supermarket checkout counter or with the gas jockey may not have been scintillating but it was part of the humanity of life.”


small-business-trends-logo“…he gives so many outstanding examples from all facets of life that, as you read through each of the chapters, you will have enough data to notice exactly how you are spending your time and whether you would choose to keep spending it that way or to do something else.

Overall, I feel that ‘Shadow Work’ is a fantastic book for those who feel time slipping away and want to get the best use of the time they have.”


improper-bostonian-logo“With wry wit and interesting tales of this tectonic (or should we say techtonic) shift, Lambert laments the loss of human connection this screen-gazing entails—the time wasted, the expertise compromised and the money unearned by both shadow workers and would-be employees.”


colloquy-logo“Like Marx and the exploited proletariat (or Veblen and conspicuous consumption), Craig Lambert (PhD ’78, sociology) has latched onto a timely idea.”




library-journal-80“Lambert’s guide to this phenomenon explains how the modern American’s day has gotten so full, offering some unique insights into the ubiquitous tasks that lengthen the work day and creep into downtime.”

Library Journal
April 15, 2015


kirkus-logo“An appealingly different view of employment based on what people actually do and not just statistics.”

Kirkus Review
March 15, 2015


publishers-weekly-logo“By exposing this phenomenon, Lambert may help readers become more aware of their choices and opportunities. His observations are both illuminating and disturbing, and well worth considering.”


blog-critics-logo“This book just may be able to show you how to pick up more leisure time and reconnect to people in person.”

June 2, 2015