I've just finished, "Shop Class As Soulcraft" by Matthew Crawford. Part social critique, part rant, part growing up tale. He ponders whether we're still human if all we do is shuffle paper. By a guy with a doctorate who fixes motorcycles for a living.
That sounds remarkably like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
He does quote it a few times, but its primary function is to critique the value of work that produces nothing tangible.
Whereas one might not agree what OEDILF produces, its production is surely tangible (perceptible by the senses) in several ways.
I would heartily recommend "On the Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin, but this story from "News of the Weird" seems to rule that book out now.
"Before Arthur David Horn met his future bride Lynette (a "metaphysical healer") in 1988, he was a tenured professor at Colorado State, with a Ph.D. in anthropology from Yale, teaching a mainstream course in human evolution. With Lynette's guidance (after a revelatory week with her in California's Trinity Mountains, searching for Bigfoot), Horn evolved, himself, resigning from Colorado State and seeking to remedy his inadequate Ivy League education. At a conference in Denver in September, Horn said he now realizes that humans come from an alien race of shape-shifting reptilians that continue to control civilization through the secretive leaders known as the Illuminati. Other panelists in Denver included enthusiasts describing their own experiences with various alien races. [Rocky Mountain Collegian, 9-28-09]"
That was "Origin of Specious." As for the other work, a new look at it: http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin..._term=&utm_campaign=