The title of Soft Skull's latest Soft Skill book is taken from Charles Bukowski, who said of wage labor:""I couldn't understand the murdering of my years."" A struggling activist/artist, Z. found that he was too short on time and money to write an activist's memoir and how-to. Instead, he e-mailed a questionnaire (printed at the end of the book), asking fellow activists and artists how they managed to be active yet survive economically. Each of the sections of the book is created from the responses to a particular question, but one gets the feeling that many activists and artists are quite private about their survival techniques. A.D. Nauman, for one, provides concrete ideas for writers looking for relatively painless work within the mainstream, and for artists who are also mothers, but the section entitled""The Dark Side: Illegal Jobs"" is not nearly as juicy as one might hope. The e-mail format creates a tone that is entertaining, conversational and immediate, but also often prolix. Yet for anyone looking for some human company in the long struggle to make a living outside of the corporate structure, this book provides grassroots moral support.