Bruce Moody Author, Will Work for Food or $ (Red Wheel, $24.95)
After he lost his job in 1993 at the age of sixty and realized that he only had money for that month's rent plus $40, Bruce Moody made a sign that said Will Work for Food or $ and stood holding it on I-80's Appian Way offramp, hoping to fend off impending homelessness. Determined to struggle back to solvency on his own, he told neither friends nor family he was doing this -- and hoped none of them would drive past and see him holding his sign. Moody's four months on and off that offramp -- both begging and doing whatever work he was offered -- later went into in a memoir whose title duplicated exactly the message on the sign. Peppered with insights about faith, hope, and charity (Moody is a big believer in saying thanks and "bless you"), Will Work for Food or $ was named 2004's Best Nonfiction Book in the Arizona Authors Association Awards and was a finalist among contestants for Best Autobiography of the Year in the Independent Publishers Awards. Back on his feet again, Moody lives in Crockett and works as a gardener and handyman.