WHEN I QUIT my last restaurant job, I made my then-boyfriend promise that he wouldn't let me romanticize it years down the road. Now—years down the road—my memories of the service industry are indeed starting to take on a nostalgic hue: Yes, the work was hard, but I had so much fun with my coworkers; yes, I smelled like Fryolator and ranch dressing all the time, but the cash tips were great. Mimi Pond's Over Easy definitely didn't help with my little nostalgia problem: In it, Pond documents her stint at an Oakland restaurant called the Imperial Café, where she worked as an art-school dropout in the '70s. Her coworkers were a loveable band of artists and misfits; drugs were plentiful, and so were ill-advised hookups with customers and fellow staffers. (So, it was a restaurant job, basically.) Over Easy can be a bit confusing, especially when it comes to keeping track of the rotating cast and their various entanglements. But Pond's reflections on restaurant work temper sentimentality with a good dose of potty-mouthed kitchen humor. (She also really hates hippies, which is funny.) The book's a sweet little "fictionalized memoir" about how working at the restaurant helped her to gain confidence, experience, and opened her eyes to the world's possibilities.