Sept. 16-22: Murder, Music And Lincoln's Trusted Rival

The Dangerous Animals Club

by Stephen Tobolowsky

Paperback, 352 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16, published September 17 2013 | purchase

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The Dangerous Animals Club
Author
Stephen Tobolowsky

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Stephen Tobolowsky — a character actor who has appeared in hundreds of films and TV shows — looks back on his encounters with famous film directors, ghosts and pygmy hippos. In this collection of personal reflections, he explores life's great mysteries and the art of stagecraft, while revealing the highs and lows of playing roles so small that the characters are never named.

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Seward

Lincoln's Indispensable Man

by Walter Stahr

Paperback, 720 pages, Simon & Schuster, $19.99, published September 17 2013 | purchase

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Title
Seward
Subtitle
Lincoln's Indispensable Man
Author
Walter Stahr

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The race for the Republican nomination of 1860 was one of the greatest political contests in American history: Abraham Lincoln versus Salmon Chase versus William Seward. Seward might have lost that campaign, but his greatest role was still to come — as the Secretary of State in Lincoln's famed "team of rivals." Walter Stahr describes how a man who was Lincoln's fiercest and most critical opponent eventually became his most loyal and trusted adviser.

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How Music Works

by David Byrne

Paperback, 352 pages, Pgw, $20, published September 17 2013 | purchase

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How Music Works
Author
David Byrne

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David Byrne, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founder of Talking Heads, presents a celebration of music as he knows it. He draws on his own experiences to explore everything from Balinese performance techniques to the acoustics of CBGB, deal structures and Celia Cruz — and, of course, the band that first made him famous.

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Why Nations Fail

The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Paperback, 529 pages, Random House Inc, $17, published September 17 2013 | purchase

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Title
Why Nations Fail
Subtitle
The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Author
Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

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In Why Nations Fail, two economists investigate a question that knows no easy answer: why are some nations rich while others are poor? Why is life so drastically different on opposite sides of a border — whether between South and North Korea, Haiti and the Dominican Republic or the U.S. and Mexico? Damon Acemoglu and James Robinson argue for the importance of man-made political and economic institutions, more so than other features like geography or culture.

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The Cutting Season

by Attica Locke

Paperback, 384 pages, HarperCollins, $15.99, published September 17 2013 | purchase

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Title
The Cutting Season
Author
Attica Locke

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When the body of a young woman is found on the grounds of a Louisiana plantation named Belle Vie, manager Caren Gray launches her own investigation into the estate's history. A century-spanning story of two murders unfolds as Gray delves deeper into a mystery involving the plantation's slave quarters — and her own past. In this historical thriller, novelist Attica Locke examines the troubled racial past of a United States that, according to her, remains in its "adolescent phase."

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