March 1-7: America's 'Unwinding,' Black Identity And Fictional Self-Help

The Unwinding

An Inner History of the New America

by George Packer

Paperback, 434 pages, Farrar Straus & Giroux, $16, published March 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
The Unwinding
Subtitle
An Inner History of the New America
Author
George Packer

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According to New Yorker writer George Packer, there used to be a kind of understanding among Americans — one in which everyone had a job and a purpose. But that deal has come undone. In The Unwinding, Packer explores what happened. The book is a collection of vignettes and profiles of ordinary and famous American lives, from the son of Southern tobacco farmers to a Silicon Valley billionaire.

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Waiting for the Barbarians

Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture

by Daniel Mendelsohn

Paperback, 423 pages, Random House Inc, $17.95, published March 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
Waiting for the Barbarians
Subtitle
Essays from the Classics to Pop Culture
Author
Daniel Mendelsohn

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A selection of 24 essays by Daniel Mendelsohn covers the lasting influence of the classics, the appeal of pop culture favorites and the art of fiction.

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Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Paperback, 588 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published March 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
Americanah
Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love as students in Nigeria, when the country is under military rule and those with the means to leave the country do. Ifemelu goes to America to study and prospers there. But Obinze can't get into to America and winds up living in London under assumed names. When they're reunited in their homeland 15 years later, they face the toughest decisions of their lives.

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The New Digital Age

Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business

by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen

Paperback, 351 pages, Random House Inc, $15.95, published March 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
The New Digital Age
Subtitle
Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
Author
Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen

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Imagine a world where machines wash, press and dress you on the way to work, and you can vacation via hologram on exotic beaches. In The New Digital Age, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Google's Jared Cohen do just that — but it's no gee-whiz Jetsons fantasy. The pair forecasts a raft of new innovations and corresponding threats that will arise for dictatorships, techno revolutionaries and terrorists, among others.

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Every Contact Leaves A Trace

by Elanor Dymott

Paperback, 395 pages, W W Norton & Co Inc, $15.95, published March 3 2014 | purchase

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Title
Every Contact Leaves A Trace
Author
Elanor Dymott

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In an attempt to unravel the mystery surrounding his wife's murder, a grieving lawyer discovers a tangled web of blackmail, sex, jealousy and the poems of Robert Browning.

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How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia

by Mohsin Hamid

Paperback, 222 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16, published March 4 2014 | purchase

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Title
How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia
Author
Mohsin Hamid

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Mohsin Hamid's novel takes its structure from the genre of self-help tutorials. Chapter 1: Move to the City. Chapter 2: Get an Education. Chapter 3: Don't Fall in Love. But the book's nameless protagonist, who transforms from rural peasant to corporate tycoon, fails to follow this last directive — after all, the dogged pursuit of success doesn't happen in a vacuum.

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*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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