OWN

6 Fascinating Books That Peer Into How The Rich Live

The trappings of the 1 percent may seem as enticing as they are elusive, but is there something corrosive about überwealth? This mélange of titles look beneath the sheen of affluence to lay bare its not-so-appealing side.
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  • Smoke
    If Bernie Sanders wrote a Victorian thriller, it might read something like this&mdash;a stunningly <a href="http://search.bar
    Courtesy of Publisher
    If Bernie Sanders wrote a Victorian thriller, it might read something like this—a stunningly inventive social novel in which your economic class is revealed not by the car you drive or the school your kids attend, but by whether your body emits smoke when you think an impure thought. The poor are covered in soot, while the rich remain clean even when they think dirty—proof that the aristocracy has a divine right to rule. Or so it seems, until three teenagers risk their lives to expose the gritty truth.
  • This Is Not My Beautiful Life
    Victoria Fedden&nbsp;was nine months' pregnant when the feds raided her parents' home and arrested her mother for fraud. A sc
    Courtesy of Publisher
    Victoria Fedden was nine months' pregnant when the feds raided her parents' home and arrested her mother for fraud. A scandalously funny memoir about starting a new family while taking care of the felonious one you've already got.
  • We Could Be Beautiful
    <a href="http://search.barnesandnoble.com/books/product.aspx?EAN=9780385540599" target="_blank">A novel</a> that is deeper th
    Courtesy of Publisher
    A novel that is deeper than its heiress-meets-man-of-her-dreams setup. The reason: Huntley's uncanny ability to detect the fault lines in Manhattan's glitterati as if flaws in a precious diamond—and make us laugh about them.
  • Rich and Pretty
    Sarah, daughter of socialites, is rich. Career-driven Lauren is&mdash;you guessed it&mdash;pretty. Their sisterlike friendshi
    Courtesy of Publisher
    Sarah, daughter of socialites, is rich. Career-driven Lauren is—you guessed it—pretty. Their sisterlike friendship is put to the test when one gets married and becomes a stay-at-home mom while the other remains in the fray. Can they find a new way of fitting together?
  • Before the Fall
    A struggling painter is inexorably drawn into the lives&mdash;and fiery deaths&mdash;of two moguls, one financial, the other
    Courtesy of Publisher
    A struggling painter is inexorably drawn into the lives—and fiery deaths—of two moguls, one financial, the other media, in the suspenseful new novel by Noah Hawley, the showrunner for FX's darkly humorous hit series Fargo.
  • Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
    In 1976, amid the cloistered estates of Martha's Vineyard, an idyllic vacation is cut short when a couple learns that the tru
    Courtesy of Publisher
    In 1976, amid the cloistered estates of Martha's Vineyard, an idyllic vacation is cut short when a couple learns that the trust fund they've been living off of is kaput. Ramona Ausubel's timely, sophisticated tale explores what happens when a charmed life loses its luster.
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