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A self-improvement guide disguised (just barely) as an African-American-themed novel, Cubicles offers such gems of racial uplift as “So much for college; I should have listened to [an older co-worker] when she said, ‘You can take a monkey out of the jungle to keep it from swinging on trees, but that don’t mean it won’t be swinging on your chandelier.’” The book chronicles the workplace travails of three main characters—conveniently young, middle-aged, and nearing retirement—who may represent the generational progress of black women professionals; it’s hard to tell. One thing is clear, though: Author Camika Spencer has standards: “It turned me off to see women with extensions in their hair that didn’t blend with their natural hair color,” says the middle-aged character. “Sometimes, I caught myself wondering how she’d gotten a job as an executive secretary looking like something from a rap video.” Ask Spencer if classism is as destructive as sexism and racism when she appears at 12:30 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Caroline Schweiter)