I'm hoping that the noindex route will work, but my site has been hit so hard across so many pages that I think it's possible I could never know if it helped.
Since I started my site, I've had about 200 pages of niche-related books from you can guess who. It really never occurred to me that the descriptions would be duplicate content, as I simply assumed that the SE's would recognize the pages for what they were. I'm going to noindex those as well.
I have a short list of phrases for which I was page one that I'm using to check each day to see if anything is improving. Sad to say, nothing is moving up, but some have gotten even worse.