updated 06/05/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/05/2014 AT 5:45 PM ET
Here at PEOPLE we’re all about telling a good story, be it the behind-the-scenes happenings of Hollywood or what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is up to these days.
But before there’s a good story, there has to be a good storyteller. A few of our staff have their noses buried in fiction and non-fiction books that depict how hilarious, inspiring or terrifying a storyteller can be.
Share your thoughts on their choices – and let us know what you’re reading.
His Pick: Raw: A Love Story by Mark Haskell Smith
I picked up this book solely because of the fun cover art (yeah, I’m one of those readers), but once I read the synopsis on the back and found out that it told the story of a reality star who was named one of PEOPLE’s Sexiest Men Alive, I had to see what it was all about.
The plot jumps between the perspectives of a hunk-turned-novelist Sepp Gregory and a nerdy literary critic, Harriet Post. While Harriet tries to flip the lid on the truth of the reality star’s debut novel, their worlds collide after an unfortunate accident and they find themselves on a whirlwind road trip.
The author’s satirical take on today’s celebrity-obsessed culture is both hilarious and absurd. You’ll laugh (and sometimes blush) the whole way through.
Her Pick: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
I’ve always enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s books, so I gave this one a shot.
Most of her work tugs at your heartstrings, but this one is harder to read than I anticipated.
The story is about an old man, a former Nazi SS guard, who meets a 20-something young Jewish girl and seeks her forgiveness as redemption for his sins by asking her to kill him.
In trying to convince her, he relives all the nightmares of the Holocaust in gruesome detail.
I’m less than halfway through and hoping I’ll be able to finish to find out how it ends.
Her Pick: Breaking Through: Girls Write Now 2014 Anthology by GirlsWriteNow
The book I’m reading this week has a special place in my heart.
After being a Girls Write Now mentor for two years, helping inner-city girls discover the art of writing, I was so excited to see all of their work published in this new anthology.
With an intro by first lady of New York City, Chirlane McCray, and more than 122 poems, short fiction pieces and essays all based on the theme of “Breaking Through,” it s hard not to be inspired.
The stories of struggles, triumphs and reflections are so heartfelt and personal – to think that so many of them are written by high school girls is truly incredible.
Check back every Thursday for more roundups of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now. Plus, check out past staff picks like books on better living and more great book finds here.