updated 12/05/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET
•originally published 12/05/2013 AT 5:30 PM ET
Ever wonder what the fashion world’s really like, how the Pyramid builders slaked their thirst, or what it’s like to work as a junk hauler?
Our staffers are finding out.
Let us know what you think of the books they’re engrossed in – and tell us what you’re reading.
Her Pick: The Asylum by Simon Doonan
This collection of autobiographical essays is a love letter from Barneys creative ambassador Doonan (known for those insanely beautiful window designs) to the fashion industry. From how he got started to the time he saw a ceiling fall on Anna Wintour to his audition for the part of Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada (Stanley Tucci beat him out), Doonan’s tales give us a laugh-out-loud first-hand look into the eccentric asylum of fashion.
Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor
Her Pick: A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage
The premise of this book is fascinating: Much of the development of western civilization can be traced to the growth of the popular beverages of the time. Beer, wine, tea, coffee, liquor, soda: Standage makes a persuasive case for each “glass” in a fun, big-picture way, and I find myself citing his evidence in conversation all the time. Who knew, for instance, that ancient Egyptians working on the Pyramids were paid in beer?
Cara Shultz, Senior Editor
Her Pick: Got Junk by Tom Acox
A book about the companies you see on Hoarders? But I gave it a shot, and I’m glad I did. It’s hilarious – the author sounds like he’s your buddy, dishing out his wildest tales. Acox hauled junk during the summer to put himself through graduate school, and the book is all about that summer: customers he meets, the perks of the job and some of the more random (and shocking) things he and his coworkers found in people’s homes.
Check back every Thursday for another round of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now. Plus, check out last week’s buzzy new novelsand more great book finds here.