updated 04/17/2014 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/17/2014 AT 5:00 PM ET
One can argue it’s never been a better time to be a woman, but that doesn’t make it any easier. This week a few of our staffers are immersed in engaging and beautiful women’s stories, full of identity crises, health scares and hilarious mother-daughter drama.
Share your thoughts on their choices – and let us know what you’re reading.
Her Pick: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Thankfully someone at my book club suggested Americanah to me, or else I likely never would have even heard of it. Adichie is a Nigerian-born, Harvard-trained writer, and this semi-autobiographical novel is about a girl growing up in Lagos, Nigeria, who winds up at Princeton. She never gets over her faraway first love or the pull of returning to her homeland, but more importantly, she explores the difference between African-American and “American African” cultures. It’s completely fascinating, compelling and even romantic.
Erica Tabacoff, Digital Account Manager
Her Pick: Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
A few gals mentioned Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness during last week’s book club and after getting home that night, I downloaded it and couldn’t put it down. Susannah Cahalan’s memoir chronicles a seemingly healthy and successful mid-twenties New Yorker, whose health quickly spirals out of control due to an unknown auto-immune disease. She lands in the hospital with no recollection of how she got there. I’m on a thrilling journey with Susannah as she puts the pieces of her illness together and seeks a diagnosis that could save her life.
Jennifer Ross, Freelance Designer, People.com
Her Pick: Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui
I’m an avid reader of Elaine Lui’s blog because of her intelligent, funny and distinctive voice. So of course, her memoir was a must-read. By turns hilarious and moving, it tells the story of her charismatic mother – her difficult childhood in Hong Kong, immigration to Canada and tiger-mom style of raising her daughter Lainey to be the outspoken success she is today. Along the way we learn a lot about Mah Jong and Feng Shui (two of her mother’s obsessions), but most of all about the intense love between mother and daughter. I was spellbound from start to finish!
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 coming of age stories and more great book finds here.