What We’re Reading: 17 Books to Enjoy—Or Gift

There are some books you just find yourself thinking about endlessly, talking about constantly and recommending to all your friends. At More, we're certainly not immune! Here's what the editors have been reading—and raving about—recently.

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"This Is How You Lose Her" by Junot Diaz

"This book is making everyone’s best-of list, so it’s hardly a surprise. But if you were obsessed with Drown and The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, as I was, then all you need to know is that you won’t be disappointed. And if you still haven’t read Diaz, this collection of interwoven stories is a perfect place to start." –Jennifer Braunschweiger, Deputy Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach

"The story swirls around a small college baseball team but it is so not about baseball. It is beautifully written." –Susan Swimmer, Contributing Fashion Features Editor
 

Buy it here.

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"Putting Heads On Beds" by Michael Cockman

"This is new and it’s already getting a lot of talk. I just started it and I love it: An insider’s view of the luxury hotel business. You’ll never order room service the same again!" –Susan Swimmer, Contributing Fashion Features Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century" by Margaret Talbot

"I love entertainment history, especially tales of old Hollywood. So I am especially loving New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot’s fascinating new book about her father, the actor Lyle Talbot. The Entertainer: Movies, Magic and My Father’s Twentieth Century is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening personal and cultural history that takes us through the days of the traveling circus, vaudeville, the Hollywood studio system, television and more." –Nanette Varian, Features Editor

 

Buy it here.

Photograph: Avery Powell

"John Adams" by David McCullough

"Reaching back even farther in time, I am also reading John Adams, by David McCullough, who breathes life and urgency into historical figures like nobody’s business." –Nanette Varian, Features Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs and Stand-Up" by Russell Brand

"I saw the Katy Perry film and couldn’t help feel sad that the marriage with Brand did not work out. He seems so sweet in the film. I had heard he had a very tough life. He is a comedy writer so this autobiography is laugh-out-loud funny and sad at once." –Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor-in-Chief

 

Buy it here.

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"Fresh Off the Boat" by Eddie Huang

"I fall in love easily -- and often. Right now I love the one I’m with, wild blogger chef Eddie Huang, whose memoir Fresh Off The Boat is crazy delicious. Makes me feel cooler (and hotter) than I’ll ever be.  However, this book won’t be out till January." –Cathy Medwick, Literary Editor

 

Preorder it here.

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"The Fault In Our Stars" by John Green

"The book I have loved most this fall, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, can be found in the Young Adults section, an area I’ve been known to browse for my book-crazy kid. This one is inappropriate for a 9-year-old boy, but perfect for his 41-year-old mother. The plot is a love-story of two teens with cancer. Sad premise? You bet; stock up on the tissues. But it is also wickedly funny and life-affirming." –Genevieve Monsma, Beauty Director

 

Buy it here.

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"Inventing Elsa Maxwell: How an Irrepressible Nobody Conquered High Society, Hollywood, the Press, and the World" by Sam Staggs

"She called herself a 'short, fat piano player from Keokuk, Iowa.' A less charitable commentator said Elsa Maxwell was 'shaped like a cottage loaf with currant eyes.' But her wit, vivacity and utter lack of shame propelled Maxwell to become the world's most famous hostess in the first half of the 20th century. Author Sam Staggs invites you along to the party." –Nancy Stedman, Deputy Editor, Health

 

Buy it here.

Photo courtesy of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

"White Teeth" by Zadie Smith

"I just finished White Teeth by Zadie Smith and loved it. What a brilliant writer! So witty, hilarious, timeless and contemporary. I found myself laughing till I cried several times." –Gabrielle Sirkin, Assistant Photo Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel

"Stop us if you've heard this before: A 16th century English king, eager to have a male heir, tries to divorce his queen consort and marry a socialite who refuses to have sex before she gets that ring on her finger. Drawing compelling characters, writer Hilary Mantel has managed to turn the familiar story of Henry VIII into a page-turner of a novel. This first volume of a proposed trilogy, told from the point of view of ruffian-turned-royal adviser Thomas Cromwell, won the Man Booker award in 2009. Its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, garnered the same prize this year."  –Nancy Stedman, Deputy Editor, Health

 

Buy it here.

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"About Alice" by Calvin Trillin

"I had just finished the super disturbing Gone Girl (which I loved) and needed to cleanse my brain with a real love story. Re-reading Calvin Trillin’s heartwarming tribute to his late wife did the trick. It’s a short and sweet portrait of their 35-year relationship—the perfect antidote to a cynical thriller about marriage." –Nikki Ostasiewski, Associate Beauty Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"Beautiful Ruins: A Novel" by Jess Walter

"This novel is a seductive mix of 1960s Italy and Hollywood today, of sensitive fictional characters and a riotous cameo of Richard Burton, of poignancy and wit, or delicacy and vulgarity. It took me on a pleasurably dizzying trip between past and present and I hated that the journey had to end." –Ila Stanger, Managing Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand

"As in her epic racehorse saga Seabiscuit, Hillenbrand takes a true story and makes it read like page-turning fiction. Her focus this time is Louis Zamperini, a troublemaking kid who became an Olympic star, then WW II bombardier. Shot down in 1943, Zamperini and one other airman survived 47 days on a raft only to be picked up by the Japanese and imprisoned under unimaginably brutal circumstances. Well into his nineties when Hillenbrand interviewed him, Zamperini provides both historical perspective and emotional depth to this remarkable tale of resilience and redemption." -Susan Toepfer, Entertainment/Features Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"Gone Girl: A Novel" by Gillian Flynn

"This summer I devoured Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn. I’m a sucker for murder mysteries in any form, so I finished this book in less than 48 hours. It was like reading an episode of Law & Order or Criminal Minds. You will, quite literally, be on the edge of your seat reading this and the ending, I might add, is a real killer. Now I’m on to Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff." –Daniela Jelaska, Assistant Editor

 

Buy it here.

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"We Killed: The Rise of Women in American Comedy" by Yael Kohen

"I always root for the underdog. Yael Cohen’s thoughtful oral history on women comics is full of them. From Phyllis Diller to Sarah Silverman, the book traces the rise of women—who had to battle hecklers and tv execs alike—in the once male-dominated genre. We Killed is hilarious and harrowing—a great read for the holidays." –Laura Sinberg, Features Editor

 

Buy it here.

Photo courtesy of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

"The Mistress's Daughter" by A.M Homes

"Books have about five pages and 15 minutes to hook me before I move on. I recently finished The Mistress’s Daughter, by A.M. Homes. I pulled it off a library shelf and was intrigued by the little girl’s probing eyes on the cover. I recognized Homes from fact-checking her book reviews for More (years ago). Her memoir recounts how her world was upended when her birth mother contacted her 32 years after giving her up for adoption. She later meets her biological father, who at first embraces her before breaking off contact. It’s an insightful journey of a woman trying to reconcile the adoptive and biological strands of her identity." –Beatrice Hogan, Research Editor

 

Buy it here.

 

Next: 37 Gifts They Won't Forget

 

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