People Staff
November 21, 2013 05:15 PM

How could you go wrong this holiday season with the latest offerings from literary bestsellers Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Gilbert and Wally Lamb?

Let us know what you think of our staffers’ choices – and tell us what you’re reading.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Kiran Hefa, Assistant Editor
Her Pick: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri’s second novel packs a huge emotional punch as it follows the life of Indian-born, American-educated Subhash, whose life is profoundly changed after his brother Udayan is executed by the Indian government. The dutiful Subhash attempts to honor his brother by marrying Udayan’s pregnant wife, but hardship follows. While the book is peppered with characters whose selfish actions make them easy to hate, its beauty lies in providing honest insight into them.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Leslie Baldwin, Account Manager
Her Pick: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

An incredible return to fiction for Gilbert, this novel couldn’t be more different from Eat, Pray, Love. Set in 18th century Philadelphia, it’s the story of Alma, an heiress raised to pursue intellect above all else, who grows up to be a botanist specializing in moss. It’s a beautifully written odyssey that takes you from Philly to Tahiti to Holland as Alma discovers her place in the world.

We Are Water by Wally Lamb

Laurie Coghlan, Sr. Digital PR Manager
Her Pick: We Are Water by Wally Lamb

I’m about half way through We Are Water, but I foresee at least one night this weekend being devoted to the couch and my hardcover. The book is about a wife who has scandalously left her husband for her art (and another woman) in N.Y.C. The story’s told from the perspective of a few characters, which isn t always my favorite device, but here each character is interesting enough in her own right to make it work well. So far my favorite scene involves the throwing of multiple glasses of Bordeaux at three Vera Wang wedding dresses. At least you know you won’t be bored!

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 cookbooks for Thanksgivingand more great book finds here.

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