People Staff
April 24, 2014 06:30 PM

We all love a shiny finished product, but as the old saying goes, there’s “a means to an end.” For instance, this week’s World’s Most Beautiful special issue couldn’t have come together without a lot of long hours and not-so-glamorous work.

The books our staff are reading this weekend offer an inside look at how everything from dog shows to rock stars are made.

Share your thoughts on their choices – and let us know what you’re reading.

Gillian Telling, Staff Writer
Her Pick: Show Dog by Josh Dean

Full disclosure: The author of this non-fiction book is my husband, but I’d only read this one time when I was helping him proof-read, which made it seem like work. So when I picked it up again last week just for fun, I was pleasantly surprised at how breezy and laugh-out-loud hilarious it actually is.

Josh followed a champion show dog (Jack, an adorable Australian Shepherd) around the dog-show circuit for a year, and fully takes you behind the scenes of this nutty, obsessive – and strangely super-expensive – subculture. He dives into fascinating subjects like the history of dog breeding, human-dog bonding, and our ancient love affair with pooches.

There’s one unforgettable chapter where he goes to a dog breeder to witness firsthand how they mate superior breeds. I was actually there for that, and it’s safe to say it’s something I’ll never be able to un-see. Or un-smell.

Jeff Truesdell, Staff Writer
His Pick: The Gateway Arch by Tracy Campbell

One of America’s architectural icons turns 50 in 2015, and Campbell’s rich exposé lays bare the political, real-estate and city planning shenanigans behind the landmark. The at-times thrilling tale suggests the arch is an almost accidental success – St. Louis had no plans at all when it bulldozed 40 blocks of its historic riverfront – that eventually birthed the soaring stainless-steel monument to the nation’s westward march.

The parallel portrait of architect Eero Saarinen, whose winning design lifted him from the shadow of his more-famous father, is especially poignant knowing he never lived to see his dream built. It’s a fascinating read about my Mississippi River hometown.

Amy Galleazzi, Senior Director, Public Relations
Her Pick: Mad World by Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein

I grew up in the ’80s and this book (co-author Majewski is a former editor at Teen PEOPLE) is filled with stories from some of the most influential and favorite bands of my youth. It’s the story behind the songs, the fashion and the inner band strife, with all new interviews from the band members themselves. Morrissey talks about writing The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now.” Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner share scoop on Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and New Order’s “Blue Monday.”

A really informative and insightful read – especially if you love this music and era.

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 stories of modern womenand more great book finds here.

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