What We’re Reading: Books That Inspire Us

updated 03/14/2013 AT 2:00 PM ET

originally published 03/14/2013 AT 5:00 PM ET

Who doesn’t need a little uplift?

This week our staffers are finding inspiration in a POW who never gave up, an intuitive’s ideas on fate and free will, and the Queen (Mrs. Keep-calm-and-carry-on herself).

Check out our picks, then share your thoughts and let us know what you’re reading.

Michelle Tauber, Senior Writer
Her pick: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympian who survived horrible brutality as an American POW in World War II Japan, is truly epic. From its lost-at-sea opening – complete with circling sharks! – the book unspools with cinematic grandeur. Angelina Jolie is directing the movie version. Will Brad Pitt play the super-humanly resilient Mr. Z? I could see it.

Julie Farin, Senior PR Manager
Her pick: Transforming Fate Into Destiny by Robert Ohotto

I love books in the spirituality genre that try to shed light on life’s great mysteries. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why am I here? What purpose do I serve?”, then you’ll enjoy this book by intuitive and radio host Ohotto. Think of it as a print version of The Adjustment Bureau, where life’s coincidences and everyday encounters are actually keys to a much bigger picture.

James Miller, Assistant Photo Editor
His pick: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her Court by Robert Hardman

I’m an ardent royal watcher (so it’s perfect that my job means hours of looking at photos of the Duchess of Cambridge.) This is a really good book that gives you a glimpse of the Queen’s personality, how she handles the mass of people in constant orbit around her, and how she deftly navigates any situation with a sense of duty and a sense of humor.

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Check back every Thursday for another round of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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