Rebecca Deczynski, editorial assistant, @rebeccadecz
Who It's About: Sophie Friederike Auguste, who would later become Catherine the Great of Russia.
Their Greatest Achievement: Born into minor nobility, Catherine the Great worked her way into becoming Russia's longest-ruling female leader, all the while supporting the arts, literature, philosophy, education, and generally enlightened ways of thinking of the 18th century.
Best For: Anyone looking to break glass ceilings and climb social ladders.
The Takeaway: Before Dale Carnegie ever wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People, Catherine had mastered the art of charm and charisma. She networked her way into becoming the sole ruler of the Russian empire for 34 years—an example that can surely provide inspiration for anyone with boundless ambition.
Chantal Strasburger, assistant editor, @chantagold
Who It's About: Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. It's a beautifully printed book, so even if you're not a big reader of biographies, you'll still love the more than two hundred stunning, full-color illustrations.
Their Greatest Achievement: IMHO? "The Birth of Venus." But then you also have "Primavera," "The Adoration of the Magi," and "Mars of Venus," along with several hundred others—so you decide.
Best For: Did you major in art history? Did you think about majoring in art history? Do you like Italians? Do you appreciate beautiful things? Do you have eyes? If you answered yes to any of the above, you will enjoy this book.
The Takeaway: It can be easy to forget that the artists behind some of the greatest masterpieces of all time were also living, breathing people. This book takes you behind the scenes of one of the most talented artists of all time, as well as the complicated politics and artistic upheaval of 15th-century Florence.