What We’re Reading

October Staff Reading List

UNP staff members are always reading new books within our list and outside of what we publish. Here are some of the books our noses have been buried in.

comma queen

Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

“As soon as I heard about this book—and listened to and read interviews with Norris—I knew I wanted to read it. It’s a fun book that’s part history, part grammar, and part memoir.”—Joeth Zucco


The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book by Ted Kooser (UNP)

“It’s a nice window into a writer’s notebook.”—Joel Puchalla

our souls

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

“I am reading Our Souls at Night, the posthumous novel by Kent Haruf, set in Holt, Colorado where all his fiction is set. As always, Haruf’s simple prose is easy to read, but unfortunately this book does not live up to his other novels, particularly Plainsong, which is among my favorite books.”—Donna Shear


Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

“My wife said I should read it before I see the movie. It’s actually pretty interesting.”—Tom Swanson


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

“I’m rereading the first Harry Potter book. It’s excellent; I really like books (usually those aimed at middle school–age kids) that believably create worlds parallel to and accessible from but also quite different from our own (when those worlds are fun and exciting, anyway).”—Grey Castro


The Imaginary Institution of Society by Cornelius Castoriadis

Translated by Kathleen Blamey

“This is a key text in the Autonomist political and social movement, and the perfect book for helping people make the transition from capitalism to a worker’s socialist State.”—Matt Bokovoy

red rubber ball

Rules of the Red Rubber Ball by Kevil Carroll

“I’m reading this for class right now, it’s very short, but it’s a really interesting book that helps creative-minded people think outside the box as well as look at human potential and how to use that potential to achieve success.”—Emily Giller


The Cartel by Don Winslow

“It’s a novel about an escaped Mexican drug lord. It’s a timely subject and a thriller. On a side note, this author is also the co-author, along with Peter Maslowski, of Looking for a Hero, published by UNP.”—Roger Buchholz


A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

“I understand more about the history of the discovery of plate tectonics than I probably need to, a fascinating book!”

gooneChildress, Gone for Good by Mark Childress

“I’m currently reading about a rock star in 1972 who gets a little too stoned while flying his small plane, flies a very long way, and crashes next to an island containing other famous and not so famous people who were thought to be dead (Marilyn Monroe), but aren’t. I’m working my way through all of Mark’s books because he’s a wonderful storyteller who makes it difficult to stop reading and do something responsible.”—Alison Rold

wish you

Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains by Jenny Bowen

“I just started this memoir by a filmmaker who created the Half the Sky Foundation, an organization committed to bringing responsive care to children in Chinese orphanages. It follows the author’s process of visualizing and enacting a massive project with endless obstacles (cultural, linguistic, geographic, philosophic, economic, etc.) and equally massive repercussions.”—Tish Foben


In Cold Storage by James W. Hewitt (UNP)

“I just finished our very own In Cold Storage. I thought it was creepy and that the Serial podcast crew needs to take it on as one of their projects.”—Erica Corwin

in the woods

In the Woods by Tana French

“I love a good mystery. This isn’t it…”—Bridget Barry


Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me by Javier Marías

“Two people meet for a romantic evening; the woman inexplicably falls ill and dies in the man’s arms, and the novel goes from there. Quirky, absorbing, and a great read so far!”—Alisa Plant


The Frankenstein Omnibus edited by Peter Haining

“It is a collection of stories about creating life, starting with a story by Mary Shelly.  I am half way through and I like it so far because each story has a different take on the iconic tale.”—Rob Buchanan


My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk

“The story drips with Middle Eastern culture and art, and the constantly changing point of view adds an element of unpredictability to an already unique narrative.”—Anna Stokely

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