What We’re Reading

January 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.


Writing Down the Bones

by Natalie Goldberg

“I admire the combined frank acknowledgment of struggle and persistent positivity Goldberg brings to her dedication to craft, and I admire too her drive to help others strengthen their own writing.”—Grey Castro


Lexicon Devil: The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and the Germs

by Brendan Mullen, Don Bolles, and Adam Parfrey

“Paul Beahm (Crash) was an iconic punk rock singer in the Germs, and it was interesting to note how hippie and glam era music entrepreneurs in Los Angeles took advantage of teenage punkers in business dealings like management and making records.”—Matt Bokovoy


Annihilation (The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1)

by Jeff VanderMeer

“So much better than The Girl on the Train, which I happily cast aside in favor of this novel.”—Bridget Barry



by Hermann Hesse

“My daughters just read it for a class, so it feels like a good time to reread it and talk with them about it.”—Joeth Zucco



Selling War

by Steven J. Alvarez

“Steve Alvarez’s description of the myopic approach to the media and telling the story of the Iraq War has made me shake my head with disbelief on almost every page!”—Martyn Beeny


Locke & Key

by Joe Hill

“Our colleague Maggie recommended and loaned me this graphic novel. I’m not a big consumer of this genre, but I’m really enjoying this so far—it’s best read at a leisurely pace.”—Jana Faust


The Door

by Magda Szabó

“Set in Communist Hungary, the novel at its most basic level traces the complicated relationship between two women, a youngish intellectual and her older, largely uneducated housekeeper, Emerence, who refuses to allow anyone into her apartment (hence the book’s title). A magnificent and gripping narrative of social class, intergenerational ties, and betrayal.”—Alisa Plant

street in paris

The Only Street in Paris

by Elaine Sciolino

“If you love Paris you’ll appreciate the book.”—Donna Shear



Food Whore

by Jessica Tom

“I like it so far. I picked it up because of the cover and snappy title, and because it’s about the competitive world of writing about food and restaurants in New York City where image is everything and where a bad review can determine your future in the business.”—Alison Rold


The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose Series, book 2)

by Jennifer Donnelly

“I am really enjoying this book as the author does a fantastic job with the characters and setting the story in 1900s London.”—Emily Wendell



by Terry Pratchett

“Another Discworld book . . . Reading the whole series again is like spending time with friends I haven’t seen in far too long.”—Rob Buchanan

buried giant

The Buried Giant

by Kazuo Ishiguro

“I’m a sucker for stories set in post-Roman Britain, and for Ishiguro’s leisurely prose. Much of his work is about England but he never writes the same book twice.”—Anna Stokely


The Final Solution

by Michael Chabon

“A nine-year-old mute boy escapes the Nazis and is accompanied solely by an African gray parrot that recites strings of German numbers and sings opera.  They cross paths with a geriatric, bored, world-renowned detective… And that’s just chapter 1.”—Heather Stauffer



Attempting Normal

by Marc Maron

“I’m reading this aead of seeing him at The Rococo in April. I feel like it’s an audio book read by him since I’ve listened to so many of his podcasts. (I can only read it with his voice in my head.)”—Erica Corwin

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