What We’re Reading

February 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.


The Swan Gondola

by Timothy Schaffert

“This book does a fantastic job of showing the reader the people and culture of the 1898 Omaha World’s Fair.”—Emily Wendell


War of the Roses

by Dan Jones

“I read The Plantagenets by the same author. This is his sequel.”—Tom Swanson




The Gulag Archipelago

by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“By page two I began to worry that I couldn’t get through it without developing a sneering, rock-hard bitterness toward Soviet Russia. No more worrying: it’s a done deal.”—Ann Baker



Hell’s Foundations Quiver

by David Weber

“Sadly, I finished it last night, which caused me great sadness as the series is brilliant and I now have to wait another 10 months for the next one.”—Martyn Beeny


Natives of a Dry Place

by Richard Edwards

“It’s an account of his growing up in rural North Dakota. Very well written and reminds me at times of Ted Kooser.”—Donna Shear



The Stranger

by Albert Camus.

“It’s absurd.”—Joel Puchalla



A Mercy

by Toni Morrison

“A beautifully-written story of love and betrayal in the 17th century.  The characters not only occupy the fringes of society, but they are often overlooked in historical fiction.”—Heather Stauffer


carpe jugulum

Carpe Jugulum, Discword 23

by Terry Pratchett.

“The kingdom of Lancre has been invaded by a family of vampires and it is up to the witches to give them the boot.”—Rob Buchanan


color of magic

The Color of Magic, Discworld 1

by Terry Pratchett

“Rob’s been raving about the series so often, I figured I’d give it a try.”—Anna Stokely




by Scott Winter

“Oh my… the things I didn’t know about Coach Miles!  It’s a fun read, particularly during basketball season.”—Tera Beermann



Postmodernism and Film: Rethinking Hollywood’s Aesthestics

by Catherine Constable

“I’m enjoying how this book concisely contextualizes films that fit into such a trivial period.”—John Klopping



The Moor’s Account

by Laila Lalami

“A winner or finalist for almost all the major fiction awards, it’s so far living up to its reputation.”—Bridget Barry




by Hermann Hesse

“Unfortunately I’m still reading the same book, same chapter. It’s been a busy month!”—Joeth Zucco



The News from Paraguay

by Lily Tuck

“It won a National Book Award several years back.”—Alisa Plant



Adventures of the Symbolic: Post-Marxism and Radical Democracy

by Warren Breckman

“Scholars across disciplines interested in the intersection of political praxis and social movement dynamics and philosophies thereof need to read this book, which is the most significant work on revolutionary social and political theory and its history in a generation.”—Matt Bokovoy



Old Man’s War

by John Scalzi

“I picked this up because I was intrigued by the concept of becoming a soldier at age seventy-five in order to be made young again. It’s fast-paced and quite funny, but there are also some poignant moments in which the main character, John Perry, struggles to reconcile his lifelong notions about what it means to be human with what he has become.” —Sabrina Stellrecht


slave coast

The American Slave Coast

by Ned and Constance Sublette

“It’s a revisionist political and economic history that describes how slaves weren’t just workers but human capital and, according to the Sublettes, some states’ main domestic crop. It’s a brutal and horrifying read but its important re-interpretation of American history is well worth it.”—Alicia Christensen


indian life

Life Among the Indians

by Alice Fletcher

“I consider Northeast Nebraska my home, and Alice Fletcher documents some of the history and culture. I like the fact that she recognizes her role as an outsider and admits her own misunderstandings. The author shows a willingness to question her own values when confronted with a different way of thinking.”—Mark Francis


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