What We’re Reading

May staff reading list

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


paris wife

The Paris Wife

by Paula McLain

“I’m reading this book with my book club. This historical novel tells the fascinating story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, and gives an inside look into 1920s Paris and the ‘Lost Generation.'”—Emily Wendell

life reimagined

Life Reimagined

by Barbara Bradley Hagerty

“On the radio I heard the author’s story about taking up bicycle racing at midlife. I just started it and am liking it so far.”—Tish Fobben

dead tales

Tales from the Journey of the Dead

by Alan Boye

“I was curious about the author of A Guide to the Ghosts of Lincoln, and I know Alan’s brother, so thought I would give it a try. It also is a bit of a side track from my usual reading. This title is actually out of print now.

For those of us with attention deficit disorder, this is a wonderful title. The flow jumps between historical accounts, the author’s personal journey, and portraits of current residents of the Jornada del Muerte, using a series of short vignettes. I plan to read the other titles by this author in the future.”—Mark Francis

good earth

The Good Earth

by Pearl S. Buck

“A recommendation from the local used book store. I can see how this Nobel-Prize-winning book resonated with readers in the 1930s, but, oh how painful to follow the suffering of O-Lan!”—Heather Stauffer

hanging out

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

by Mindy Kaling

“I always enjoy a book that makes me laugh out loud while reading it and I love Mindy Kaling’s humor. I also enjoy reading it because there are things she talks about that most women around my age could relate to. I would definitely recommend it!”—Chloe Foote



by Sir Terry Pratchett

“I am rereading Snuff, one of the last books in the Discworld series. I am thoroughly enjoying it, as I have every book in the series.”—Rob Buchannan


The Hemingses of Monticello

by Annette Morris-Reed

“It was our book club choice for May. I’m fascinated by the history of Thomas Jefferson.”—Donna Shear


The Swans of Fifth Avenue

by Melanie Benjamin

“I’m reading it because Jana mentioned it recently on this list. I’d been seeing this book everywhere and thought it was probably another mean and sleazy New York story. But it’s wonderfully written and I’m finding it impossible to put down. Much of it is based on real events, and it’s a scathing reminder of what a curse great wealth and beauty can be.”—Alison Rold

fat girl

13 Ways of Looking At a Fat Girl

by Mona Awad

“I won this in a drawing (cue A Christmas Story: ‘It’s a major award!’). Really powerful. I realized what’s sticking with me most is even though there were several moments where I laughed out loud, these stories lack hope. They’re bleak. And I think that bleakness is what Awad meant to convey, more than anything else.”—Anna Stokely


Being a Dog: Following the Dog into the World of Smell

by Alexandra Horowitz

“Picked up an advance reading copy at Book Expo America, and it’s fascinating. I now look at my dogs’ noses with amazement!”—Alisa Plant

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