What We’re Reading

January 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.




The Obsessions of John Waters

by John Waters

“I’m reading the edition published in 2003. Originally published in the 1980s, I wondered if the book would seem dated, but his observations about celebrity culture still hold up today. It’s very funny.” —Erica Corwin



The Clan of the Cave Bear

by Jean M. Auel

“Recommended by a friend. I will finish the volume, but I don’t have plans to read any more in the series.” —Heather Stauffer


When Character was King

A Story of Ronald Regan

by Peggy Noonan

“Good read on America’s 40th President. Picked it up because I visited his Presidential Library and wanted to know a little more about him. Noonan is a very good writer.” —Tom Swanson


The Way Inn

by Will Wiles

“The storyline is a bit rough here and there, but anyone who has ever stayed at a conference hotel will enjoy this one.” —Bridget Barry


The Ice Child

by Elizabeth McGregor

“This novel follows the story of an archaeologist and his son, who are obsessed with finding the truth of what happened to Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew, who disappeared over a century ago. The author does a fantastic job incorporating the story of the present day into the history of Franklin’s crew and Arctic exploration.” —Emily Wendell


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J. K. Rowling

“Reading it again because I reread the entire series almost every year!” —Tayler Lord


Homage to Catalonia

by George Orwell

“I’m about to start George Orwell’s classic account of the Spanish Civil War, which I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t yet read.” —Alisa Plant


Modern Romance

by Aziz Ansari

“I found a copy inside a Little Free Library. I didn’t realize he’d written a book, but I enjoy his comedy and “Master of None” series on Netflix, so I figured his book must be hilarious and insightful, which it really is. I find the stories and statistics he’s collected fascinating, concerning the generational differences on how people in our culture date and fall in love.” —Lacey Losh


Political and Social Writings: Volume 1, 1946-1955

by Cornelius Castoriadis

“Castoriadis was the first Marxist theoretician to examine the Soviet State as a form of bureaucratic capitalism, and to offer a far-Left critique of Communist states as societies of control… His group, Socialisme ou Barbarie, and their journal saw their ideas emerge in May 1968 in France, as few master theoreticians rarely see their work result in political praxis during their lifetimes. His legacy is carried on today by Agora International.” —Matt Bokovoy


Make Your Home Among Strangers

by Jennine Capó Crucet

“I bought it after Jennine Capó Crucet read an excerpt to my ethics class this past year. It touches on the Elián González controversy, realities of being a first generation college student, and a minority in modern America. So far enjoying this quick, fictional read!” —Alissa Shanahan


World, Chase Me Down

by Andrew Hilleman

“Initially I grabbed it because of the title—it implied such defiance, such deliberate danger—and because I’ve been wanting to break into more Western genre books. Once I brought it home, I realized it had been blurbed by two of my old college professors, so of course I had to see it through to the end. Very glad I did.” —Anna Weir


The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

“Because everybody’s doing it.” —Alicia Christensen


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