Grateful Reading

November Staff Reading List

As bookish people and lovers of stories, this month we asked UNP staff members what book they were most thankful for. Here are the books we find ourselves turning to again and again.


Home Cooking

Laurie Colwin

“I am thankful for having randomly picked up Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking five years ago. I’d never heard of her, and it was face out on a shelf in the library. It’s a memoir about food and much more, and it led me to read everything she ever wrote, including a sequel and some novels. She died rather young, and her voice in all of her books really resonated with me. I actually think about rereading the Home Cooking books, and I rarely do that.” —Alison Rold



Young Men and Fire

Norman MacLean

“I found it close to when it was first published, mostly because I was interested in him having seen the film A River Runs Through It around the same time. I loved the book, but it had a larger impact because it made me interested for the first time in a publisher of a book I loved. It probably is the one book that may have by chance put me on the path to a career in book publishing.” —Rob Taylor



Winter Wheat

Mildred Walker

“I am most thankful for any book written by Mildred Walker. When I started working at the press, UNP was in the process of publishing her biography, written by her daughter, Ripley Hugo. Walker’s Winter Wheat was the One Book, One Montana selection, and that was the beginning of my reading journey through her catalog. Walker writes strong female characters, who are down to earth and going through the same struggles as many of us. I read these books during a challenging time in my life and am so thankful to have discovered her work through UNP. ” —Joeth Zucco



Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“I was given a two-volume set one year for my birthday. The set was published by Random House in 1943, and has beautiful illustrations by Fritz Eichenburg. The books remind me to be thankful for my very thoughtful friends; not everyone has friends who scour antique stores for your favorite books.” —Abby Stryker



The Lorax

Dr. Seuss

“While many of the children’s books my parents read to me hold a special place in my heart, I feel the themes of The Lorax shaped my world view in a way that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. I still have my childhood copy.” —Lacey Losh


baby yourmom

Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other by Scott Simon

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother by Julia Sweeny

“I’m working on my daughter’s Lifebook and so her adoption process (seven plus years ago) is fresh in my mind. Revisiting this process and the early years with her has reminded me of two life-enhancing books that appeared to me just as I needed them. A few days prior to our long-awaiting referral, NPR host Scott Simon did an interview on Fresh Air about his new book Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other: In Praise of Adoption, which describes his experiences adopting two girls from China. His interview and his book gave me a shot of hope and courage when I needed it most.

The second book came to my attention several years into parenting. This memoir by former SNL host Julia Sweeney is about adopting her daughter from China and her life since: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother. It provided humor, wisdom, and perspective.” —Tish Fobben



In Sun’s Likeness and Power, 2-volume Set

James Mooney

Edited and transcribed by Father Peter J. Powell

“I’m thankful In Sun’s Likeness and Power which is a transcription of field notes and sketches of Cheyenne shield art, based on close work with Cheyenne elders during the early twentieth century transcribed and edited by Father Peter J. Powell. He was the first UNP author to send me not one but two letters thanking for me my work on promotion with his books. Special gestures like that always make my job that much more enjoyable!” —Rosemary Sekora



I Am the Messenger

Markus Zusak

“I’m thankful for this thoughtful and beautifully-crafted reminder that you don’t have to be anyone special to help people. You need only to pay attention, be willing to act, and always, always be kind.” —Anna Weir



A Murder of Magpies

Judith Flanders

“Thankful for a laugh, even at the expense of the publishing industry.” —Heather Stauffer


And for those of us grateful for too many books to count…

public libraries

“I’m most thankful for public libraries. What a resource—you take books home for free, bring them back, and then do it all over again!” —Erica Corwin


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