What We’re Reading

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


September Staff Reading List



Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Anthony Bourdain


“I’ve never given much thought to the organized chaos that occurs behind the scenes in a restaurant kitchen, and Anthony’s writing style brings that chaos to life.” —Erica Corwin



The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House

Ben Rhodes

“Rhodes was a speech writer and worked as the deputy national security advisor. I don’t usually read memoirs like this, but in these times, it’s an interesting look at how government works. A lot of the events that he writes about are still fresh in my memory so it’s fascinating to read about some of the painful decisions that were made but also the strategies that went into those decisions. On top of that, he hints at the dedication and time required to hold a position like this—it’s pretty much a 24/7 job for as long as a person can stand it, and he did it for both terms. Wow!” —Joeth Zucco



Island in the City: A Memoir

Micah McCrary

“I first met Micah not quite three years ago and have had a few short but enjoyable conversations with him since then. It’s a tribute to the authenticity with which he writes that, even though I don’t know him well at all, when I read this book, I hear his voice.” —Joyce Gettman



Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah

“Noah was born towards the end of Apartheid, when it was illegal for people of different races to be together. The book is moving and funny and heartbreaking at times. I never learned about Apartheid in school and Noah provides an interesting look into how it worked and how life changed once it ended.” —Rob Buchanan



The Word Is Murder: A Novel

Anthony Horowitz

“I really enjoyed Horowitz’s Moriarty a few years ago and was intrigued by the premise of this novel—Horowitz creates a fictional version of himself as a modern-day Watson that accompanies a Sherlock-esque investigator. I’m about halfway through but am not far enough along to feel compelled by the mystery to keep reading. The reinvention of the genre is interesting, so I hope the relationship of the two lead characters becomes more dynamic by the end.” —Heather Stauffer



It: A Novel

Stephen King

“I’m only an occasional King reader but Hulu’s new Castle Rock show and a month of air travel meant that now felt like the right time to tackle one of the longest books in his oeuvre. I’m about a third of the way through it and while it’s already loaded with iconic moments and memorable scenes, what’s stuck with me most is the way King uses the idea of trauma and triggering incidences to explore the way we never truly forget the moments that leave a mark on the psyche.” —Jackson Adams


loyal mountains

In the Loyal Mountains: Stories

Rick Bass

“You can practically smell the pine sap in these pages. Bass’ sense of place is rich and enticing. ” —Anna Weir

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