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.


January Staff Reading List



Death in Holy Orders

An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery

P. D. James

“I’m listening to this mystery on my commute. James sets the murder mystery in East Anglia, and as usual her descriptions of the landscape and the theological college where the novel takes place, are superb. James has given the mystery has many, many moving parts, lots of suspects, and her wonderful, relentless, poetic Inspector Dalgliesh who always nabs the culprit!” —Annie Shahan



The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

 Kevin Fedarko

“This is far more a history of the Colorado River than the story of a single speed run through the canyon, which—for me, at least—makes it a much better book. Reading about desert landscapes in the middle of a Nebraska winter makes it even better.” —Bridget Barry


west wingers

West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House

Gautam Raghavan

“I picked it up earlier this month at the American Historical Association annual meeting from Penguin Random House. The singular stories of how and why these individuals came to work in the Obama White House are all really special—I would recommend it to anyone looking for politics you can feel good about heading toward 2020.” —Rosemary Sekora



The Hike: A Novel

Drew Magary

“I burned through The Hike in about a weekend, completely engulfed in the strange mashup of surreal fantasy, nightmare logic, and meditations on contemporary fatherhood and marriage. Come for the extremely verbose swearing match between a man and a crab and stay for the devastating final page twist.” —Jackson Adams


better rome

Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World

David Maraniss

“It’s the most recent book club selection for my friend’s Olympic Fever podcast. I’ve only just begun the book but it’s clear that I’m going to learn a lot about how the 1960 Olympics intertwined with the Cold War, Civil Rights, and Women’s Rights.” —Erica Corwin



Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming

Edited by Paul Hawken

“With the string of dire reports about the acceleration and lasting impact of global warming, this book seems like required reading for anyone who calls earth home.  Solutions are both realistic and bold, and they include quite a range of useful practices for almost anyone.” —Heather Stauffer



Fire and Blood

George R. R. Martin

“It is a history of Westeros that begins when Aegon the Conqueror earns his name by uniting the Seven Kingdoms under his rule. I picked it up because it’s Martin and connected to A Song of Ice and Fire and I have not been disappointed. It can get a little hard to keep track of everyone, since many of the names are so similar, which is another thing Martin got from Tolkien. I am thoroughly enjoying it.” —Rob Buchanan



Mapping the Interior

Stephen Graham Jones

“I picked it up because I’ve been wanting to read more speculative fiction by indigenous authors, and the premise of this book really intrigued me: a twelve-year-old boy is haunted by the ghost of his father, and tries to make sense of his experience while also dealing with his family’s financial insecurity and generational trauma… I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. This book was really phenomenal and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves beautiful, dark stories.” —Maggie Moore






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