What We’re Reading

UNP Staff member 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.


May Staff Reading List



Tara Westover

“I finally got around to reading Educated by Tara Westover. Typically I am leery of books as popular as this one, especially memoirs, but it was a singular experience. I can’t remember a more moving evocation of the transformative power of knowledge. And I remain in utter awe of the author’s resilience and indomitable spirit—not to mention the sheer brilliance of her writing.” —Mark Heineke


What Comes Next and How to Like It

Abigail Thomas

“After finishing Abigail Thomas’s memoir A Three Dog Life I am reading her follow-up What Comes Next and How to Like It: A Memoir. I discovered her after she blurbed one of our forthcoming UNP memoirs. After her husband had a serious accident her life changed dramatically and she eventually added more dogs to her family. She writes about her family, her work in publishing, her dogs, and more. They are compulsively readable books.” —Tish Fobben


Good To Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery

Christie Aschwaden

“I just started reading Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery by Christie Aschwanden. I heard Aschwanden speak at the Lincoln Marathon expo earlier this month, and after having run countless races, I was interested in learning what works and what doesn’t. During her talk—and in her book—she dispelled some of the myths of recovering from long training runs or races. Some of those include doing cold soaks, rolling on a foam roller, eating within thirty minutes of finishing your run, and stretching. She also hits on the growing trend of recovery centers that are springing up. Aschwanden, a science writer and former collegiate athlete, makes herself the guinea pig in trying out a lot of these recovery methods. I’m looking forward to finding out what works and why.” —Joeth Zucco


The Hunting Party

Lucy Foley

“I checked this book out from the library as an also-of-interest title to Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and it did not disappoint. A group of thirty-somethings who have been friends since college go on holiday at a remote hunting lodge in Scotland. One is murdered and all become suspects. Told from multiple perspectives that include the lodge’s staff, who have their own priorities, The Hunting Party is a good candidate for rainy afternoons (hot tea and warm socks optional).” —Heather Stauffer


No One Man Should Have All That Power: How Rasputins Manipulate the World

Amos Barshad

“No One Man Should Have All That Power: How Rasputins Manipulate the World by Amos Barshad. I’ve really been enjoying this historical study of manipulators, both infamous and little known, and how they exercised power over their charges. Barshad casts a very wide net, putting the defamed health guru behind Tom Brady under the microscope alongside the parasitic relationship between Raymond Carver and editor Gordon Lish, members of Trump’s inner circle, and many more, seeing how they measure up to the eponymous Russian holy man and the sway he held over a nation.” —Jackson Adams


To Play Again

Carl Rosenberger

“To Play Again: A Memoir of Musical Survival by Carol Rosenberger. Even though I know how it ends (she overcame the effects of polio to continue her concert pianist career) the author’s detailed account of how she learned to play the piano all over again is inspiring.” —Erica Corwin


Loudermilk: Or, The Real Poet; Or, The Origin of the World

Lucy Ives

“I just finished Loudermilk: Or, The Real Poet; Or, The Origin of the World by Lucy Ives. It’s smartly layered with characters that you could really see yourself not being friends with. I loved it. Plus, I FINALLY read a new novel in the actual month of its debut that carries publicity like ‘1 of 7 Novels Coming Out This Month That You Won’t Want to Miss’ and ‘One of the Best New Books to Read This Month.’” —Rosemary Sekora


Zoo Nebraska: The Dismantling of an American Dream

Carson Vaughan

“Zoo Nebraska by Carson Vaughan. A UNL grad with a passion for primatology and a sudden change in career paths returns to Royal with a chimpanzee in a corn crib, ready to start a research center… or a zoo… or whatever it needs to be called in order to take care of that chimp. The story is absurd, a strange part of Nebraska history I never knew, and Vaughan’s writing draws you into the landscape, the big dreams, and the heartbreak.” —Anna Weir

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