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.

February Staff Reading List

Smacked: A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction, and Tragedy by Eilene Zimmerman

“I heard her interviewed on NPR and was intrigued to know more about how and why affluent professionals are becoming addicted to opioids. It was a fast read and I was appalled to learn of the widespread use and abuse of legal and illegal drugs in the legal and hi-tech professions. I guess I’m pretty naïve!” —Donna Shear

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

“Incredibly structured with each characters’ lives intermingled in unexpected ways. Evaristo is so talented and worthy of the Booker Prize. Dare I say she should have won it solo?” —Rosemary Sekora

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

“I’m late to the game on Fitzgerald’s work, but I was ready to read her entire library after reading just a few pages of The Bookshop.” —Bridget Barry

Spellbound (Grimnoir Chronicles, Book 2) by Larry Correria

“It’s the second book in his Grimnoir Chronicles. It’s sent in the 1930s where magic is real and Japan is a threat to the United States. The Grimnoir is a secret society that works to protect people from magic, and protect those with magic from being oppressed, and is in conflict with Japan. The books are great adventures and fun to read.” —Rob Buchanan

Weather: A Novel by Jenny Offill

“I picked this up after reading a profile of the author titled ‘How to Write Fiction When the Planet Is Falling Apart’ and really it’s about how to be a person when the planet is falling apart. The narrator starts a second job responding to letters for a doom-and-gloom podcast about climate change, and the book gets at the tension between her mundane daily worries and the anxiety of the looming apocalypse, the idea of ‘how do you tend your own garden when the world is on fire.’ It’s also terribly funny! It’s really short and written in fragments that you could theoretically read very quickly, but that become more clever the longer you spend with them—the language feels as carefully considered as poetry.” —Anne Aberle

Full Throttle: Stories by Joe Hill

“I just started this one and I am skeptically optimistic. I often think Hill suffers from many of the same problems as his dad’s prose and adds a handful of his own distinct ones. Many of my issues with his work come to a head as his long-winded stories limp to the finish line, like the whimper of an ending in Horns or how Locke and Key barely managed to maintain a heartbeat of tension through its final chapters. Hopefully, tighter short stories with a more restrained page count means there’s less time to see any carefully cultivated terror dissipate like steam.” —Jackson Adams

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