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.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

“Predictably, I’m feeling fragile and nervous but am hoping to increase my ability to think and talk about racism.” —Tish Fobben

“I just finished White Fragility—I believe Lacey read it a couple months ago, too. I would recommend it to all white people; even the ones who think they aren’t racist.” —Rosemary Sekora

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo “I’m listening to this as a continued effort to educate myself on how to be a better ally, to check and adjust my own behaviors that stem from internalized racism, to help me better recognize problematic cultural norms, and to find ways to fight systemic racism and discrimination.” —Lacey Losh

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano “Maybe this will be the year I read all three of the One Book One Lincoln finalists! I just finished The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, so Bad Blood by John Carreyrou will be up next. Dear Edward is about a twelve-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash, inspired by true events. It probably isn’t something that I would have picked up for myself, which is exactly what I love about One Book One Lincoln.” —Anne Aberle

Bruce Hampton’s Children of Grace: The Nez Perce War of 1877 and Mark Brown’s The Flight of the Nez Perce “I am fascinated by stories of resistance and survival, and recent national strife put me in mind of the Nez Perce’s legendary resistance effort as they both fought and fled from the U.S. Army in an attempt to reach Canada. I’ve been visiting sites along the Nez Perce National Historic Trail this summer, and these two excellent Bison Books provide context.” —Clark Whitehorn

Antonia by Maria Luisa Puga “A slow-moving novel that paints a true picture of living abroad as a twenty-something-year-old. Yes, there are exciting moments, but those are paired with the mundanity of everyday life, the discovery that you’re not invincible, the need to find a purpose, and a sense of obligation to those you left behind at home.” —Haley Mendlik

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown “The next best thing to watching the Summer Olympics is reading about them. I highly recommend this book, even for non-sports fans.” —Bridget Barry

Brave Genius by Sean B. Carroll “The story about Albert Camus (writer) and Jacques Monod (biologist), both future Nobel Prize winners, that were in the French Resistance in WWII. It’s an interesting glimpse into occupied France and the people that fought and collaborated with the Nazis. Friends of mine recommended it to me as their son (a biologist) had met the author (also a biologist). It is a good read and not at all boring history.” —Roger Buchholz

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha “Frances Cha explores the lives of several young women in the same Seoul apartment building as they reflect on their pasts and take possession of their futures.  Chapters circulate between four characters’ point-of-view, each with a distinct voice that provides texture, depth, and intrigue. The book was a bit of a slow burn, but Cha’s use of language and exploration of inequality in South Korea kept me reading. Highly recommended for any readers looking for a story that prioritizes character development and setting over plot.” —Heather Stauffer

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir “I feel like self-isolation has pushed me to my absolute limit for bleaker than bleak nonfiction and a friend recommended this to me as a palette cleanser. It’s coincidentally a bleaker than bleak, deeply bizarre bit of sci-fi/fantasy about a group of death cultists jockeying for aristocratic favor on a burned-out planet. It’s sharp and knowingly ridiculous, throwing around titles like ‘Nun of the Locked Tomb’ as readily as it delves into how its lead characters absentmindedly file their nails on dust-covered tiles between sword fights and long, obscenity-laden shouting matches.” —Jackson Adams

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