February Staff Reading List

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. 

“My friend and I have been reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott because we both love Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation. It’s been lovely so far!” –Kayla Wentz

The Secret Lives of Color (Penguin Books edition 2017). This is best read slowly, to allow oneself to skip ahead to the various page reference points, and if needed, to reference online the places and artwork mentioned to help visualize the physical world simply through its color. St Clair guides the reader through the natural resources once exploited for some colors to be used, but also the progress made to bring new colors into existence to fill in the spectrum of light with such wonder.” –Nathan Putens

“I just finished reading Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. It’s one of my wife’s favorite books and she was downright astonished that I managed to get an English degree and I had never read it. So she ordered two copies and we decided to read it together. It turns out, she cheats and watches Netflix shows without me and I cheat by reading ahead.”  –Rob Buchanan

“I’m finishing Wheels of Courage: How Paralyzed Veterans from World War II Invented Wheelchair Sports, Fought for Disability Rights, and Inspired a Nation by our author David Davis. I listened to a great interview with him on this Olympics podcast that got me interested in the origin of wheelchair basketball, which is the main sport covered in the book.” –Erica Corwin

The Trickle-Up Economy: How We Take from the Poor and Middle Class and Give to the Rich by Mark Mattern. I’m related to this author so I felt compelled to at least try slogging through it. Pleasant surprise: no slogging required. It’s a readable critique of the US economy’s current tax and benefit structure. Spoiler alert: it’s unfair.” –Ann Baker

“I’m reading The 1619 Project, by Nikole Hannah-Jones, et al. I received it as a Christmas gift. It’s constructed in a beautiful way, interspersing history with poetry, fiction, and journalism. The writing is great but it’s a painful read.” –Annie Shahan

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Tor, 2021 edition). I had heard a lot about Hex being a genuinely keep-you-up-at-night, double-check-that-the-door-is-locked terrifying horror novel but I wasn’t prepared for how much this story of a town living under the sway of a silent, omnipresent ghost of a witch got under my skin. I don’t know that I’ve ever read a novel with an atmosphere this oppressively dreadful that’s as satisfying to read.” –Jackson Adams

“Inspired by an article in the Wall Street Journal about the ‘legendary editor’ Robert Gottlieb, I picked up The Chosen by Chaim Potok. I read this National Book Award finalist back in high school, and it was definitely worth a revisit.” –Haley Mendlik

“I just returned Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount to the library. It was an artistic and literary adventure, leaving me desperate to read the majority of titles covered in this book. It’s chock full of fun facts about writers, independent bookstores and libraries around the world, notes about cover design, authors’ favorite pets, and more!” –Lacey Losh

“I am currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It was a book club pick, but I’ve been wanting to read it for a while. I’m really enjoying it, and although fiction, it gives a glimpse into the struggles of being an actress in 1960s Hollywood.” –Emily Casillas

“I just finished reading Amitav Ghosh’s The Nutmeg’s Curse (Univ of Chicago Press, 2021). Would definitely recommend it.” –Rosemary Sekora

“I recently finished reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula for one of my classes this semester. It was an enjoyable read!” –Sarah Kee

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