January 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. 

“I finished Either/Or by Elif Batuman last week. It’s chock-full of pop culture references from my youth, so I felt a strong connection to the narrator of this book. It’s also sprinkled with strange and abrupt phrases that delight me, such as ‘a correct waffle’ and ‘the microwave in the Ukrainian Institute was definitely haunted.’ I realized too late that Either/Or is meant to follow Batuman’s book The Idiot. So now I’ll need to read that one, too!” -Lacey Losh

“I just finished The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd and it left me reeling and wanting more. It even made it into the spot of “One of my Favorite Books of All Time.” Sue Monk Kidd weaves together research and imagination to craft a beautiful tale following the life of Ana, the imagined (but still plausible) wife of Jesus Christ, as she tries to fulfill her longing to write about the overlooked Biblical matriarchs and other brave women in her own time, all while experiencing her husband’s rise to influence as a spiritual leader. Some poignant themes include the challenging of class differences, variations on the meaning of spirituality, camaraderie among women, and the pull to answer one’s true calling.” -Cecelia Bialas

“This year I decided to dive into genres I haven’t read in some time. I started in horror with Pet Sematary by Stephen King. Mixing horror and sci-fi, I read Max Brooks’ Devolution and now easing into more traditional sci-fi with Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.” -Rosemary Sekora

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World, by Matt Parker. The classifications for these fall under entertainment and humor, and while there are elements of both, the authors are adept at navigating the heavy subjects at their core. I’m keeping copies of both for my bookshelf.” -Heather Stauffer

“I’m reading The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. I wanted something engrossing for my long-haul flight to Malaysia and this was the perfect book. While it is rather captivating, it’s also 960 pages! Hence I’m still working through it. It’s given me great insight into India under the British Raj.” -Manjit Kaur

“I’m taking a brief break from working my way through the Fablehaven series (I’m currently on Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary) to read Leigh Bardugo’s new release Hell Bent. This urban fantasy and sequel to Ninth House follows Alex and Dawes as they attempt to break Darlington out of purgatory while there are a series of murders occurring in New Haven. One of my resolutions is to not buy any more books until I get my physical TBR pile under control!” -Sarah Kee

“I’m reading The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times by Michelle Obama. One of the first things she talks about is taking up knitting during the early days of the pandemic, which makes me wonder if she ever has to explain to her family why there’s now so much yarn in the house.” -Erica Corwin

“One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read through the physical books I own before buying more (this is already going so-so), and I’m also trying the 52 book challenge this year – where you read a book a week – since I graduated last May and have found myself with a lot more time on my hands. I’m currently reading Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin, the first book in a series of love letters to the San Francisco of the 1970s and its residents.” -Taylor Martin

“I just finished Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling). It’s her fifth C. B Strike detective novel, a highly entertaining series about a one-legged detective (ex-British armed forces) and Robin Ellicott, his temp turned partner, who are trying to build their detective agency. Hired to solve a 40-year-old missing persons cold case, they trace the actions of a brutal, now-imprisoned serial killer through the tangled notes of the police detective who went mad while trying to solve the case the first time around. As crime novels the books in the series stand on their own but understanding events occurring in their personal lives requires reading them in sequential order. Bonus: the BBC is slowly producing TV versions of the novels which are also really good. (read the books first though!)” -Annie Shahan

“I’m reading a mix of things. Some days I read a couple poems from Living Room by Laura Bylenok because I like extending moments to days of scrutinization—case in point I’ve been thinking about light and how to eat it (thank you, “The Waiting Room”). I also started reading Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller with a group of friends. I had put it off because I’d heard it was sad, but I figure it won’t be so bad if we’re all sad together.” -Rebecca Jefferson

“In the latest “One Book – One Lincoln” selection of the Lincoln City Libraries, The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, it was the stories within the epic story that was most memorable for me, particularly those recounted by Duchess that may reveal the flaws of the novel’s most interesting character. Each chapter is narrated by one of the characters, and along with the rural beginnings of the journey in the fictional town of Morgen (loosely based on Aurora), I was reminded of As I Lay Dying by Faulkner, at least as well I remember that book. Before rereading that, I plan to read the previous book by Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow, which was also selected for Lincoln’s community reading selection. I highly recommend!” -Nathan Putens

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s