The University Press community has compiled a list of books to help readers escape the news, and the titles have been collected at LitHub, which writes “the goal for the list is to offer readers a way to entertain and inform in a time when reading allows us a portal to other worlds, when we can’t quite get there in person.”

The University of Arkansas Press has two books on the list.

The Man in Song: A Discographic Biography of Johnny Cash by John M. Alexander is the first biography of Johnny Cash to examine his incredible life through the lens of the songs he wrote and recorded. Music journalist and historian John Alexander has drawn on decades of studying Cash’s music and life, from his difficult depression-era Arkansas childhood through his death in 2003, to tell a life story through songs familiar and obscure. In discovering why Cash wrote a given song or chose to record it, Alexander introduces readers anew to a man whose primary consideration of any song was the difference music makes in people’s lives, and not whether the song would become a hit.

The Apple That Astonished Paris, first published by the University of Arkansas Press in 1988 by then-director Miller Williams, was poet laureate Billy Collins’s “first real book of poems.” This collection includes some of Collins’s most anthologized poems, including “Introduction to Poetry,” “Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House,” and “Advice to Writers.” Its success over the years is testament to Collins’s talent as one of our best poets, and as he writes in the preface to the 2006 second edition, “this new edition . . . is a credit to the sustained vibrancy of the University of Arkansas Press and, I suspect, to the abiding spirit of its former director, my first editorial father.”

Read the full list of books at LitHub for other great University Press books.