Books on Access Utah

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Everything is subject to a lifecycle. In the field of energy, the obvious question is, “Where are we in the lifecycle of fossil fuels?” Competitive technology for sourcing renewable energy, marketplace readiness, and pressures from climate change all signal that the fossil fuel era is coming to an end. This book explains the alternatives and suggests when and how change will occur.

At twenty years old, Pete Fromm heard of a job babysitting salmon eggs, seven winter months alone in a tent in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. Leaping at this chance to be a mountain man, with no experience in the wilds, he left the world. Thirteen years later, he published his beloved memoir of that winter, Indian Creek Chronicles ―Into the Wild with a twist.

How did we get here?

In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.

Northwestern University Press

Wild Mustard, an anthology of prizewinning short fiction by contemporary Vietnamese writers, throws into relief the transformations of self and place that followed Vietnam’s turn toward a market economy. In just three decades, since the 1986 policy known as doi moi (renovation) ended collectivization and integrated Vietnam into world markets, the country has transformed from one of the poorest and most isolated on earth into a dynamic global economy.

Family history, usually destined or even designed for limited consumption, is a familiar genre within Mormon culture. Mostly written with little attention to standards of historical scholarship, such works are a distinctly hagiographic form of family memorabilia. But many family sagas in the right hands can prove widely engaging, owing to inherent drama and historical relevance. They can truthfully illuminate larger matters of history, humanity, and culture.

Hope, Heart, and the Humanities tells the story of how Venture, a free, interdisciplinary college humanities course inspired by the national Clemente Course, has helped open doors to improve the lives of people with low incomes who face barriers to attending college. For over a decade, this course has given hundreds of adults, some of them immigrants or refugees, the knowledge, confidence, and power to rechart their lives.

No Man’s Land is dedicated to the author’s grandfather. Not unusual in itself, but Simon Tolkien has a somewhat unusual grandfather, JRR Tolkien, whose experiences in the Somme inspired his grandson’s fifth novel, published to mark Friday’s centenary of the battle.

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, ​flies, ​noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. ​Roach ​​visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, ​she discovers that diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Back in the US, fashion design​ers at U.S. Army Natick Labs​ explain why a zipper is a problem for a sniper.

To call these unsettling times is an understatement: our political leaders are less and less respectable; in the realm of business, cheating, lying, and stealing are hazily defined; and in daily life, rapidly changing technology offers permission to act in ways inconceivable without it. Yet somehow, this hasn’t quite led to a complete free-for-all—people still draw lines around what is acceptable and what is not.

UPR listeners are avid readers, so our periodic question to you isn’t if you’re reading, but what are you reading? We hope you’ll share your booklist with us and we’ll compile a UPR list and post it on www.upr.org  You can share your booklist by email to upraccess@gmail.com or on Twitter @upraccess. We’re also asking if you have any suggestions for beach or camping or summertime reading. And what do your children read during the summertime?

With wildfires raging in Utah and other areas, we’ll turn to writer Gary Ferguson for a timely discussion about wildfires on Monday’s Access Utah. Wildfire season is burning longer and hotter, affecting more and more people, especially in the west.

The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from Colorado's headwaters, to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. HE takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and rv parks, to the spot near the U.S.-Mexico border where the river runs dry.

 

There are over 30 million birders in this country alone, according to the Cornell Institute of Ornithology.  Why are so many people interested in birds and birdsong?

"Birds might reveal the secrets of Communication" writes Sylvia Torti in her new novel "Cages." 

The words “Nixonian” and “Watergate territory” are being used increasingly in connection with the Trump Administration.

Next time on Access Utah we’ll examine those comparisons with John A. Farrell, author of the new book, “Richard Nixon: The Life.”

Las Vegas-based writer Laura McBride, is out with a new novel. “‘Round Midnight” spans the six decades when Las Vegas grew from a dusty gambling town into the melting pot metropolis it is today. It is the story of four women-- one who falls in love, one who gets lucky, one whose heart is broken, and one who has always wondered--whose lives change at the Midnight Room.

Laura McBride, author previously of “We Are Called to Rise,” is a graduate of Yale. She teaches at the College of Southern Nevada and lives in Las Vegas with her family.

David Sandum appeared to have it all: a beautiful young family and a promising career ahead as a business consultant. But his life started veering off course, and upon returning to his native Scandinavia, he fell into an inexplicable, deep depression.

I'll Run Till the Sun Goes Down is an account of Sandum's struggle to overcome his crippling mental illness. After years of hopeless despair, bleak hospitalizations, and shattered dreams, he is finally saved by his art. The paintbrush becomes his lifeline. 

 The publishers of Emma Marris’ book “Rambunctious Garden” say that “a paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity.

We continue our occasional series, Our Favorite Books, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s enduringly popular creation Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is thriving on television and continues to occupy an important place in popular culture. The famous fictional detective even figures prominently in the debate over evolution vs. intelligent design. We’ll look at how the character has changed over the years (and how our response to him has changed) and we’ll ask what Sherlock Holmes means in our culture today.

In his new book, Apocalyptic Anxiety: Religion, Science, and America’s Obsession with the End of the World” (University Press of Colorado), Anthony Aveni explores why Americans take millennial claims seriously, where and how end-of-the-world predictions emerge, how they develop within a broader historical framework, and what we can learn from doomsday predictions of the past.


Red Hen Press

Former Utah Poet Laureate and current Professor of English at the University of Utah, Katharine Coles is author of two novels and several volumes of poetry. The latest, published in March by Red Hen Press, is titled “Flight.”

 


Photograph by David McLain

Writer and explorer Gretel Ehrlich is author of 13 books, including "The Solace of Open Spaces." She has written for National Geographic, The Atlantic, Orion, and other publications. Her recent writing has covered everything from her experience being struck by lightning, to essays about how climate change has been affecting the Arctic communities in Greenland that she has been visiting for the last 16 years. Writing in Harper's Magazine she notes that "the ways in which these Greenlanders get their food are not much different than they were a thousand years ago, but in recent years Arctic scientists have labeled Greenland's seasonal sea ice 'a rotten ice regime.' Instead of nine months of good ice, there are only two or three. Where the ice in spring was once routinely six to ten feet thick, in 2004 the thickness was only seven inches even when the temperature was -30 degrees Fahrenheit. 'It is breaking up from beneath,' one hunter explained, 'because of the wind and stormy waters. We never had that before.