Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

What Are You Reading? Wednesday's Access Utah

Flickr: @Abee5

As we head into the holidays we want to know what you’re reading. What’s on your nightstand or device right now?  What is the best book you’ve read this year? Which books would you suggest as gifts? We’d love to hear about any book you’re reading, including in the young adult & children’s categories. One suggestion or many are welcome.

We’re going to compile a UPR Community Booklist. You can call us at 1-800-826-1495 during the program or email us right now to  We’ll also get reading suggestions from Anne Holman with The King’s English Bookshop and Andy Nettell from Back of Beyond Books in Moab. UPR friend and avid reader Elaine Thatcher will join us in studio for the hour.

Our Community Booklist:

Lisa Finch, Utah Public Radio Staff Assistant:

I am currently reading (again) The Seven Miracles that Saved America by Chris and Ted Stewart. I have a great interest in the history of America.  The authors have a way of narrating events, that just captivate me. I find it engaging and difficult to put down!

John in Moab recommends any book by Edward O. Wilson including “Half Earth” also buy someone a small book of poems.

Karen in Logan recommends: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin. She says they are both "fantastic novels about older people -- grown-ups."

Kathleen Kovarra Corr in Springdale recommends Michael McBride “The Last Wilderness” and          Lawrence Wright “The Looming Tower.”

Steve in Beaver Dam, Arizona:

I may have recommended Flirting With French in a prior Access Utah book segment a year or two ago, but I am re-reading it now and am thus reminded what a good read this memoir really is.

The book is the American writer William Alexander’s story of his herculean efforts to conquer the French language.  Part personal memoir, part cultural observation and part review of linguistic science, it’s always engaging and especially appealing to Francophiles like me.  

Let me tell you the reason I am reading Flirting With French for a second time:  Among Alexander's methods of second-language acquisition was language immersion school, and he thoroughly researched the field, found the institution which he judged the best of all of them and attended it for two weeks.  (Pronunciation of the name of the school is so difficult for the American tongue that Alexander devotes an entire paragraph to its unpronounceablity; so I won’t burden you with it here.) He describes his experience at the school in the chapter titled “Botte Camp” — I leave the translation to you —and after reading the book, the first time, I did the same:  I spent two weeks there in September/October. So naturally, I am reading the book again with a new perspective.

By the way, one of the people copied on this note is an instructor at the French immersion school the author and I both attended and he identifies her in the book as his favorite. She was mine too. My hunch s that she is fluent in English and thus able to read this note with ease.  But I cannot be certain as I’ve never heard her utter a word in any language other than French. You see, at the school, conversing in any language that is not French is strictly verboten.

Jake in Hyrum:

David Gran - The White Darkness - a posthumous telling  of Henry Worsley’s solo attempt to cross Antarctica in 2015-16.

Howard Massey - The Great British Recording Studios - the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made.

Thomas King - Amelia Earhart Unrescued - an historical fiction story woven around the history, archaeology, and environment of a remote island visualizing what Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan may have experienced, offering a solution to the mystery.

Amber DuBois‏ - Twitter: @AmBiDuBi85

@upraccess I recommend the book #SheHasHerMothersLaugh by @carlzimmer. It was full of fascinating information ranging from eugenics, belly button bacteria, origin of moron, and maybe most importantly, #CRISPR. Best book I've read this year! #recommendations #GoodReads


My two favorites this year:

1: The Narcissist Next Door, by Jeffery Kluger.  It was written prior to the 2016 election and surprisingly had most of the contenders in it as in particular was featured very prominently. Go ahead and guess who that was.

2: The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. It was written prior to the 2008 Financial Collapse, and had some amazing insights into government financial behavior and also the collapse.

Bryar from St George

I recently read a book called “On The Nose” by Hans Florine. 
I’m a rock climber here in St George and this book is amazing. It follows the exploits of legendary rock climber Hans Florine who has climbed the 3,000 ft nose of El Capitan in Yosemite over 160 times. It talks of perseverance, injury, and achieving your dreams. 10/10 would recommend! 

Tom Williams:

“Lincoln” by David Herbert Donald

“The Last Lion” by William Manchester and Paul Reid

“FDR” by Jean Edward Smith

“Eisenhower in War and Peace” by Jean Edward Smith

Elaine Thatcher: 

"Birds of a Feather" by Jaqeline Winspear

"The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron

"On the Death Beat" by J.S. Bateman

"Tears of the Giraffe" by Alexander McCall Smith

"The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver

"The Summer Before the War" by Helen Simonson

"The Shack" by William Paul Young

"The Sunday Philosophy Club" by Alexander McCall Smith

"All the Truth That's in Me" by Julie Berry

"Dune" by Frank Herbert

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline L'Engle

"Maisie Dobbs" by Jacqueline Winspear

"A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Tooles

Anne Holman:

"Whiskey When We're Dry" by John Larison

"Bearskin"  byJohn McLaughlin

"A Place for Us" by Fatima Farheen Mirza
"American by Day" by Derek Miller (sequel to Norwegian by Night)
"Lethal White" by Robert Galbraith (fourth in the Cormoran Strike series)
"Lost Words" by Robert MacFarlane
"All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah" by Emily Jenkins & Paul O. Zelinsky
"Is That You Eleanor Sue?" by Tricia Tusa
"The DarkDeep" by Ally Condie & Brendan Reichs

Andy Nettell:

"Desert Cabal--A New Season in the Wilderness" by Amy Irvine; published by Torrey House Press and Back of Beyond Books
"Life and Times of Denis Julien, Fur Trader" by James H. Knipmeyer; published by Aventine Press
"Depth of Winter" by Craig Johnson; published by Viking
"1,000 Books to Read Before You Die--A Life Changing List" by James Mustich; published by Workman 

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.