nonfiction

Coffee or Die Magazine

For much of a year, writer Sebastian Junger and three friends—a conflict photographer and two Afghan War vets—walked the railroad lines of the East Coast. It was an experiment in personal autonomy, but also in interdependence. Dodging railroad cops, sleeping under bridges, cooking over fires, and drinking from creeks and rivers, the four men forged a unique reliance on one another.

Penguin Random House

When Kate Washington and her husband, Brad, learned that he had cancer, they were a young couple: professionals with ascending careers, parents to two small children. Brad’s diagnosis stripped those identities away: he became a patient and she his caregiver. Brad’s cancer quickly turned aggressive, necessitating a stem-cell transplant that triggered a massive infection, robbing him of his eyesight and nearly of his life. Kate acted as his full-time aide to keep him alive, coordinating his treatments, making doctors’ appointments, calling insurance companies, filling dozens of prescriptions, cleaning commodes, administering IV drugs.

USU Office of Research

“Sky Songs: Meditations on Loving a Broken World” is a collection of essays that takes inspiration from the ancient seabed in which Jennifer Sinor lives, an elemental landscape that reminds her that our lives are shaped by all that has passed through.

Amazon

Part memoir, part meditation on poetry, part conversation with her husband, friends, and the many animals that live with and around her, Katharine Coles’s The Stranger I Become probes the permeable boundary between inner life and outer, thought and action, science and experience. Coles begins this collection of lyric essays with a meditation on walking, and “the urge to move beyond, to understand myself as a stranger, estranged.”

University of Utah College of Humanities

How do we properly define cultural appropriation, and is it always wrong? If we can write in the voice of another, should we? And if so, what questions do we need to consider first?

May 1943. The Battle of Attu—called “The Forgotten Battle” by World War II veterans—was raging on the Aleutian island with an Arctic cold, impenetrable fog, and rocketing winds that combined to create some of the worst weather on Earth. Both American and Japanese forces were tirelessly fighting in a yearlong campaign, and both sides would suffer thousands of casualties.

Visit Park City

When the state of Colorado ordered its residents to shelter in place in response to the spread of coronavirus, writers Pam Houston and Amy Irvine—who had never met—began a correspondence based on their shared devotion to the rugged, windswept mountains that surround their homes, one on either side of the Continental Divide.

Utah State University Office of Research

“Sky Songs: Meditations on Loving a Broken World” is a collection of essays that takes inspiration from the ancient seabed in which Jennifer Sinor lives, an elemental landscape that reminds her that our lives are shaped by all that has passed through. Beginning with the conception of her first son, which coincided with the tragic death of her uncle on an Alaskan river, and ending a decade later in the Himalayan home of the Dalai Lama, Sinor offers a lyric exploration of language, love, and the promise inherent in the stories we tell: to remember.

USU Mountain West Center for Regional Studies

Today on Access Utah we revisit a conversation from last year with presenters at the Mountain West Center and Evans Biography Awards Writers Workshop for Auto/Biography.

I Love to Read and Review

“Unselfish: Love Thy Neighbor as Thy Selfie” compiled by Paul Parkinson, features 99 inspiring stories of people putting others before themselves. Everyone is trying to get noticed. Selfies are taking over the internet. We live in a world where success and achievement seem to be determined by how many “likes” or “followers” one has on social media. Selfish behavior seems to be at an all–time high.

Bookshop Santa Cruz

On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all.

Publishers Weekly

From Anne Lamott, the New York Times-bestselling author of Help, Thanks, Wow, comes the book we need from her now: How to bring hope back into our lives.

Colorado Springs Gazette

May 1943. The Battle of Attu—called “The Forgotten Battle” by World War II veterans—was raging on the Aleutian island with an Arctic cold, impenetrable fog, and rocketing winds that combined to create some of the worst weather on Earth. Both American and Japanese forces were tirelessly fighting in a yearlong campaign, and both sides would suffer thousands of casualties.

Bookshop Santa Cruz

On her 120-acre homestead high in the Colorado Rockies, beloved writer Pam Houston learns what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it. Elk calves and bluebirds mark the changing seasons, winter temperatures drop to 35 below, and lightning sparks a 110,000-acre wildfire, threatening her century-old barn and all its inhabitants. Through her travels from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska, she explores what ties her to the earth, the ranch most of all.

The King's English Bookshop

How do you sum up a life? What do you include and what do you leave out? Heather Lende, author of the new book "Find the Good," is the obituary writer for the Chilkat Valley News in a beautiful but often dangerous spit of land in Alaska. She says "we are all writing our own obituary every day by how we live." Shanan Ballam, who teaches Creative Writing at Utah State University, wrote her brother Dylan's obituary.

Fishtrap

“I began my writing career by exploring the tracks humans have left in nature. Now I’m mostly interested in the tracks nature leaves in us.” That’s author Gary Ferguson. He says that nature provides beauty, mystery and community, traits that each of us very much needs. He is the author of 25 books. We talked with Gary Ferguson a few months ago about his latest “Land on Fire.” Today we’ll talk with him about “The Carry Home” a haunting meditation on wilderness, conservation, and grief, written following the death of his wife in a canoeing accident.