Monday, December 19: Holiday Book List | KUER 90.1

Monday, December 19: Holiday Book List

Salt Lake City, UT – Just when you think you'll have to resort to socks and underwear for those last minute gifts, RadioWest brings you a list of the best books on shelves this holiday season. Doug Fabrizio is joined by Betsy Burton of The King's English Bookshop, Lisa Myron from the Salt Lake City Library, Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books, and Catherine Weller of Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore. They'll give you their favorites for readers of all ages, from new titles to the classics.

Titles recommended by today's guests:

Catherine Weller from Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore

  • Age of Anxiety by Haynes Johnson
  • Anatomy of a City by Kate Ascher
  • Eating Stone by Ellen Meloy
  • Elements of Style Illustrated by Strunk & White illus by Kalman
  • House of Paper by Carlos Maria Dominguez
  • Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard L. Bushman
  • Postsecret by Frank Warren
  • Rabbi's Cat by Joann Sfar
  • River of Doubt by Candice Millard
  • Silver Spoon, Phaidon Books
  • Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer

Ken Sanders from Ken Sanders Rare Books

  • Alexie, Sherman. Dangerous Astronomy Another beautifully produced hand letter press printed volume of poetry from this fine Idaho Press.
  • Bagley, Pat. Clueless George Goes To War The perfect stocking stuffer for those living outside of Utah County. Pat Bagley declares war on George Bush! A hilarious look at the Bush presidency. We literally cannot keep this book in stock.
  • Bass, Rick. Diezo. Bass returns to his Texas roots with this historical novel of one of their bloodiest and little known episodes in Texas history.
  • Buehner, Carolyn and Mark. Snowmen at Christmas. The Salt Lake City couple's sequel to their bestselling children's classic Snowmen at Night. A delightful gift for winter lovers.
  • Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume Two. 1848-1852. Mormon Scholar Peter Crawley's long awaited annotated bibliography of LDS writings. Volume two of a proposed three volume set, this massive 501 page tome contains detailed information on 422 entries on works on Mormonism from the Utah period. A perfect gift for the rare book collector.
  • Harris, Trent. Plan Ten From Outer Space. After ten years, Trent Harris's Mormon sci-fic thriller is at last out on DVD. I know, I know, it's not a book, but this one was too good to pass up.
  • Melloy, Ellen. Eating Stone Imagination and the Loss of the Wild.The author's posthumously published work, completed prior to her sudden and unexpected death in 2004. Encounters and reflections on the desert big horn and other meditations on and in the wild.
  • Menzies, Richard. Passing Through. An Existential Journey Across America's Outback. Photojournalist Richard Menzies' thirty year love affair with the empty spaces of the interior west and its unusual inhabitants. This bargain priced coffee table photo book is a perfect gift for enthusiasts of the American West and photography lovers. Particularly for those who love the empty spaces of Utah and Nevada.
  • Olpin, Robert S, Orton, Ann W. & Rugh, Thomas F. Painters of the Wasatch Mountains. The first overview of the Wasatch Mountain School of painting and painters, this in depth coffee table books explores 275 paintings in full color from dozens of painters from Utah and around the country and the world, from the 19th to the 21st century.
  • Peacock, Doug. Walking It Off A hard hitting memoir of war and wilderness, the author, a Vietnam Era Green beret medic tells his own story of survival amidst the background of the death of his friend and mentor, Edward Abbey. Doug Peacock is known for his work with grizzly bears and for the being inspiration for the Hayduke character in Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang.
  • Prince, Gregory. David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism. Also issued in a limited signed leatherbound edition. The first in depth comprehensive biography of a beloved LDS president. Based largely on McKay's long time personal secretary's extraordinary files, and the authors' research, this biography reaches far beyond the shallow profiles usually issued on LDS Church leaders.
  • Smithson, Robert. Spiral Jetty. True Fictions False Realities. Large format photo book on the late NYC artist Robert Smithson's 1972 controversial earthworks sculpture on the north shores of the Great Salt Lake, the Spiral Jetty. The most comprehensive and profusely illustrated monograph yet on this little understood earthworks imposed on the Great Salt Lake by a NYC artist.
  • Throckmorton, George. Motive For Murder: The Bombs, The Mormons and the Salamander. Breaking a twenty year silence, noted SLC PD forensic documents examiner George Throckmorton reveals the inner workings and his role in the notorious Mark Hofmann forgeries and bombings of the 1980s.
  • Urrea, Luis. The Hummingbird's Daughter. Urrea's groundbreaking novel on the life of his real life aunt, the mysterious Mexican saint, Theresa Urrea, known as Terecita. A brilliant novel set in Mexico just prior to the Mexican Revolution.
  • Wilson, Elijah Nicholas. The White Indian Boy and The Return of the White Indian. A narrative of Uncle Nick's Life on the 19th century western frontier, together with Charles Wilson's sequel, further describing the adventures of his illustrious father, Uncle Nick, after which Wilson, Wyoming was named. A classic since its original publication in 1910.

Betsy Burton of The King's English Bookshop


  • The March by E. L. Doctorow
  • Rules for Old Men Waiting by Peter Pouncy
  • Shalimar the Clown by Salmon Rushdie.
  • The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich.


  • Two Lives by Vikrim Seth
  • A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer
  • The King's English by Betsy Burton.


  • The Lighthouse by P. D. James
  • The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Rivera
  • The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
  • Ash and Bone by John Harvey

Stocking Stuffers

  • Clueless George Goes to War by Pat Bagley
  • Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
  • Banishing Verona by Margot Livesey
  • Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers
  • An Unfinished Life by Mark Spragg

Lisa Myron of Salt Lake City Public Library

Younger Readers -- 4-8

  • Duval, Kathy. The Three Bears' Christmas Surprise illustrated by Paul Meisel. After taking a walk on Christmas Eve while their freshly baked gingerbread cools, Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear arrive home to encounter another "trespasser," who does not have golden hair but wears a red suit and leaves presents.
  • Frazee, Marla. Santa Claus : the world's number one toy expert Santa Claus has his own ways of knowing more about children and toys than anyone else in the world.
    Willems, Mo. Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible MonsterLeonardo is a terrible monster -- he can't seem to frighten anyone. When he discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he scare the lunch out of him? Or will he think of something better?
  • Priceman, Marjorie Hot Air: The Mostly True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride The story of the historic first hot-air balloon flight in 1783, told from the point of view of the duck, sheep, and rooster who were the first passengers.
  • Robinson, Fay Faucet Fish illustrated by Wayne Anderson. Elizabeth can never get her parents' attention, even after she has filled the house with fish tanks to hold the creatures that keep coming out of her bathroom faucets.
  • Frank, John. The Toughest Cowboy: or How the Wild West Was Tamed illustrated by Zachary Pullen. From School Library Journal: Tall tales this enjoyable are hard to find. Grizz Brickbottom, toughest cowboy in the West, yearns for a companion and convinces his cattle-rustling cohorts that they need a dog to help with the work. When the local saloon goes out of business, the proprietor puts up a sign offering a free dog to a good home. Unexpectedly, it's a miniature poodle named Foofy. Although the pup is afraid of cows and won't chase away mountain lions, she provides complete amusement for the cowpokes because she catches flying tin dinner plates in her mouth. Children will revel in the descriptive language ("Don't squat with your spurs on") and exaggerated metaphors and similes. Gross visual and verbal jokes abound ("S'not the point"). The oil-rendered paintings are spot-on renditions of the Wild West and will transport the audience to the Big Sky Country of the 1860s. Close-ups of faces are larger than life. Readers will return to this one again and again to catch all of the humor and nuances of both the text and illustrations.
  • Muth, Jon J. Zen shorts. When Stillwater the bear moves into the neighborhood, the stories he tells to three siblings teach them to look at the world in new ways. Michael," said Karl. "There's a really big bear in the backyard." This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addie he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth -- and Stillwater the bear -- present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.

Books for Older Readers 9 -12

  • Funke, Cornelia. Dragon Rider After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, Firedrake, a silver dragon, is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the legendary valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy.
  • Corder, Zizou. Lion Boy Series: - three books LionBoy, LionBoy the Chase and LionBoy the Truth In the near future, a boy with the ability to speak the language of cats sets out from London to seek his kidnapped parents and finds himself on a Paris-bound circus ship learning to train lions.
  • Nimmo, Jenny. Charlie Bone Series - four books out in a five book series: First Book, Midnight for Charlie Bone Most recent book: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors Charlie Bone's life with his widowed mother and two grandmothers undergoes a dramatic change when he discovers that he can hear people in photographs talking.
  • McDonald, Megan. Stink : the incredible shrinking kid The shortest kid in the second grade, James Moody, also known as Stink, learns all about the shortest president of the United States, James Madison, when they celebrate Presidents' Day at school.
  • Sage, Angie. Magyk First book in series Septimus Heap. After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412 -- pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

Non Fiction What's Hot

  • Drake, Ernest. Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology Handbook: a Practical Course in Dragons And its companion book: Dr. Ernest Drake's Dragonology: the Complete Book of Dragons
  • Two other books like above from publisher:
    The Egyptology handbook: a course in the wonders of Egypt and its companion: Egyptology: search for the tomb of Osiris, being the journal of Miss Emily Sands, November 1926-
  • Wizardology: the book of the secrets of Merlin
  • Barker, Cicley Mary. Fairyopolis: a flower fairies journal. Illustrations taken from Barker's various Flower fairies books. Cicely Mary Barker's texts and illustrations are presented in what purports to be a secret journal kept by Barker during the summer of 1920.

What's Hot

  • Chronicles of Narnia and The Polar Express For obvious reasons!

Suggestions from RadioWest listeners:

  • Rod in Salt Lake City - For nonfiction, I heartily recommend JOHN MUIR: MAGNIFICENT TRAMP by Rod Miller. Also, GALLOWS FOR A GUNMAN, the paperback Western novel by the same author, was named one of twenty "airplane books" recommended for holiday gift giving by USA TODAY.
  • Brad - Where Rivers Change Direction - Mark Spragg - Sort of a collection of essays about growing up between Cody and Yellowstone
    The Work of Wolves - Kent Myers - An odd alliance of a cowboy rancher, two Indian youths, and a German foreign exchange student set in the plains of South Dakota. The Meadow - James Galvin - I haven't finished this yet but it is an enjoyable read so far.
  • Andres - Have any of your book experts read The Historian? It's a tale of Dracula I could NOT put down, and would recommend to anyone with the time to read for 24 hours.