A.P.E.X. - Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X].

04/19/2018: Summer Reading 

This week host Lynn Vartan sits down with SUU faculty member Jason Sander to talk about some of their favorite books in various genres for you to find your next great summer read!

Books recommended in this episode are:

Recommended by Jason Sander:

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
  • Tibetan Peach Pie by Tom Robbins
  • Riding Toward Everywhere by William T. Vollmann
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 
  • The Journey is the Destination by Dan Eldon
  • Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis  

Recommended by Lynn Vartan:

  • Books for Living by Will Schwalbe 
  • Americana: Dispatches From the New Frontier by Hampton Sides 
  • The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp 
  • A Wine Lover's Mystery Series by Michele Scott

Recommended bu both Lynn and Jason:

  • Voices in the Ocean, The Wave and the Devil's Teeth by Susan Casey 
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

Lynn and Jason want to read:

  • All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr 
  • The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography and the Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost by Peter Manseau 


[00:00:02] Hey everyone. This is Lynn Vartan and you are listening to the APEX hour on SUU's Thunder Ninety one point one. In this show you get more personal time with the guests who visit Southern Utah University from all over. Learning more about their stories and opinions beyond their presentations on stage. We will also give you some new music to listen to and hope to turn you on to new music and genres. You can find us here every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. on the web at suu.edu/apex or email us at suuapex@icloud.com. But for now, welcome to this week's show here on thunder ninety one point one.

[00:00:50] Right. Well good afternoon everybody. This is Lynn Vartan and you are listening to the APEX hour and this is kind of a cool beginning of the summer edition of the apex hour for us as some of you know our season with the guests ended for the semester here at Southern Utah University. But what we're going to do for the upcoming summer months is keep this show going and we're going to be on an every other week format so you can listen to us here live right here on KSUU thunder ninety one point one Thursday at 3:00 p.m. or if you're a subscriber of the podcast those podcasts will show up in iTunes or Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts. So we're looking forward to continuing to bring you great content this summer. So definitely subscribe if you can to the podcast.

[00:01:40] We love the ratings that will really help us out and get us up there kind of on the charts in the podcast ratings. So today is all about books. We thought you know in the magazines you read you get a summer reading list. What should I read this summer and what should I listen to and what should I watch. And some of these things are going to be fun for us to kind of talk about on the show. So we're going to start today by talking about books and I'm going to start with a quote actually from the book that I'm reading right now. So this is a quote that is attributed to George R.R. Martin but I'm not reading George R.R. Martin book. I'll tell you about the book I'm reading in a minute. But the quote is a "reader lives a thousand lives before he dies said Yojana and the man who never reads lives only one." So we're going to start today talking about books and I've got a guest in the studio with me. So Jason tell us who you are.

[00:02:44] Hi Lynn. My name is Jason Sander. I work here at SUU. I'm an English teacher for the American language and culture center we work with international students here on campus. And I'm an avid reader and Lynn was nice enough to have me on today.

[00:02:58] Yeah I mean I know you socially so I go to your house and I'm always constantly got my eyes in your book cases. Yeah you have a ton of books. So let's start with the conversation being what are you reading right now.

[00:03:14] I like to read more than one book sometimes. And right now I'm rereading a book because I'm originally from Southeast Missouri right on the Mississippi River and sometimes I get homesick. And when I get homesick I like to read Mark Twain. Oh I know. But Mark Twain I think is very understood that some sometimes misunderstood because he wrote a lot. Yeah and there's a lot of a lot of stuff that a lot of people I'm actually reading Huckleberry Finn which is not overly creative choice today but I really love it. I like to reread that book like once every 10 years.

[00:03:51] Really. What about that particular book. Is it just the memory of home or is there something about that particular story that speaks to you that narrative particular in particular

[00:04:00] I think it's still relevant because every time you read it depending on where you are in your own life you can take away something different and that's the magic of literature especially classical literature. I know it may seem a bit boring but yes I am now reading Huckleberry Finn I love it.

[00:04:16] I think that's great. And you said you're reading some other things as well.

[00:04:20] Yeah I'm about to finish one of my favorite writers is Tom Robbins the very famous been around since the 60s kind of a counterculture voice but he his most recent book I know it's a few years old at this point is called Tibetan peach pie Tibet. I don't know that Tibetan peach pie it's actually he's famous for novels. But this is creative nonfiction even if you look at the blurbs or the inner jacket he doesn't. He said this is not an autobiography or autobiography but it kind is. Yeah. It's stories about his life how he became interested in writing and all the weird stuff that kind of inspired his more famous novels. It's such a great title. Wow. Yeah Tibetan. His titles are always amazing and so in frog pajamas. Like what. What's that. I'm half asleep in frog pajamas.

[00:05:07] Ok great. So the author and title again and will will make a collection of these and put them up on the site. But that one that you're reading right now is Tibetan peach pie by Tom Robbins Tom Robbins. Okay cool. Well the one that I'm reading now I have to give a shout out to Madeline at Penguin Random House she is an agent that I've been working with for Apex Apex events and she just does some really cool things and she sent me a book that's called books for living by Will Schwalbe. He's the author of another book called The End of Your Life Book Club. But this books for living is really interesting. He goes through every chapter is perspectives on a book. So for example he talks about Stuart Little. He talks about the crew on the train he talks about the odyssey he talks about Giovanni's Room. David Copperfield all these great Lolita you know all these great books and just lessons in life from them Zen and the Art of Archery Song of Solomon and on and on and on. So I'm just really enjoying that book right now. I'm just about a third of the way into it but it's really cool books for living by will. I'm hope I'm pronouncing his name right Schwalbe s c h w a l b e. So that's a really cool one. So that's what's currently on the desk.

[00:06:35] Well Jason and I. But it brings the topic up and I know this is something you feel strongly about. As you know the idea of the book and as a as an entity in our life an actual artifact. Yeah and physical is something you can hold in your hand right because we have this all this context of are we reading on the Kindle or are you reading in person and tell give me some insight on I know you have some strong ideas topic this

[00:07:05] When it comes to books and music. I don't know if it's really even a subculture but growing up the bookstore and the record store kind of saved my life you know really sincerely Yeah. You know I mean this is a bit of a strange kid. Quiet Yeah. And I kind of found refuge in books and music yeah. And I remember even when I was really really young the first bookshop I went to my grandfather took me there and I never wanted to leave the public libraries wow i just be dropped off on a Saturday. It sounds really lame but I would be dropped off on a Saturday. I'd have dreams about it on Wednesday of going to the library. But I love. I mean I found I found refuge in books and I would spend all of my money you know for Molen Lawn's or allowances which wasn't much but even to a point where my mom was concerned.

[00:07:57] You would think like - What's this kid doing all this paper.

[00:08:00] He should be spending it on things that are bad but don't spend it on books. Every bit of my money was always spent on books but the bookshop to me represented a place to actually learn from people which is something that you don't really get when you are just you know endlessly looking through reviews on Amazon or like if you're just in a space you know online and you're looking for books. Yes and there's a lot of useful resources as YouTube videos but there's nothing like that person who just says oh you like that. Why don't you try this.

[00:08:32] So you mean people you run into in the bookstore.

[00:08:35] I've made lifelong friends and bookstores. To my first girlfriends. Those weren't all successful but. When you meet someone in a new age section of a bookstore sometimes its a flag. Yeah

[00:08:51] That's so cool. Can you describe for me. I mean I'm thinking of like the little boy in you going into that bookstore going to that live he's still alive he's still there. Can you describe for me that feeling a little bit. I mean why was it that that made that magic happen for you. Was it the idea of. Did stories kind of jump out at you. Or was it all the possibilities or was it you could be alone with these words and the imagery. What what was that.

[00:09:21] I think for me being able to absorb things at my own pace was always a little bit of a slow reader still am Oh really. Yeah I mean I'll take you know twice as much time as you know the average person to read a book. I just really get absorbed it's really inspiring for people because I know you know friends of mine sometimes get afraid of reading because they think that they're oh well this is something I'm too slow. And only the good you know good readers are fast readers so I think that's really inspiring for you to share that. And for anybody listening we may have some young people listening who aren't aren't excited about reading because they feel like they're maybe not good at it.

[00:10:02] Oh yeah. You know sure. So this is a good testament to that not being the case. You can you can read if you want to read.

[00:10:10] Absolutely. And having just being able to experience things in stories. I was also very lucky to grow up in a place in a family of storytellers. Oh that more of an oral tradition. So like I mean they were readers. Even my grandfather his biggest inspiration was the one that took me to my first bookshop and used it one of the things that he saw me he had a fifth grade education. He was a reader. Yeah like from you know a very young age until the day he died. I mean he always had a book in his hand so I think maybe being surrounded by those people and he was very patient and I always wanted to be patient. And I thought my reading like doing something slowing down getting away from like all the noise in my day it was just a really cherished time. So I really really needed that. Not just does I mean I was I think addicted to that silent time because when you have a book people don't mess with you.

[00:11:13] That's beautiful I've never thought of that one. That's beautiful so important now. I mean you knew it as. I mean you like the sage child you know you then. But we we need this now. I mean it's more than ever you know that opportunity to feel like it's OK to just stop to just slow down to just take a minute you know and also to have some privacy in your own thoughts a space to engage in something.

[00:11:42] And one thing that you bring up an interesting point I think one of the things that I find really interesting I went to a movie for example the other based on a book that I'm going to talk about today. But I went to a movie and I look around and you see not just younger people but older people as well on their phones and they can't do they can't watch a movie. All right. They have to be doing other things with a book. You can read a book but you can't really cook or do other things while you're reading a book. You have to be in that place. So true. And maybe that's why it's a bit of a tough sell because people have trouble just being being in where they are. But the amazing thing is that we're seeing a resurgence of books and bookstores and getting those things in our hand again. So maybe maybe it's not as hard sell anymore. Maybe people are craving that again which is awesome. Cool. Absolutely.

[00:12:38] All right well let's take our first little musical break. So Jason is also an incredible musical connoisseur. We're going to have him back later in the summer to talk about music so I tried to find some interesting things to show him. I think this first one is really great. This is a group called Balkan Beat Box.

[00:12:56] Yeah totally. I'm sorry. Yeah of course I know that I will say no when I don't know.

[00:13:04] Well this is called 9/4 to the ladies and it's by Balkan Beat Box and it's on their album is called Balkan Beat Box. This is KSUU thunder ninety one point one.

[00:16:08] All right welcome back everyone. That was 9/4 the ladies and the band it's called Balkan Beat Box. And the album is called Balkan Beat Box. And I'm Lynn Vartan and you're listening to the apex hour. And today's APEX hour is all about books. I'm joined in the studio by Jason Sander welcome back hi again. And what we're going to talk about now are some books that we love. The idea is that hopefully you can give you some inspiration to find your next great book for the summer. So do you want to start with one. Do you have one in mind.

[00:17:52] Yes I have a lot.

[00:17:53] I can start with mine. If you want.

[00:17:55] You can you can go ahead and go first. OK. What if we have overlap.

[00:18:00] I don't think we will actually. You go out and start.

[00:18:03] Well we we might have one overlap and that's if we're going to talk about the wave by Casey which we both love so maybe I'll start by talking about that. But we want to talk about too long because of course we've had Susan Casey in the studio as a guest on the apex our podcast and radio show. Yeah.

[00:18:22] Can I interrupt you just for a moment. Of course just like to say thank you to you for having me. I got to go to have lunch with Susan Casey. She's really one of my literary heroes actually. And it was really thrilling for me to get to talk about subjects that no one will talk to me about. Like big wave surfing guys we're talking about like leashes on surfer. Yeah. Yeah. I mean who wants to talk about that. No one. Well thank you. I just want to say I think you're in a public space.

[00:18:50] You're so welcome. It was a joy. I mean she was she's just such an amazing guest to have and and all to say that if you haven't yet read her books they are fantastic and I would recommend starting with the wave. But she also has voices in the ocean which is the dolphin story and Devil's Teeth which is the shark story. But the wave is just so much fun to read. It's that great blend of like honesty and direct and entertaining at the same time. Anyway that's probably our only overlap.

[00:19:25] Yeah I agree is a wonderful book. It's a great book even if you're not I mean it seemed like it would also be a tough sell it's about science in it but there's also you know it's about sport big wave surfing.

[00:19:36] But Susan Casey has a wonderful style prose style. As a journalist. But she also has elements it's very very literary. Her narratives you know can keep up with any fictional narrative and they're entertaining narratives that's true. So she could talk about any subject and it's actually really sincerely

[00:19:57] And if you want to hear more and you can check back in the podcast to archive for the podcast with her talking about her writing and we got into some great conversations about other things as well. The book that I read most recently that I really loved is a book called Americana by Hampton Sides really wonderful wonderful author. And you know that he is an author and historian he's written for The New Yorker NPR all kinds of different news and media outlets and Americana. Of course there are stories but what Americana is is it's a collection of basically his favorite articles that he wrote for The New Yorker and for other places. And if you look at I'm looking on the description on Amazon and this is the description Harley Davidson bikers dot dot dot. Grand Canyon river rides dot dot dot. Mormon archeologists dot dot dot spelling bee Prodigy's dot dot dot and the very first story starts out with great skateboarders. And so I just really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the writing style. I really enjoyed the slices of Americana that he was writing about and so I definitely highly recommend it. Of course all the books we're talking about are are widely available. He has many other amazing books as well. But I think as an intro into his writing this is a really really great one. Americana dispatches from the New Frontier by Hampton Sides. So that's kind of the one I wanted to start with. All right. Your turn.

[00:21:40] I will go back to this name. One of my favorite. He's one of my favorite living American authors. His name is William Vollmann and he's won the National Book Award for a book called Europe's central Pulitzer Prize. I think he's been up for. He's he's very he's award winner but very few people know. Most recently he he makes 5000 page doorstop books about any like on subjects anywhere from like migration patterns of ancient people to I want to trade on a book and it's relatively short it's nowhere near even 400 pages. It's a book by him. It's it's called Riding toward everywhere and it's a book about hopping trains. Oh now I am not here to advocate especially if you're young don't hop trains. Read the book and you'll see why it's very dangerous. But it is incredible because it's a very American story. It's about hoboes and he is he's he's a very he's an intellectual but he does a great job of writing beautiful prose for people. You don't have to have an advanced degree in literature to understand his books and to connect to them. He's just he does an amazing job of really painting the portrait of the American landscape through the lens of you know downtrodden and it's amazing.

[00:23:03] Do you know anything about what his process was like. Did he kind of live in do that.

[00:23:08] Yes. So this book is actually about him and a close friend of his who had quite a lot of experience doing this. I don't know if he was that I can't remember what his friend's job was but they're both professional people. And he takes a couple months out of the year every year to just go hop trains. How. And he talks about every year not just one life. Well William Vollmann I think I don't know if he has kept this up as a hobby but this other guy. But yeah he does this. Yeah he does it's like some people go to the Bahamas for vacation. He he gets a flannel and a backpack and he hops trains. That's insane. It's it's it's something it's a very beautiful American very romantic story. But it is there's some there's some filth that comes in this book. I mean it's not safe. I mean you have people on both sides you have criminals and then you have the cops trying to catch them. And in this book he does a really good job of keeping an open mind. He's not just like the man like he tries to understand both sides of crisis. And it's I guess a subculture of people who do this. Some people do it for a living some people do it for fun.

[00:24:20] I had no idea that it was a thing.

[00:24:22] Yeah I never knew that there was like people who vacation by being hobos for two two weeks to two months some people do it for half a year.

[00:24:29] And that book sounds fascinating. Tell us the name of the book and the author of the book is called the Riding toward everywhere. And it's by William Vollmann. Two A's at the end of Volman v o l l m a n n.

[00:24:44] Okay. That's great. I can't wait. I'm going to definitely put that one on my list. I have another one and this is not a fiction book. It's actually kind of more of a how to book and it's a book that I recommend a ton of time a ton a ton to my students and really to anybody creative. The book is called The Creative Habit and it's by Twyla Tharp. And if you know the name Twyla Tharp you may have may have heard the name she's a very famous dance choreographer and is really well known in the dance scene. And the thing that I love about the Creative Habit. I mean she starts with how to deal with the the empty page you know and it's not just for dancers it's not just for musicians it's it really could be for anybody addressing the creative process in any way. And she kind of talks about the creative process but she also gives very distinct exercises ways to get unstuck. And they're they're kind of like exercises that are very tangible. It's not it's not a self-help book in any way shape or form it's more like how to break into a new idea and it's very very practical in that way. And she talks about that. You know how do you face like the empty room as a choreography choreographer or the blank canvas as a painter or the computer or the empty page as a writer or musician it could be getting into the practice room and I just really love the the. She's very like vivid and fierce about how she approaches the project and the process and the exercises are great because you can kind of dip into them as much or as little as you want you can kind of open and turn to one of them and she may have something where she just talks about changing adjectives or something and how to apply that to various different kinds of art. To get your next idea or to develop an idea and one of the things I like about her exercises is that it's not just about getting unstuck. It's also about developing a current create creative idea that you may have and I just think her book is great. I think her writing is great. I think the way she has struggled with the process and the way she deals with the Creative Habit and just that concept in and of itself that being creative is a habit. You know it's not that the muse is going to strike you or anything like that or that great quote Where does the muse strike you know I hit her over the head with a stick and drag her along with me. You know it's not really about the muse striking it's about the habit of being creative and so I really love that book and death. I definitely recommended in my teaching and and that's all I need that book learn. Yeah. Well. I've got several copies

[00:27:48] Do you have cmultiple copies of books too. Because I like I do because there are certain books I'm sorry I'm not getting off the subject. When you loan out I was going to say Can I borrow it. But when you loan out a book sometimes you know it's not going to come back to you. I have. There are certain books like that that I've had in my life that they keep rebuying because I don't have the heart to ask for them back but I'll just tell the people if you ever do this if you have someone's book ask them first but pass it on. Yes I would much rather certain books to be passed on if you really love it. Pass it on don't don't keep it or you don't have to give it back. I love that sometimes. Some books I want back but there are some that I just know they're going to just keep going. Well I always have a few copies on hand so that that again is the Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. OK we'll do one more. So we're back to you Jason do you have another book to recommend.

[00:28:43] I might be bringing up a sore subject for some people and I'm going to preface my next selection with a debate question books versus the movies the adaptations the movie version of a book. You know most people say oh they're always like the books better and there are there are occasions when like I've seen a movie that is actually better than the book. Can you think of any? I can don't put me on the spot. OK. Yeah I actually I can. But before I get there I am going to talk about my next election. It's a very popular book especially right now because the film is currently in the theater and that's ready Player One. Oh yeah. I have been recommending this book. This is one of those books that when I load it I just say goodbye to it because it's not coming back. It's an amazing book for readers of many different ages. A lot of people say that to really truly enjoy this book you need to be a child of the 70s or 80s because there are a lot of references to popular culture from the 1980s. And yes it enhances the enjoyment but the story the narrative alone stands on its own. It's a wonderful book especially I recommend it to if there's any teenagers out here listening to this the show right now if you're not really the most avid reader is just like I of fall asleep. This book starts out strong and in strong it's just a wonderful book for those of you who don't like reading much. That's that's one of the reasons I wanted to talk about this book. Remind me the author and then just maybe like one or two sentence synopsis in case anybody doesn't know and that's curious. So the author's name is Ernest Cline and previously he was a screenwriter. He did. I think it was a movie call it was at fanboys about. Did you ever see an Ohio teenagers who are obsessed with Star Wars. So that's the type of culture I think that this book really targets the book is Ernest Cline wrote this book called Ready Player One which is a video game reference. And it's about the not so distant future. And it's kind of a dystopian world where people just don't really feel like you know they can't connect to the world as a lot of poverty things happened. But there's something called the Oasis it's this online world where you have an avatar and it's a VR world so virtual reality has very much been perfected by this time in the book. And there's a young boy just to get to the point that gives us enough. Yeah but just gets to the point I would compare it to like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets the matrix. So it's kind of like this idea. I love that. Like I love stories about underdogs. This kid is. He's poor he doesn't have any friends he's not good looking. He's he's completely average but he knows a lot of stuff about this popular culture. So he has there's an easter egg and he has to whoever finds the keys and gets to the end of this you know figures out this this puzzle will inherit all this money and complete control over the oasis. So that's pretty much the the premise of the book. But the book is so much better than the movie. If you have seen the movie I challenge you today. This is a perfect example. Go get the book and read it. The movie to me just didn't it wasn't even close. OK. It's a good movie Don't get me wrong but the book is just oh and just for our listeners who might be driving that title and author I guess yeah. It's a book by Ernest Cline and it's called Ready Player One. Currently the movie is in the theater it's doing quite well directed by Steven Spielberg which I thought was a good idea but isn't it when you read the book you'll know why I say that.

[00:32:26] OK well on that note it's time for another musical extravaganza another little musical rate a little bit here. This piece is called This song is called better and it's by mallrat and it's the title the album and artists are both mallrat. This is KSUU the Apex Hour thunder ninety one point nine.

[00:35:53] This is the apex hour. My name is Lynn Vartan and you're listening to KSUU thunder ninety one point one. And today we are talking about books on the apex hour Jason and I are in the studio. Welcome back Jason.

[00:36:09] Hi thank you. Thanks again for having me on today. Lot of fun. Every minute of it is just great.

[00:36:15] And Jason's going to be back later in the summer. Again we're going to be going to a two week format here for the APEX hour or so every other week. You can find out exactly which dates on suu.edu/apex. We have the dates for the summer shows there or you can just subscribe to the podcast and listen at your leisure. The podcast is called the Apex Hour right. So we're talking about books and I'm in a start and I have one that is totally fun trash reading awesome. So you know there are those times where I have been known to watch Bravo television and housewives and all kinds of Bravo.

[00:37:02] Oh yeah I have a guilty pleasure or guilty pleasure to all of those lifetime television for women. I'm a big fan. I used to. Is that even still a thing. Because I used to watch. It's like 15 hour movies.

[00:37:15] You know is a really big show right now the show Unreal. I think that's on Lifetime and it's a show that's a scripted show but it's a scripted show about a show like The Bachelor. So yeah it's intense actually unreal Yeah I watch that anyway. Bravo sorry Bravo TV. So sometimes you know I don't want to watch TV for my candy. My chewing gum pleasure so to speak. I like to read a book and there is an author Michelle Scott and her name is her spelling is m i c h e l e l and then Scott s c o t t and she has this series of mysteries that all take place in and around wine country and they are awesome. It's all about this girl who sort of you know starts by falling in love with the richest vineyard owner and all of this stuff and then they and she ends up kind of as an amateur detective and solving all these murders that happened there's a murder each time in the book and there's a great dog in the book that they have and so she ends up living this idyllic life in Napa Valley on a vineyard. But yet also solving all these mysteries and the other really fun thing about the book is that there are recipes throughout the book. It's one of these. It's probably the name. There's a name for this genre of like food mysteries. And so there's all this super fun and elegant kind of California style cuisine.

[00:38:56] We shall have like stuffed figs and then whatever she eats in the restaurant they'll have the recipe for it right there in the book. And so every couple of chapters you will have that and I just think it is like watching a super fun TV show. And so I would highly recommend them if you're looking for something really fun and really playful and got great recipes. It's any of the wine mysteries by Michele Scott.

[00:39:27] Here's the thing people oftentimes think that you like books or music you have to be really sophisticated. Absolutely not. I mean like what you like. Don't be afraid to talk about it. You know recommend what you like. It is totally the case for movies and music. Sure there are times you want to watch a really heavy movie and sometimes you want to watch just like a silly fun animated whatever. Yeah I mean gravity is Rambo. It's a great book. But listen to the title that is a heavy title. Yeah love in the time of cholera. That doesn't sound fun. So I mean you don't have to read books that you know are on everyone's list you know. Oh I'm smart. I've read this book. It's it's it's it's a personal journey.

[00:40:11] And so I like my little wine mysteries right alongside with the deeper stuff that I get into as well s.

[00:40:18] O I'm going to follow that up with a really heavy book. That's. All right. So I have the absolute opposite. Actually it's not it's OK. So the next book is a little different. It's a it's a book by. He was a photojournalist in the 1980s he was a British photojournalist. And his name is Dan Eldon very young. He was in his early 20s actually when the majority of this book was put together. But the book is called Let me get this right. Chronicles Missier the journey is the destination. So it's a book of it's actually an art book if you're looking for the genre it would be art. But he was a photojournalist and his journals were full of his photo collages. But he went all over the world. Most famously he covered the war in Somalia. Oh wow. And actually he died there. He was stoned to death died tragically and he was actually about. He was he had made the decision to leave because things were getting really heavy. But he had been convinced to stay and cover one last event that was happening. And he was he was he was actually murdered. Which kind of adds the heaviness but it's also beautiful because when you look at this young man's work it's inspiring because he had such a passion not only for photojournalism but the actual subjects the people and he had an eye for the beauty and the most horrible situations he could pull out something beautiful. And I highly recommend this book. It's not like a standard narrative. Like I said these are journals. There's a lot of collages. He writes in parts but mostly it's family friends subjects people he interviewed you know children old people war. He covers all of these things and he makes he makes a personal journal and actually seeing this at times it makes you feel a little uncomfortable because it is just so candid. You feel like you're like I feel like I'm trespassing. But it was all I think it was his intention to have these journals published. And it was his family's way of kind of dealing with wow with the tragedy. But though it's a heavy ending. It's a it's a beautiful life's work. All in one place. It's called The Journey is the destination. The journey is the destination yeah the journey is the destination by Dan Eldon. And how do you spell Eldon E L D O N.

[00:42:45] Oh my gosh that sounds incredible. And so it's would be kind of found in an art section or it's an art.

[00:42:51] Yeah yeah. You know. I found it many years is pretty. It's pretty easy to find. I mean with the Internet now you can find pretty much anything but it's pretty standard. I mean you won't have too much trouble finding it might be a little expensive because it is obviously a hardback book it's bigger it's more of a coffee table book right. It is a beautiful story through pictures. Wow. This young man's entries into his journal.

[00:43:13] So thank you for sharing. Excited to check that out and just really witnessed that that sounds beautiful. I have another fiction. This is just kind of straight fiction and has a little bit of a magical side of it. I don't think we've talked about anything well I guess maybe ready ready player one has has a little bit of the magic quotient in it. But this is my also take on a little magic quote and it's a fiction book that I read. It's been several years ago now that I read that I just kind of liked it sort of a mass market fiction and it's a book called The Night Circus and the author is Erin Morgenstern. And you know if you read that. Yes good. It's a good one great. It's just sort of a magical but without being super hyper magical you know if you're not really wanting or you're not feeling like oh I want a fantasy book or I want you know a magic magicians book. It's a little more it kind of rides that line of being sort of normal fiction but also magical. And it's it's about a competition between two magicians who keep adding on and trying to outsmart and out magic each other by by their creation of this night circus. They keep adding on to every night or every other night. I can't remember what the timeframe is and I just remember being really bewitched by this book and just really enjoying it. What was your so we do have another overlap.

[00:44:50] Yeah. No really yeah no agree.

[00:44:53] It's just a nice fiction. Nice fiction book with an interesting story. You know sometimes I go through and I'm trying to choose my next book and I'm looking on my good reads or on my Litsy or whatever or just at the airport you know. And this is a straightforward fiction with a magical element but it's a very creative story. Who do you envision as a target audience for a book like this specific book.

[00:45:17] I mean I think young people. Yeah I don't know. I'm enjoy it again. It's really difficult for me to answer my own question why now. Because I'm a huge fan of young adult literature. I mean huge fan of coming of age story and I write I mean this is the stuff that I loved as a kid. But this is also the stuff I love as an adult right. Especially coming of age as a genre and I think anything with like a tinge of magic like this. I've just I say for lack of a better word I'm a sucker for it. Yeah I love it.

[00:45:51] Yeah it's a good one. I mean and it's not like I said it's not you're not delving into a fantasy world. It's not like a fantasy book with like elves and gnomes and 42 Volyn hearts. And like yeah it's not that it's just a standalone piece of fiction that takes place in the regular world so to speak but has this kind of magic magicians in the way of like traditional magician kind of thing. Yeah yeah. So that book I really enjoyed the night circus and the author is Erin Morgenstern Yeah okay back to you Jason.

[00:46:28] My next recommendation I will have to actually make just a little bit of a statement about it's not for all audiences. However there's a bit of a mature angle to this book but it's actually written by one of my favorite graphic novel writers names Warren Ellis. He's famous for comics actually but he wrote a novel and it's called Crooked Little Vein.

[00:46:51] Oh and it kind of reminded me you were talking about you're kind of guilty pleasure. I love detect like private detective stories. Oh cool film noir type. Yeah and this is very much a detective story but it's really strange. I'm going to if you pick up this book just going to know that it gets really weird but I can't I can't tell. I don't want to say too much about it. But the premise is that there is a private detective working late in his office. That's all good stories start a foggy night in a mysterious knock on the door. Absolutely. So when the door opens it's a guy who works for the government and he has. There were two constitutions the United States. There was one that we know and one secret constitution that really ran the country. It's like this book of secrets document that is kind of a conspiracy theory like conspiracy theories are swarming. Anyway it had been lost many many years before. It's a hilarious. It's a hilarious story but there are some adult scenes in here because this document had been lost amongst sub groups subcultural groups who may live unsavory lives. So this guy has to go in like dive into the deep weird subtext but textual layers of American culture and it gets weird like there's some weird fetishes and there's some weird people out there and it's just an amazing exploration of character. It's a fun book I highly recommend it. If you know you're not too squeamish says definitely adult theme. Not for the squeamish. Yeah I mean I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone. I mean mature teenagers I think could handle it but like older teenagers 18. But it's not. I mean it's not pornographic in any way. It's not a graphic novel. Warren Ellis was great. Yeah he's very very famous for writing comics and graphic novels.

[00:48:49] But we definitely want to put the disclaimer that you should check it out on a deeper level for us because it might not be for everyone.

[00:48:55] It's not for everyone but I think that you know I mean if it's really the things that are most offensive about it actually there's a great sense of humor to it. I think if taken literally you would be like this is terrible but it's meant to be very much a satire of American culture and subcultures and how we are all. This is what makes us American. It's the fact that we are all so diverse right to an extreme. Well it seems like this. Tell us again the name and the author. OK the author is Warren Ellis and the book is called Crooked Little Vein. I'm great. OK. It's a great book.

[00:49:37] Well I know that Jason has to get off to cost but let's see if we can pressure him to give us one more recommendation. Do you have another one on hand or maybe something you're itching to read that on your. Up next to read list. My next. The book I really want to read next. I'm waiting in line because my wife is actually currently reading the book. And it's one of the things that we don't read books at the same time yeah. But like sometimes it's like I had this book it was laying around and I left it laying around on the coffee table a little too long. She picked it up and I have to wait my turn. See that's what happened. Yes. And actually I'm not I wasn't expecting to talk about this but you asked and it was on while you're looking for that one more time I'm telling you it's ok. I'm terrible with titles and author. I have to really do prep. But is all the light we cannot see. It's very famous. Number one the light we cannot see is famous as super famous book. And I love it. I just read the first page and the prose in this book is just it's poetry from the first page to the last page. It's beautiful he written and I'm a big fan of reading things for the story but also for the style and yeah you know my first degree was in literature. So like the analysis that I'd like heavy literature to I like trash and I like you know you know heavy trash. But know I really do enjoy great books and great literature and this one looks just just beautiful great. And I don't know the author's name. I have to look it up right quick I have to cheat.

[00:51:15] Yeah you can do that while I talk about the one that I'm going to. I have a whole list for this summer. Oh my gosh. I mean as that happens. And the one that I kind of got up next. I've been meaning to read for a while and the title is The apparitional s and the author is Peter Manseau M A N S E A U. And the tagline I think will get you interested again it's called the apparition s and the tagline is A Tale of Phantom's fraud photography and the man who captured Lincoln's ghost. Now I know. Well. It is what it's about is it's an expedition through the beginnings of photography and all of the deceptions that were taking place at that time all the false you know when photography first exists first came to be and you mean maybe this is a hobby of yours. But when photography first came to be they really thought they were capturing the essence of people's spirits on those plates on film and so along with that came a lot of deception and falsification of that this kind of thing. And so this book I mean it has it's one of the you know Publisher's Weekly's top ten books of 2017. It's got all these great New York Times Book real Wall Street Journal blah blah blah. The path of the story loops through the Civil War the Telegraph P.T. Barnum spiritualism and the trained seal. And yeah that's one of the quotes just throwing darts at random topics. We're going to put it all in that book. But it's really telling. I mean it's historical you know it's historical story but told with that kind of very fiction type type style. And I'm just really excited about it. So that one's called The apparitionists And again it's a Tale of Phantom's fraud photographs and the man who captured Lincoln Lincoln's ghost and the author is Peter M A N S E A U.

[00:53:23] So that's on my next stop list. So this is this is on your summer reading list.

[00:53:27] Yeah. Ten million things on my summer reading list. So I think we're basically out of time today and I just want to say a huge huge huge thank you to Jason for joining me in the studio.

[00:53:40] This is such a thrill for me when you do such great work here at this university. Sincerely we really appreciate it and thank you for having me on today. Thank you very much for coming on. I'm going to hold you to my future invitation to do music with you. We have to bring I'll have to cart a turntable in here though we can do that.

[00:53:57] We totally make that happen for turn this in 1977.

[00:54:02] Absolutely, I think our audience to that love that

[00:54:03] Let's do that, come by the studio can see us do this live in like staring us through the window. We'll be happy to all our many fans.

[00:54:09] That would be amazing. Yeah. So again we're going into summer here. We're almost done with our semester at the university and we're going to a two week model for the Apex hour. If you're interested in listening live on the specific dates those will be on our website which is suu.edu/apex or if you would like which we would love for you to do subscribe to the podcast. Leave us a rating or review to let us know how you're enjoying it so that we can get our podcast here in Cedar City at Southern Utah University. More known and more subscriptions to it that would be just great. So I will sign off for now. This is Lynn Vartan. I'm your host for the APEX hour and we will look forward to seeing you next time here on KSUU you Thunder ninety one point one.

[00:55:00] Thank you so much for listening to the apex hour here on KSUU ninety one point one can find us again next Thursday at 3pm for more conversations with the visiting guests at Southern Utah University and new music to discover for your next playlist. And in the meantime we would love to see at our events on campus. To find out more check put suu.edu/apex Or email us at suuapex@icloud.com. Until next week. This is Lynn Vartan saying goodbye from the apex hour Thunder Ninety one point one.