Statewide book festival will open a chapter at the Park City Library

Authors will come to town for presentations

The Park City Library and the Utah Department of Humanities will celebrate all things books during the 20th annual Utah Humanities Book Festival, Utah’s oldest and only statewide book festival.

This will be the first time in a few years since the book festival will have a presence in Park City, due to the $9.6 million building renovation that was completed in 2016, said Library Director Adriane Juarez.

“We didn’t have a space to hold these events, so with our new building we have the opportunity to celebrate the space as well as all of these wonderful authors,” Juarez said.

Adult Services Librarian Kate Mapp is looking forward to part of the event again.

“The Utah Humanities Book Festival occurs all over Utah,” Mapp said. “Libraries, bookstores and book centers rally behind it and create their own programs to celebrate the books.”

Presentations, that will be held in the Jim Santy Auditorium, will start on Thursday, Sept. 14, with Dr. John Day, author of “The Longevity Plane: Seven Life-Transforming Lessons from Ancient China,” are specifically selected for local residents.

“We all put our signatures on this in terms of the authors we invite to speak,” Juarez said. “We tried to find authors that target issues and things that we’re interested in our own community.”

Day, a cardiologist, will speak at 6:30 p.m.

“Dr. Day lives and works in Murray at the Intermountain Medical Center,” Mapp said. “A couple of years ago, he went to China and looked at the longevity village that is known for its residents who have lived more than 100 years.”

Day studied with the village residents because he wanted to figure out how and why they are living so long.

“Dr. Day was dealing with his own health issues at the time he went to China,” Mapp said. “So after he returned home, he made a lot of his own life changes and will also, hopefully, live to 100 years old.”

Continuing with local issues, Juarez pointed out writer Mark Sundeen, author of “The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today’s America,” who will speak at 5:30 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 23, about simple living and sustainability.

“Since Park City is interested in sustainability, he will come and talk about it,” Juarez said.

“Mark comes from New Mexico, and he travels around the United States and looks at the way different people live simply or off-the-grid in their communities,” Mapp said. “We’re excited to have him come.”

Families will have the chance to enjoy the Sept. 30 presentation — Shannon and Dean Hale, authors of the “Princess in Black” children’s books series. The Hales’ new book in the series is called “Princess in Black and the Mysterious Play Date.”

The presentation is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., also in the Jim Santy Auditorium.

“Shannon is the author of ‘Austenland,’ which was turned into a popular Sundance Film Festival film, and she has branched off to also write children’s and youth books,” Mapp said. “Candlewick, the Hales’ publisher, and Utah Humanities helped us bring them in.”

The final event of the Utah Humanities Book Festival is the Friends of the Park City Library’s annual author luncheon that will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge.

“This is the only event that isn’t held at the Santy Auditorium,” Juarez said. “It’s also the only event where there is a cost.”

Tickets are $36 until Oct. 6. After that, the prices raise to $40. Tickets can be purchased at the Park City Library’s circulation desk, 1255 Park Ave., or by visiting

The luncheon speaker is High West Distillery co-founder Jane Perkins, who co-authored “The Golden Elixir of the West: Whiskey and the Shaping of America” with Sherry Monahan.

“Jane will talk about the book, and that should be lots of fun,” Juarez said.

The author luncheon is an event the Friends of the Park City Library, the fundraising organization of the Park City Library, puts on each year, Mapp said.

“Since the Book Festival was going on at the same time, we decided to tie it in with the schedule,” she said.

Dolly’s Bookstore will sell books during all of the presentations, Mapp said.

“They are partners in this whole thing,” she said.

The Park City Library and Utah Department of Humanities began working on Park City’s speakers last fall.

“We met with Michael McLane, the Utah Humanities Council Literature program officer, who was trying to make sure Park City had a presence in the festival this year,” Mapp said. “

The 20th annual Utah Humanities Book Festival will come to the Park City Library starting Sept. 14. For all festival events, visit:


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