Unique Utah: Reading and Watching Lists

During your holiday break, why not take some time to learn more about the fabulous state of Utah? Below are reading and viewing lists to get you started. The books and movies are about Utah’s unique culture, the story is partially set in Utah, or Utah’s landscape is featured.

Do you have your own favorites? Share them on ARLIS/NA social media using the hashtag #ARLISNA2019.

Vintage racing cars on the Salt Flats in 1938. The first landspeed record was set on the Salt Flats in 1914.  Image courtesy of the Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library


Reading List


Wallace Stegner in a European Country,”
Photo courtesy of the Multimedia Archives, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library




Watching List 

  • Plan 10 From Outer Space, by Utah native Trent Harris
  • SLC Punk, written and directed by Salt Lake City’s James Merendino
  • 127 Hours, about hiker Aron Ralston’s extreme Utah backcountry experience
  • Utah: the National Parks, see the beauty of Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Zion national parks
  • The Insufferable Groo, by Utah native Scott Christopherson
  • Believer, Imagine Dragons’ LDS (Mormon) frontman explores how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints treats its LGBT members
  • World’s Fastest Indian, about a man’s journey to set the land-speed record on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats
  • The Beaver Trilogy, by Utah native Trent Harris
  • Footloose, filmed in Lehi, Utah
  • Better Off Dead, skiing scenes filmed in Alta, Brighton, and Snowbird, Utah
  • High School Musical 1, 2, and 3, filmed at East High in Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Touched by an Angel, filmed in locations around Utah
  • Westworld, filmed in locations around Utah
  • How the West Was Won, filmed in Monument Valley, Utah
  • Peace Officer, Grand Jury Award & Audience Award for Documentary Feature, 2015 SXSW. Written and directed by Utah filmmakers Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson, Peace Officer shares the story of “Dub” Lawrence, a former sheriff who established Utah’s first SWAT team in 1970, and explores the increasingly militarized approach of American law enforcement today.
  • Beehive Stories (YouTube channel), Utah filmmaker Brad Barber travels through Utah’s 29 counties to produce a series of short documentaries that answer the question, “What makes you feel like a place is your home?”






For some cool and and unexpected places to visit in Utah, see: https://www.atlasobscura.com/things-to-do/utah