1 of 3

'Bargaining for Eden'

By Stephen Trimble

University of California Press, $29.95

Utah's famed naturalist, writer and photographer, Stephen Trimble, has written several books about Utah and Southwestern wilderness. He also teaches at the University of Utah's Tanner Humanities Center.

This book, subtitled "The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America," focuses on one of the largest and most controversial land deals in U.S. history. The star is Earl Holding, a reclusive billionaire who was relentless in his struggle to get public land for Snowbasin, his ski resort, to host the Salt Lake Olympics.

As an environmentalist, Trimble is a sensitive and beautiful writer who looks always for truth. —Dennis Lythgoe

'Waiting for the Light to Change'

By Annette Haws

Cedar Fort, $19.99 (softcover)

In places the dialogue is trite. In places the plot gapes. In a number of places "Waiting for the Light to Change" needed a tougher editor.

Still, this novel satisfies in several ways.

First, it is set in a fictionalized version of Logan, Utah. The weather, the canyons, the entire setting feel familiar. And for those who are tired of reading about jaded 16-year-olds, well, Annette Haws offers a wider variety of teen characters. Some are innocent and some are troubled and some are scrutinized for no other reason than that their mom is single and they live in a small town.

Second, the main character, a schoolteacher, is prickly, and Haws does prickly well. This teacher is often unpleasant and actually immature enough to take vengeance on children. In short, she's intriguing.

The teacher has wise friends who try to help her. But can they make her see how weird she's becoming? Can anyone intervene in time? —Susan Whitney

'Backroads of Utah'

By Theresa Husarik

Voyageur Press, $21.95 (softcover)

This large display book about "Utah's Most Scenic Backroad Adventures" includes 30 driving tours, complete with maps and road directions.

While there is little text, the pictures are wonderful. The author begins with a tour of Antelope Island, offering a condensed history of the area.

That's followed by pony express routes and the ghost town of Rush Valley, the "purple mountain majesty" of northern Utah, the Nebo Loop Road, Provo Canyon, Alpine Loop, Ogden and Logan Canyons and the Mirror Lake Highway.

The book proves Utah's a spectacular state. —Lynn Arave