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The City Journals

Local author Jeremy Pugh hosts book signing in King’s English Bookshop

Jun 30, 2021 12:44PM ● By Anagha Rao

Jeremy Pugh sitting at the King’s English Bookshop’s desk that many prestigious authors have sat at. (Anagha Rao/City Journals)

By Anagha Rao | [email protected]    

Salt Lake City author Jeremy Pugh and his coauthor, the late Mary Brown Malouf, released a new book called “Secret Salt Lake City A Guide To The Weird, Wonderful, And Obscure.” He hosted a book signing event in the King's English Bookshop in Sugar House on June 5.  

“Secret Salt Lake City” is a guidebook about the mysteries and other interesting facts about Salt Lake City, including why Utah is known as the Beehive State, a secret alphabet early Mormon settlers pioneered, and how Lagoon received its name. 

Pugh has lived in Salt Lake City since he was 10, and he used to live in Sugarhouse. “When I was young, I always knew I wanted to be a writer,” he said. He attended Utah State University, where he was an editor for the Utah Statesman, the school newspaper. Afterward, Pugh was hired as a freelance writer at Salt Lake Magazine and worked his way up to become the executive editor. 

Being the executive editor of Salt Lake Magazine, he has extensively researched the history of Salt Lake City. Pugh initially proposed to his publishers the idea of revealing the secrets behind different cities. He knew Salt Lake City would be an amazing city for beginning this series due to its rich culture and history, which led him to commence writing “Secret Salt Lake City.” After proposing this idea, authors from his publishing company continued the series in their hometown by publishing books such as “Secret St Louis,” “Secret San Francisco,” and “Secret Boston.” 

Malouf, the coauthor, was also the executive editor of the Salt Lake Magazine until her passing in late 2020. She introduced him to locals and historians who shared the unique story behind landmarks and shops in Salt Lake City. “Mary and I have worked on this book for a long time, so its publishing is very personal,” he said. When Pugh signs “Secret Salt Lake City,” he signs every book with a stamp of Malouf’s signature in her memory. 

Pugh revealed that he immensely enjoyed learning about the history of Salt Lake while researching for this book. “The facts in this book are not actual secrets; they are things you may have walked by and noticed but not understood,” he said.  

One of his favorite parts of the book was the story about Crispin Glover, an actor in the movie “Rubin and Ed.” In 2012, Crispin Glover visited the Salt Lake City Tower Theater, and he had his handprints and footprints in the grass in front of the theater. “I love sharing that story because it's a great movie, '' Pugh said. “In fact, the cat on the cover of the book is from ‘Rubin and Ed.’” 

Throughout the summer, Pugh will do book signings and presentations for “Secret Salt Lake City.” In addition, he has a presentation about his book planned for July 9 from 6-10 p.m. in the Printed Gardens in Sandy. Pugh will also present at the Leonardo Museum downtown on July 15, where he will give a brief presentation about his latest book. For more information, visit www.reedypress.com/author/pugh/jeremy-pugh

So what are Pugh’s future plans? “I have this idea to write a novel or series about Box Elder County and Brigham City,” he said. “I also have the idea for a murder mystery set at the Sundance Film Festival that Mary thought would be interesting.”