Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's just good, period.

I admit I'm a reformed LDS fiction snob. Or maybe I'm reforming still. But I'm sick of hearing myself say the following sentence: It was a good book compared to other LDS fiction.

So I'm not going to say it any more because it isn't true. If something is only good compared to something else that's bad, then that's not really good, is it? Good stands alone, all by itself, not relative to anything else.

And the more I read, the more I'm finding the books that are converting me back to LDS fiction. (Not all they way back. If my reading tastes were a religion, it would be Unitarianism). So I'm not cutting stuff a break any more for not being bad; it's all about what's really good. I've read some great books this summer that are good in any market, but just happened to come out of the LDS one.

From now on, it's either good or it isn't. It's not good only compared to something else. And so I'm going to start keeping a list of LDS fiction titles that are:

Just Plain Good Books
Spare Change, Aubrey Mace
Dead on Arrival, Jeff Savage
Spies, Lies and a Pair of Ties, Sheralyn Pratt
Welcome to Stalk Lake City, Sheralyn Pratt

To Have or to Hold, Josi Kilpack
Fool Me Twice, Stephanie Black
The Counterfeit, Robison Wells

Surrounded by Strangers, Josi Kilpack
Icing on the Cake, Elodia Strain

This is the list that I will use to introduce more friends to LDS fiction. I know as I keep reading that I'll find plenty more titles to add to this list, but if you have suggestions, hit me with them! I'm eager to read the good stuff and add it.


Brillig said...

Uh... yeah. I TOTALLY understand what you're saying here! I confess I haven't actually read anything on this list. But I met Josi Kilpack once and we read each other's blogs... does that give me some brownie points of some kind? :-D

Stay tuned for Anna Brillig's next (um, FIRST) book. They say it's going to be AMAZING! (Oh... wait. That's ME!)

Kimberly said...

I know exactly what you mean! Oh, and I've "met" a few of those authors online - want their blog addresses? =P

Josi Kilpack's Sheep's Clothing is perhaps my favourite piece of LDS Fiction yet. So, so powerfully written.

RobisonWells said...

I don't know... I agree with most of them, but that Wells is just a hack.

Thanks for the mention! I'm glad you liked the book. :)

Josi said...

Yeah, wells pretty much is a hack--I've met that one--yikes!

As for LDSfiction YES--there is hope for reformed "LDS fiction sucks" members of the congregation. I'm a unitarian reader as well and like lots of things, but some of my favorite novels are LDS ones--it's not all fluff anymore.

Thanks for the shout out, melanie, and thanks to brillig and Kimberly--both fabo writers and women. You're in good company with them. And I totally agree on several of the books you mentioned, and the ones I haven't read are going on my list :-) thanks again.

Heather B. Moore said...

I wouldn't touch LDS Fiction for years after having a bad experience. Then I picked up something by Annette Lyon (great writer BTW), then Jeff Savage. And before I knew it I was considering actually writing LDS fiction. I love Josi Kilpack (great characters, great writing, great gives-you-something-to-think-about topics), Jeff Savage (fun writing style, suspenseful, unique and funny characters), and Rob Wells'(very funny, and a little wacky) books too--I'll have to check out that others you recommended.

Anne Bradshaw said...

These people are wonderful--blogs, books and all!

What a great blog. I'll have to add it to my favorites list and sneak a peek now and again.

Candace E. Salima said...

All good books, Melanie. There is a lot of great fiction out there, LDS and national . . . and bad in both markets too. Since I became a reviewer I've jumped into the LDS fiction pool . . . the deep end. I'm enjoying it. But drop by my blog on the 20th to read about the book I DIDN'T like.

Melanie J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Some great suggestions. Don't forget Counting Stars by Michele Paige Holmes and the out of Jerusalem series by H. B. Moore. I still have some favorite "classic" LDS novels as well: "The Kalidascope Season - Sharon Jarvis; Vital Signs - Janet Begera; and "Ariana: The Making of A Queen" - Rachel Nunes are among the list of fond memories.