This Week in Mormon Literature, March 4

Two new magazine issues out this week, full of literary goodies.  Three new nationally published novels. In the review section, Shelah Miner is plowing through the Whitney Award nominees, and has not yet found much that appeals to her.  And Jamie Ford continues to generate tears and sales.  Please send me updates at mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.


Mormon Artist Issue 14 (February/March 2011) is now available.  It includes reviews of LDS films Cricketless, My Girfriend’s Boyfriend, and The Book of Life, as well as interviews with authors Stephanie Black and Eric Samuelsen.

Sunstone Issue 162 (March 2011) will be out soon, and it is full of literary content.  The cover piece is the script of Eric Samuelsen’s new play Boarderlands, which will premire in Salt Lake City on March 31.  There is also a Jack Harrell short story entitled “The Prophet Claude”, Phyllis Barber’s essay “The Pros and Cons of Writing Confessional Memoir in the Mormon Milieu”, and Christopher C. Smith’s essay “Sacred Sci-Fi: Orson Scott Card as Mythmaker”.


New “Jack Fiction”: A Review of Brian Evenson’s “The Open Curtain” (Scott Hales, The Low-Tech World)

Submission Advice and Love Stories by Jeffrey S. Savage (at LDS Publisher)

New Books

Sean Griswald’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt. Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books.  Young adult.  15 year old girl has a crush on neighbor boy.  Mixes family drama with sarcastic humor.  Leavitt’s second novel.  She just announced signing a new two book deal with Bloomsbury. 

The Horn of Moran by M.L. Forman. Shadow Mountain. Adventurer’s Wanted series, Book 2. Young adult fantasy.  This is Mark Forman’s second book. The first, Slathborg’s Gold, was published in 2009. Shadow Mountain decided not to publish the second volume at some point in 2009, but then changed their minds in 2010.

Miss Delacourt Has Her Day by Heidi Ashworth. Avalon Books.  Regency romance. Ashworth’s second book, a sequel to the 2008 “Miss Delacourt Speaks Her Mind”. Sequels are rare in romance. Said to be very witty.   


My Double Life by Janette Rallison (Shiela at LDSWBR, favorable)

Key Lime by by Josi S. Kilpack (Mindy at LDSWBR, 4 stars out of 5)

The Peasant Queen, by Cheri Chesley (Mindy at Reading for Sanity, 2.25 stars).

Darlene Young reviews several Mormon and non-Mormon books.

Lucky Change, by Susan Law Corpany (Shelah at Shelah Books It, favorable)

Wrong Number, by Rachelle J. Christensen (Shelah at Shelah Books It, basically unfavorable)

Luck of the Draw, by Rachel Renee Anderson (Shelah at Shelah Books It, basically unfavorable)

Meg’s Meoldy, by Kaylee Baldwin (Shelah at Shelah Books It, unfavorable)

Band of Sisters, by Annette Lyon (Shelah at Shelah Books It, unfavorable)

The Forbidden Sea, by Sheila Nielson (Shelah at Shelah Books It, unfavorable)

Cold as Ice, by Stephanie Black (Sharon Haddock at Deseret News, unfavorable)

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me, by Kristen Chandler (Susan at Bloggin’ ‘about Books, B)

Gifted, by Karey White (Jennie Hansen at Meridian Magazine, favorable)

Guardians of the Hidden Scepter, by Frank Cole (Kirkus Review, mixed). Somewhat remarkable that this YA fantasy from Cedar Fort (coming out next week) got a review in Kirkus.

Sean Griswald’s Head, by Lindsey Leavitt (Publisher’s Weekly, favorable) “Leavitt handles topics of illness, evolving relationships, and what it means to grow up. Payton’s alternately sarcastic, snappy, and reflective narration (“The truth, I know, is that it’s not my dad I’m really mad at. I’m mad at his disease”) carries this insightful story.”

Sean Griswald’s Head, by Lindsey Leavitt (Kirkus Review, unfavorable).  “The writing [is] brisk and amusing, but this offering, encumbered by too-visible plot contrivances, fails to convince. Complex, significant issues are raised but then accorded frustratingly superficial treatment.”

Sean Griswald’s Head, by Lindsey Leavitt (School Library Journal, fairly favorable) “While the path that Leavitt paves for her protagonist is somewhat predictable, the likable characters will have girls gravitating toward the novel. Though the book takes a light look at a teenager coming to grips with a parent’s serious illness, it is refreshing and realistic without being overwrought with angst. ”   


New York Times Bestseller lists, March 6th

Hardcover Fiction

#19.  TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (16th week). ↔ 

Trade Fiction Paperback

#11. HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford (39th week). ↑  Up from #13, it rose on four different lists for the second week in a row, it seems to be gaining new traction.  Up to #20 from #32 on the Combined Hardcover and Paperback Fiction list, and up to #20 from #23 on the E- book Fiction list.  #15 on the Combined Print & E-book Fiction list, squeaking into its first week on the full list (where weeks can be counted) up from #23 on the extended list.  

Children’s Chapter Books, Hardback:

#8 TIGER’S CURSE by Colleen Houck (4th week). ↔

#10 MATCHED, by Ally Condie (12th week). ↔

Children’s Paperback:

#9 HUSH, HUSH, by Becca Fitzpatrick (21st week).  ↔

Children’s Series: 

#7 THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephanie Meyer ( 185th week). ↔

Fablehaven dropped off the list, after reappearing last week for a cumulative 13th week.

There were no changes in the Deseret Book LDS Fiction Bestsellers list this week.


Nancy Fulda’s story “Backlash” made it onto Tangent Online’s 2010 Recommended Reading List.  Tangent is a review site for speculative fiction.

Ken Jennings and Brandon Sanderson were roommates at BYU, how cool is that.

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One Response to This Week in Mormon Literature, March 4

  1. Jonathan Langford says:

    Ken Jennings and Brandon Sanderson as roommates. There just doesn’t seem to be any end to what one learns on the AML blog…

    One noteworthy (if somewhat short) review was William Morris’s positive review of Stephen Carter’s personal essay collection, What of the Night?, over at a A Motley Vision ( )

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