This Week in Mormon Literature, February 25, 2012

Two Nebula award nominations, the first for both authors. The Mormon Lit Blitz is going strong, reports from LTUE, and the film Unicorn City is released in Utah to fairly strong reviews. Please send any suggestions or announcements to mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.

 News and Blog posts

The Nebula Award nominations for 2011 are out, and there are two Mormon authors among the nominees. “Ray of Light,” by Brad R. Torgersen, for Novelette (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, December 2011), and “Movement,” by Nancy Fulda, for Short Story (Asimov’s Science Fiction, March 2011). The winners will be announced at SFWA’s 47th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend, May 17 to May 20, 2012.

From February 15th to February 29th, Mormon Artist magazine is hosting the Mormon Lit Blitz, an online literary contest organized by James Goldberg and Scott Hales. Every day they post one short story, poem, or personal essay a day for the rest of the month (except on Sundays). At the end of the contest, readers will be encouraged to vote for the pieces they like best, and the author of the winning piece will be awarded a Kindle loaded with works of Mormon literature. The thirteen pieces featured in the contest were selected from almost two hundred entries from four different countries. They were written to appeal broadly to Latter-day Saint audiences, particularly committed members of the Church. However, the judges were careful to select artistic works that avoided the cheesiness and preachiness that people often associate with Mormon literature.

Contest Schedule: 2/15 “In Bulk” by Marilyn Nielson, 2/16 “The Elder Who Wouldn’t Stop” by Wm Morris, 2/17 “No Substitute for Chocolate” by Jeanna Mason Stay, 2/18 “Second Coming” by Emily Harris Adams, 2/20 “The Road Not Taken” by Sandra Tayler, 2/21 “Stillborn” by Merrijane Rice, 2/22 “Oil of Gladness” by Kathyrn Lynard Soper, 2/23 “The Shoe App” by Emily Debenham, 2/24 “Cada Regalo Perfecto” by Deja Earley, 2/25 “The Gloaming” by Kerry Spencer, 2/27 “Babel” by Jonathon Penny, 2/28 “The Hearts of the Fathers” by Jeanine Bee, 2/29 “Red Rock” by Marianne Hales Harding

Comments on the stories are being made on the Mormon Lit Blitz Facebook page, rather than on the story pages themselves at Mormon Artist.

Life, the Universe & Everything (LTUE): The Marion K. “Doc” Smith Symposium on Science Fiction & Fantasy was held February 9-11 at Utah Valley University. Eric James Stone provided a detailed roundup, with lots of links to other participants’ blogs on the events.

LDS Publisher ran a 2011 Best Book Cover award. The Readers’ Choice Best Book Cover was Laura Bingham’s Wings of Light, and the LDS Publisher’s Choice Best Book Cover was Daniel Coleman’s Gifts and Consequences.

At A Motley Vision, Theric talks about his disappointment in failed efforts to encourage family members to read Mormon literature in “On Being Unsure What to Say”. Among the many comments are several by Jettboy, who says he “detests” most books about Mormons, both of the Deseret Book and independent literary variety. He expanded on those comments at a post at Millenial Star entitled “Why I Don’t Read Mormon Fiction”. That post elicited a number of comments from Mormon authors.  Fun stuff, and the commentators make many recommendations of quality LDS fiction, check it out.

Also at A Motley Vision Kevin S. Decker called papers on Ender’s Game and Philosophy, Kent Larson’s Sundy Lit Crit Sermon features Junius F. Wells in 1905 on Choice of Books, Theric reviews the Napoleon Dynamite animated TV series on Fox, Wm talks about Mormonism and its American Assimilation, and Tyler Chadwick announces a 13-poet Fire in the Pasture reading.

Scott Hales at The Low-Tech World shared the conclusion to a recent paper on Mormon fiction he gave at an academic conference, discussing how Mormon literature can be meaningful to non-Mormon readers even after the Mormon Moment is over.

Darlene Young discusses the late BYU professor Marden Clark’s Liberating Form.

Gamila is doing a LDS Picture Book Project, reviewing and interviewing Mormon authors of children’s picture books. Here is her review of books by Sharlee Glenn, and an interview with Glenn.

Eric James Stone’s story “To Serve Aliens (Yes, It’s A Cookbook)”, is now available in the April 2012 issue of Analog Science Fiction & Fact (Analog publishes a couple of months ahead of its newsstand date). He has a story coming out in the May issue as well.

Sunstone Magazine invites writers to enter the 2012 Eugene England Memorial Personal Essay Contest. In the spirit of Gene’s writings, entries should relate to Latter-day Saint experience, theology, or worldview. Essays, without author identification, will be judged by noted Mormon authors and professors of literature. Winners will be announced by 31 May 2012 on Sunstone’s website, SunstoneMagazine.com.  A total of $450 will be shared among the winning entries. Up to three entries may be submitted by any one author. Send manuscript in PDF or Word format to sunstone.editor@gmail.com by 29 February 2012.

Podcasts

Mormon Matters #74 “Writing Mormon Lives”. Featuring Mormon authors Phyllis Barber and Joanna Brooks. Both have recently published memoirs “in which they offer us privileged glimpses of their inner lives, their comings of age in all the kinds of awkwardness that entails, including learning how to inhabit their bodies and sexuality in healthy ways, tensions between the path indicated by LDS narratives and the various other possibilities suggested by other stories that surround them, struggles with theological ideas and legacies that are especially difficult for women, their searches for place in and peace with the tradition and people into which they were born and ‘cultured.’”

Steven Peck on KBYU Classical 89’s Thinking Aloud.  About “My Madness”, a 2008 essay in Dialogue about a trip to Vietnam and a temporary state of mental illness.  The experience led him to ruminate about what is sentience and what is consciousness. February 20, 2012.

Elna Baker on KUER’s Radio West. Baker, whose memoir The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance appeared in 2009, about her decision to leave the Church.

New Novels and their reviews

Royal Secrets, by Traci Hunter Abramson. Covenant, February. Romantic suspense. 10th or so novel, this one is a sequel/spin-off from Royal Target. A female security agent and the European prince she is guarding fall for each other.

Prank Wars, by Stephanie Fowers. Triad Media and Entertainment, Feb. 14. Romantic comedy. 3rd novel, first two were with Covenant, this one is self-published.

(Tristi Pinkston) “As I started into this book, I was immediately drawn in to the comedy, and the friendships between the characters . . . I enjoyed the first portion of the book quite a lot, but when the mystery elements began to be revealed, I was even more intrigued.  The story had more dimensions than I thought at first – not just the tale of college students on the loose with no parental supervision whatsoever, it was filled with suspense and action.”

Funeral Potatoes, by Joni Hilton. Covenant, February. General/humor. Adventures of a ward Relief Society President. Hilton’s 17th book, her first since 2005. She has had a number of plays produced in recent years.

Final Call, by Rachel Ann Nunes. Shadow Mountain, Feb. 21. Romantic suspense/paranormal.

Time Gangsters, by Berin Stephens. Sweetwater/Cedar Fort, Feb. 14. Middle grade time-travel fantasy. Second novel.

Reviews of older books

N. C. Allen, Isabelle Webb: The Pharaoh’s Daughter (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 4/10. “One of the things I frequently encounter when I read for the Whitney Awards is a book that’s part of a series. It’s rare that I’ve read the prior books in the series, and if I can’t jump into the story, it’s some pretty painful reading. There’s an art to giving enough backstory to help a reader along, and not too much. JK Rowling had this down to a science– she hooked her readers with some exciting bit of action, then did just the right amount of backstory, then back to the action. I jumped into the Harry Potter series with book three, and after the second chapter, I felt completely up to speed. Unfortunately, I never felt like I got up to speed with The Pharaoh’s Daughter. There were characters from the previous book introduced in the first few chapters . . . And I never quite understood why they were traveling– was it vacation? For the sake of the jewel? Were they passing it off as vacation to the girls? I’ll admit that I probably didn’t read the last half of the book as closely as I could have, but that’s because I was so darn confused by the time I got there that I didn’t know what else to do other than just plug on to the end. As I’ve been working on my novel over the last year, I’ve recognized how hard it is to know which details are essential and which aren’t, and unfortunately The Pharaoh’s Daughter gave too few of the former and too many of the latter.”

Anna Jones Buttimore, No Escape (Jennie Hansen, Meridian). “The major characters in this story are a little better developed than in most romantic suspense novels and there is considerable growth shown as the two emotionally battered protagonists work their way toward dealing with and overcoming their pasts. The plot works well and accelerates quickly as the suspense portion unfolds. In addition there is the added charm of the characters’ confusion as they discover subtle differences in meaning and spelling of words common to both cultures, the differences in accommodations, social programs, and legal procedures. I’ve read and enjoyed all of Buttimores’s books and consider this one, by far, her best.”

David Clark, The Death of a Disco Dancer (Ivan Wolfe, AML). “I really, really enjoyed this book . . . The mix of youthful naiveté and wisdom derived from hindsight creates a wonderful narrative voice that stays mostly on topic, while digressing just enough to keep things interesting. After reading the book, I felt I knew these characters and their families. David Clark creates a wonderful sense of place. If his only goal were to recreate the world of his childhood . . . he would have succeeded admirably. However, he has also created a moving story that will likely linger with me for some time to come.”

David Clark, The Death of a Disco Dancer (Wm Morris, AMV). “What makes The Death of a Disco Dancer so interesting is that Clark draws that bottom line of the triangle and connects Todd and his grandmother. Not quite as obvious, but also, perhaps, to be expected. However, the real genius of the novel is how Clark does that: through the nocturnal visits from his dementia-plagued grandmother. The beauty of the triangle formulation is that it leads to a double payoff in the end: the one in relation to him and his grandmother, the bottom of the triangle, is rather obvious, but also keep an eye out also for the payoff in relation his mom, one that comes later in Todd’s life, but that also brings the sides of the triangle into sharper focus. It’s all quite wonderful.”

Heather Dixon, Entwined (Reading for Sanity). 4 stars. “It felt like this book took forever to really get going. I didn’t mind just reading about the day to day business but I did look forward to something actually happening. I really enjoyed the slightly eerie feel of this book and I found myself unable to put it down many times. If you like YA fantasy definitely pick this book up!”

Sarah M. Eden, Friends and Foes (Jennie Hansen, Meridian). “[The Regency] was a time when fashion was paramount among the elite of England, a precise code for proper conduct ruled society, and great emphasis was set on titles and social rank. Eden is a master (mistress) at recreating this time period. A Regency novel is not written as comedy, but as a serious love story set amid rules and strictures that often strike modern readers as humorous or somewhat ridiculous . . . Often Regency novels get so hung up on the strict manners of the period something is lost in the plot of the story within the era, but not so with Friends and Foes. Eden provides a well-thought out plot that in another time period would be considered romantic suspense. Though the love story takes center stage, the search for the spy and the exciting portion of the plot dedicated to resolving Philip’s case is a page turner.”

Richard Paul Evans, Miles to Go (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 3/10. “[It] is the second book in The Walk series, and it operates in every way like the second novel in a trilogy . . . By this, I mean that it assumes that the reader knows everything from the first book and is comfortable picking up mid-story. It also assumes that the reader is going to pay $15 for the third book, so there doesn’t need to be any resolution. For a reader like me, who hasn’t read the first book and who has no plans to read the third, this makes for frustrating reading . . . There may be some kind of narrative arc to the three books, but this book did not have its own that I could tell. I know that Evans is beloved by many, but I find his writing almost unbearable. In describing Angel, Evans says, “She was short, petite, and barely taller than a floor lamp.” He includes lots and lots of extraneous detail about movies, and this book doesn’t seem to reflect an understanding of using dialogue to move a story forward instead of replicating what people might actually say in a certain situation.”

Julie N. Ford, Count Down to Love (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 5/10. “Count Down to Love has all of the textbook things you’d expect in a modern romance– there’s the jilting, the spirited heroine finding her way, the inevitable spats between hero and heroine, the return of the jilter, misunderstandings, other women who get in the way, and, finally, a chance at love. The first few chapters were actually pretty well written, with clean and relatively tight (for a romance novel anyway) prose. But the book was riddled with tons of typos and misspelled words (Mason-Dickson line?), and if you’ve watched a few episodes of The Bachelor, you know exactly who the characters in the novel are and what their complications will be. It didn’t surprise me in any way.”

C. J. Hill [Jannette Rallison], Slayers (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 7/10. “I’ll admit to being skeptical about Slayers. It’s not a genre I typically enjoy, it’s a book about dragon fighting . . . But it surprised me. The writing is tight– probably the best writing I’ve come across in the Whitneys this year . . . Even though the book is almost 400 pages long, I read it in less than a day and thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Tess Hilmo, With a Name Like Love (Mindy, LDSWBR). 4 ½ stars. “This book was darling. I loved the relationship between the Love family. They are a family that would do anything for each other.”

Jenni James, Northanger Alibi (Deseret News). “In Jenni James’ second book of “The Jane Austen Diaries,” she takes a stab at revamping one of Austen’s lesser-known works, “Northanger Abbey.” But where Austen pulls inspiration from haunted and gothic novels, James pulls inspiration from the Twilight saga . . . There’s no denying that the novel has pockets of cheesiness, but for a young, pop-culture-infused audience, the plot is catchy with a hero as hunky and addicting as Edward Cullen. Though Claire seems flighty at first, she is a strong, independent and uncompromising heroine with spunk and substance.”

Rebecca H. Jamison, Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale (Reading for Sanity). 4 stars. “Initially, I thought I was going into another sappy/fun love story.  What took me by surprise was the intense situation, particularly the threat of harm in the climax.  I didn’t mean to stay up until 11:30pm on a school night, but I couldn’t stop mid-conflict to fall asleep.  There were some aspects to the story that I felt could have been fleshed out–specifically why Anne is such a doormat for her family, which is explained but not much and not until the very end.  Otherwise, it was a fast read, a great replay in a new form of a classic novel.  I highly recommend it to anyone who likes clean LDS romance.”

Krista Lynne Jensen, Of Grace and Chocolate (Shanda, LDSWBR). 5 stars. “A story full of emotion, choice and consequence, suspense, forgiveness and love. I’ve read it twice, and cried both times. Jill and Evie’s story touched me, and my heart broke for their past suffering. I appreciated how the relationship between Jill and Scott developed with an emotional maturity not often seen in a romance novel. Great story, clean writing, engaging characters, and some really nice kisses all add up to an unforgettable read that comes highly recommended from me.”

Carla Kelly, Borrowed Light (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 8/10. “Kelly, who has a master’s degree in history and has worked as a professional historian, really knows her stuff, and the details and setting are part of what make Borrowed Light such a fun read . . . Kelly uses the conventions of a romance novel. It looks like a romance and sounds like a romance, but it’s missing some of the elements I’ve come to expect in a romance. For example, there’s no rival to Otto, the handsome rancher. Julia doesn’t waver in her growing love for him once she meets him. The conflict comes not in the relationships, but in Julia’s relationship with her faith. As the title suggests, Julia has been “living on borrowed light,” and this year living in Wyoming helps her determine how important her faith is to her. Instead of a romance, this feels more like a bildungsroman. Of course, there are the essential plot twists and misunderstandings, but I’m not surprised at all that Kelly chose to publish Borrowed Light with an LDS publisher instead of with Signet or Harlequin, since the story is essentially a Mormon “coming of faith” novel. Whatever the category, it’s interesting and engrossing and very well done.”

Lindsey Leavitt, Sean Griswold’s Head (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 7/10. “[It] has a lot going for it. Payton is an engaging narrator. Her relationship with her family seems real. And who wouldn’t like Sean– he’s cute, interesting, nice, and just a little mysterious. It deals with a serious issue (Payton’s father’s health) without being too didactic about it . . . Payton has the “I’m smart but quirky” vibe that seems to be a prerequisite for teen heroines, and the book isn’t groundbreaking in any way, but it’s a nice, well-written story that a teenage girl would enjoy curling up with.”

Rachel Ann Nunes, Before I Say Goodbye (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 6/10. “There were a lot of things to like about Before I Say Goodbye. First of all, I think Nunes does a nice job telling the story from multiple points of view. There are times when it feels like some of the characters sound too much alike, but in general, she differentiates between them nicely. Secondly, the Mormons in the book aren’t necessarily cookie-cutter Mormons. The kids fight. Dante and Becca’s relationship isn’t perfect. But they do ultimately make good decisions, even heroic ones. On the other hand, Dante and Becca sometimes bugged me. I felt that they were stifling as parents . . . I also felt that there was no surprises with the plot. From the beginning of the book, I knew what would happen, and it did happen.”

Rachel Ann Nunes, Before I Say Goodbye (Sheila, LDSWBR). 5 stars. “This book was simply an amazing and very moving read. It is so emotionally packed, you will be in tears the last few chapters of the book. I love Rachel’s writing, especially how she brings her characters to life . . . This is a powerful story of what true love is all about. I am not talking about romantic love, but that love you show to others when you serve and care for them.”

Steven Peck, The Scholar of Moab (Pale Horse Blog). “A smattering of words on magical realism and the Scholar of Moab”.  “I’m not really concerned with whether or not it qualifies as magical realism in a strict sense. The shift in Scholar is not so great as the shift in One Hundred Years of Solitude, but the book is plenty strange enough. (Enchantingly so.) . . . The story’s Mormons are caricatured, but lovingly and charmingly, and no more so than the story’s non-Mormons. As in magical realism, the unreality of some aspects of the story put us on a neutral ground in which we can relax and gently examine what is presented. This easy touch does not obscure its heavy philosophical matter: the nature of consciousness and belief, the relationship between faith and science, the tension between persona and reality, the weight of secrets, the uncomfortable relation between various kinds of love. Possibly the most remarkable aspect of the novel is Peck’s skill in ventriloquy – the story is told primarily in the journal entries and personal letters of its characters. The choices Peck makes to cause his characters to speak seemed a little tricky early on. But the voices gather force as the novel progresses and become distinct, authentic and even powerful.”

Tristi Pinkston, Targets in Ties (Sheila, Why Not, Because I Said So). 5 stars. “Is it possible for The Secret Sisters Mysteries to get even better than the last one? I am here to say, “Yes!” Targets in Ties, by Tristi Pinkston, had more laugh out loud moments than the last book . . . Targets in Ties is cleverly written, full of mystery,with a great plot, and of course, the three elderly ladies who know how to kick fanny, in their own bumbling, but delightful way!”

Jannette Rallison, My Unfair Godmother (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 8/10. “A couple of years ago, Jannette Rallison’s My Fair Godmother was a Whitney Finalist. I thought it was a decent book, but I wasn’t in love with it. So I went into reading My Unfair Godmother, its sequel, with a certain guardedness. But I’m pleased to say that the book surprised me in lots of good ways. Just like in My Fair Godmother, Chrysanthemum Everstar, a fairy in training, picks an unsuspecting teenage girl to give three wishes and set her life on course. Chrissy is a pretty horrible excuse for a fairy godmother . . . There’s a lot of humor and hijinks and just the right amount of romance . . . What I really like about My Unfair Godmother is that it’s more like Quantum Leap than it is like LOST. I did read the first book, but everything I needed to know about Chrissy and Tansy is included in this volume.”

Paul Rimmasch, The Lost Stones (Deseret News).

Gale Sears, Letters in the Jade Dragon Box (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 7/10. “I’m both delighted and a little bit surprised that this is the second book I’ve read this year with LDS characters and themes that takes place in Asia . . . I’m really glad I read it because it gave me lots of good insights about life in rural China, the ramifications of the Great Leap Forward, and some of the ways that the Chinese government destroyed family structures in the 1950s and 1960s . . . I found the book to be interesting, well-researched, and multi-layered . . . My main criticism of the book is something that is hard for me to articulate, which is that Wen-Shan felt like an American in her thoughts and ideas. Maybe Sears would account for this by saying that she was very interested in becoming “Western”, but her reactions didn’t seem to take into account cultural differences . . . However, these are small complaints, and overall, I really enjoyed Letters in the Jade Dragon Box. More importantly, I felt like I learned a lot without being preached to too much.”

Regina Sirios, On Little Wings (Tristi Pinkston, AML). “A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of reading an unpublished manuscript for the novel “On Little Wings” by LDS author Regina Sirois. I knew as I read it that it would become one of those books that would stay with me. From the first page, I was sucked into the story by the beautiful writing. A piece of literary fiction for the national young adult market, it takes simple events and makes them extraordinary through intelligent, remarkable word choice and perspective . . . The quality of the writing is something we simply don’t see from most new authors. I could tell as I read that the writer weighed each word carefully. She didn’t rush through the story pell-mell—she carefully allowed the story to unfold, page by page, with a gentle, artistic touch.” [Self-published novel, but getting some strong attention].

Karey White, Gifted (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating:4/10. “Gifted is perfect for a reader who wants a sentimental, feel-good story. It starts out like every good talk in the Mormon church– with a definition of “Guardian Angel” from a dictionary and an online encyclopedia, and a quote from a General Authority. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the book has an overt “message” and therefore feels a bit didactic. If that’s the kind of story you’re interested in reading, then this one fits the bill. However, the plot basically consisted of Anna growing up (and I predicted the end within five minutes of opening the book), and White’s prose is so bogged down in tiny details that at times Susan sounded like my mom giving me a recap of her day more than a narrator giving only the pertinent details that would enhance a narrative.”

Carol Lynch Williams, Miles from Ordinary (Shelah Books It). Enjoyment Rating: 6/10. “Carol Lynch Williams is a master at presenting the tough, dark parts of life, the ones we’d rather leave untouched . . . In the first part of the book . . . not all that much happens. In the last third of the book, the action picks up. But the book also takes a departure– until this point, I felt like I’d been reading realistic fiction, but Lacey sees things that leave a reader wondering how realistic this fiction is. Williams has either introduced supernatural elements (heretofore absent from the plot) or she’s suggesting that Lacey too is becoming unstable . . . Despite these flaws, Williams’s prose is lovely, as it always is. I applaud Williams from not shirking the hard stories. Lacey’s struggles with her mom reminded me a lot of Cynthia Voight’s Dicey’s Song, which was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. But I think that the execution is less successful in this case than it has been in some of her previous novels.”

Julie Wright, Olivia (Mindy, LDSWBR). 4 ½ stars. “I loved this book. I loved loved Livvy. She is too funny sometimes. She talks to herself and always hears her mother’s words in her head . . . I loved this book. I loved loved Livvy. She is too funny sometimes. She talks to herself and always hears her mother’s words in her head.”

Film

Unicorn City (Bryan Lefler, director/writer. Adrian Lefler, producer/writer) opened on Friday in 8 Utah theaters.

Deseret News review: 3 stars. “Unicorn City depicts gaming and gamers in a way that shatters stereotypes. No knowledge of gaming is necessary to love the movie, which employs a nice universal humor, but many jokes may go unnoticed to those who’ve never thrown a D&D die or played a MMORPG. As for anyone who is or knows a gamer, the film is simply hilarious. But whichever party viewers fall into, it would be a herculean task to make it through five minutes of this film — any five minutes — without laughing. . . . Clever costuming, particularly for role-player Rhubarb the Centaur (Clint Vanderlinden), lends itself to some great gags. The adventures of Unicorn City and the variety of characters are quirky and entertaining. McGinn and Gries are fun to watch as their characters attempt to undermine and overcome each other, but Hales steals the show as the lovesick Marsha attempting a variety of measures to build a more-than-friends-relationship with Voss. Though it revolves around gamers, the story is one of ambition, love and decision-making as the characters pretend to be one thing while really becoming something more.”

Salt Lake Tribune review. 2 ½ stars. “It’s aimed at insiders, as those who participate in live-action role-playing games will appreciate the humor more. To the general public, it will be mildly amusing in spots. Although who can’t appreciate a guy (Clint Vanderlinden) who creates his own centaur costume using a picnic cooler for his back end? The production values are high in this film directed by Bryan Lefler, who co-wrote it with his brother, Adrian. The movie itself is just OK. There are some laughs, but Voss is such an unappealing character that “Unicorn City” doesn’t come close to its goal of being  ‘Monty Python’s Holy Grail’ meets ‘Napoleon Dynamite.’  It’s more like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch that runs on too long.

Kevin Burtt review at LDS Cinema Online. A-. “Unicorn City is creative, funny, and accessible to all, and easily my favorite film of the LDS Film Festival.”

Daily Herald feature story about the Lefler brothers and the making of the film.

Kevin Burtt at LDS Cinema Online gives his full review of LDSFF screening of the unreleased film The Last Eagle Scout. C. “We can almost forgive the rough edges in The Last Eagle Scout (and there are a lot of them) because of that maverick spirit. Even beyond the raw production values (and occasionally laughable special effects) The Last Eagle Scout is deliberately designed to be provocative and politically incorrect. The film will challenge viewers to accept Goodman’s ideology in the same fashion it challenges viewers to look past the low budget, and for many viewers forgiving the latter will be easier than the former . . . Goodman’s heart may be in the right place, but the film as constructed doesn’t do a good job of demonstrating Scouting’s value to the world, especially set in an alternate universe full of obvious straw men.”

Theater

BYU Students honored at regional theater festival competition.

Bestsellers

New York Times Bestseller Lists, February 26th, March 4th (I also note where the books are on the USA Today bestseller list, which lumps all books, hardcover, paperback, fiction, non-fiction, into one 150 book list.)

Hardcover Fiction

SHADOWS IN FLIGHT, by Orson Scott Card fell off the list after 3 weeks.

Trade Fiction Paperback

#25, #32 HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, by Jamie Ford. Down from the higher 20s.

Mass Market Paperback

#18, #29 LAIR OF THE LION, by Christine Feehan (3rd week). Down from #16. Re-release of a 2002 book. #96 on USA Today, down from #48 in its second week.

Children’s Paperback

#8, #6 MATCHED, by Ally Condie (22nd week). Staying steady.

x, #7 A WORLD WITHOUT HEROES, by Brandon Mull (1st week). First volume of the Beyonders series. It spent 8 weeks on the hardback list.

Children’s Series

#5, #4 THE TWILIGHT SAGA, by Stephenie Meyer (205th week).

#9, x FABLEHAVEN, by Brandon Mull (15th week). Back on the list for the first time in a year.

#10, #8 THE MAZE RUNNER TRILOGY, by James Dashner (10th week).

Hardcover Graphic books

#9, #6 TWILIGHT: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL, VOL. 2 by Stephenie Meyer and Young C. Kim (16th week). Back on the list after a week off.

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One Response to This Week in Mormon Literature, February 25, 2012

  1. Jonathan Langford says:

    Great work as always!

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