This Week in Mormon Literature, Nov. 12, 2012

Steven Peck takes the top two places in the Four Centuries of Mormon Stories contest. Orson Scott Card and Ally Condie release new novels. Condie gets two starred reviews for the last book in her Matched trilogy. Another singularity averted! Please send any additions or corrections to mormonlit AT gmail DOT com.

News and Blog Posts

Everyday Mormon Writer announced the “Four Centuries of Mormon Stories” Winners. 1st place (and winner of the $400 Grand Prize): “Avek, Who is Distributed” by Steven Peck. 2nd place: “When the Bishop Started Killing Dogs” by Steven Peck. 3rd place (tie):“Something Practical” by Melody Burris and “Waiting” by Katherine Cowley. Congratulations!

The Mormon Media Studies Symposium was held November 8-9 at BYU. Among the presentations were: Alyson Fullmer: Perpetuating the Prejudice: A Pop Culture View of the Mormon Affinity for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Panel: The Book of Mormon Musical: Tap Dancing, Blasphemy, and Truth in Advertising, featuring Megan Sanborn Jones: Assoc. Professor, Theatre and Media Arts, BYU, Paul Edwards: Editor, Deseret News , Emily Jensen: Bloggernacle columnist for the Deseret News, Thomas Russell: Screenwriter, Director, Assoc. Professor, Media Arts, BYU Kymberly Mellen: Actor, Educator , Janelle Turley: Undergrad student, Dept. of Theatre and Media Arts, BYU.

Panel: A Crowdsourced Approach to Indexing Mormon Literature and Creative Arts, featuring Julie Williamsen: Theatre, Media Arts & Communications Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, Larry Draper: Curator of Mormon Americana, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU, Robert Means: English & English Literature Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Kayla Willey: Librarian, Harold B. Lee Library, BYU. “Abstract: The Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database is a unique scholarly resource that provides researchers with current and historical information on works by and about Mormons, and includes information on authors, playwrights, critics, filmmakers, and other creative personnel involved in those works. Published literary, cinematic, theatrical, and musical works by and about Mormons continue to proliferate. The new release of the Mormon Literature and Creative Arts Database will give the global community the ability to submit content to the database, and the submitted content will be vetted by subject specialists. The new redesign of the database will also allow for the future inclusion of additional subject areas such as music, theatre, and the visual arts. This panel will include some of the most talented people who work at the heart of identifying and indexing creative works by and about Mormons. It will address the challenges and opportunities to capturing the ever-increasing number of materials created by Mormons or about Mormonism and the importance of indexing them.”

Documentary Presentation and Discussion:  A Reel Legacy: Judge Whitaker & The History of the BYU Motion Picture Studio, featuring Tom Laughlin: Freelance Producer/Editor – Digital Chop House/LDS Church, Peter Johnson: Motion Picture Director Karl Wesson, Pete Czerny: Film editor , John Linton: Producer, David Jacobs: Producer/Director. Abstract: “This session on “A Reel Legacy,” a documentary on LDS film history, will unveil the true story of Walt Disney’s head animator Wetzel (“Judge”) O. Whitaker, who left a very lucrative career at Walt Disney Studios to come to Utah to start a film studio for the LDS Church and pioneer a film program at Brigham Young University. In the film presentation and in person, veteran LDS Church filmmakers who knew and worked with Judge will talk about his life, the tremendous pioneering and contributions he made to Mormon Media, and the challenges he faced – from film crews and funding, to building a state-of-the-art Hollywood style studio in the 1950’s.”

Panel: Comedy and Mormon Women, featuring Sharon Swenson: Critical Studies, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, BYU, Lisa Valentine Clark: Comedian, star of Pretty Darn Funny, Whitney Call: Comedian; member of BYU’s Divine Comedy; cast member of BYUtv’s new sketch comedy show Studio C, Jeff Parkin: Associate Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Media Arts, BYU Jared Cardon: President of Tinder Transmedia

At A Motley Vision, Scott Hales joins the group, bringing his academic work on Mormon literature to a wider audience. Scott starts out with posts about Nephi Anderson, WWI, and the Curse of Sexual Sin, and looks for suggestions on 19th Century Mormon Utopian Literature. Mahonri Stewart takes on Tensions: Representations of Mormons in Secular Drama and Gay Identity in Mormon Drama, looking at representations in in well-known plays like Angels in America, The Book of Mormon Musical, Bash: Latter-day Plays, and Confessions of a Mormon Boy, and concludes with what he sees as more complex and realistic representations of gay identity in two plays that have played to smaller Utah audiences this last year, Little Happy Secrets by Melissa Leilani Larson and Wings of Wax by Robbie Pierce. Theric asks What questions should we be asking ourselves? about Mormon art. Laura Craner asks This Mormon Moment: What will you remember? Kent Larson examines The scope and category of Mormon Terms Sunday Lit Crit Sermon: George H. Brimhall’s Reading Course for 1912-13, J. M. Sjodahl on Church Pageants in 1930.

Mormon Teen Lit: Jacqueline Antonovich on Temple Marriage, Feminism, and Non-Traditional Marriage in Tamra Norton’s “Molly Mormon?” (Juvenile Instructor). Antonovich is a non-Mormon, and a PhD student at the University of Michigan, where she studies gender, medicine, and politics during the Progressive Era. “I guess the thing I found most surprising about the book is the way in which Norton crafts the character of Molly in a somewhat feminist light. Molly doesn’t bow to female peer pressure, she excels at sports, drives a pick-up truck, and she values intellectualism. Additionally, Molly constantly uses her Mormon faith to help form opinions of the world and guide her through her personal journey. For example, when Molly is having an issue with self-worth prompted by peer taunting, she turns to the twenty-third chapter of Mosiah . . . Her uncertainty of her place within the hierarchy of high school are soothed by a reliance on her religion and tender conversations with her mother. As a parent myself, I would argue that regardless of religious, secular, or political persuasion, it is important that we give our children the tools to help answer these tough life questions – and for Molly, her main tools are the Mormon religion and her family. I admire the way Norton has Molly use her own mind and her own frame of reference to work out these issues. If Norton’s book centered solely on a girl using her faith and independence to untangle her complicated teenage life, I would gladly wrap up this review a very happy feminist. However, Molly Mormon? veers off in a strange direction that I would be remiss not to address. At every turn in the book, Norton asserts that her antagonists are troubled precisely because they come from non-traditional or non-religious families. For example, as Molly is forced to get to know Jennavive better as part of a class project, we find out that Jennavive only bullies Molly because she comes from a divorced home with an absent dad. Later in the book we find out that Chad, the would-be rapist and teenage father, also comes from a single-parent home, this time with a particularly domineering mother. It seems that the single mother always plays the foil in Norton’s worldview. This trope of bad mother/bad teenager occurs so often thorough out the book, that I found myself wanting throw the book across the room several times. Certainly, everyone would agree that an unstable family life can and often does lead to significant problems for teenagers, but the assertion that good, upstanding citizens come from two-parent Mormon homes and only rapists and mean girls come from single-parent families is beyond ridiculous. In fact, according to Norton, every bad character trait can be traced back to the breakdown of the nuclear family and the absence of religion. Is that fair? Hardly. Is she accurate? No. Sometimes, wonderful people come from single-parent families, and sometimes absolutely horrific people come from two-parent religious families. I so enjoyed the fact that Molly Mormon? tackles some really intense life questions – I just wished that Morton’s answers were more nuanced. Basically, I wish she had given her young readers some credit for the ability to think in complexities. Oversimplifying the roots of societal problems lessens our ability to think critically about our place in the world and the role that spirituality can play in addressing these issues.”

Mette Ivie Harrison and Shannon Hale write “In Defense of Twilight”.

Jana Reiss. Twilight: Antifeminist Eye Candy or Unexpected Source of Female Empowerment?

6th LDS Publisher 2012 Christmas Story Contest. Entries due on November 30.

Short Stories, Novellas, and Comics

Steven L Peck. “Question Four”. Jabberwocky Magazine. Short story.

Peck also continues his Trillim saga with Gilda Trillim Studies Junk Drawer Ecology in Skjolden, Norway (BCC).

Brandon Sanderson. The Emperor’s Soul. Dragonsteel Entertainment, Nov. 4. Novella, set on the same planet as Elantris, but otherwise unconnected to that story. “The Emperor’s Soul showcases a fascinating magic system as the clock ticks down for a condemned criminal . . . Shai is given an impossible task: to create—to Forge—a new soul for the emperor in less than one hundred days. But her soul-Forgery is considered an abomination by her captors . . . Time is running out for Shai. Forging, while deducing the motivations of her captors, she needs a perfect plan to escape.”

Theric reviews and talks about his children’s reactions to two recent Book of Mormon comics: iPlates by Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood (A Motley Vision). From the Dust by Michael Mercer (A Motley Vision).

Also Ogden Standard-Examiner Opinion Editor Doug Gibson reviews iPlates at The Political Surf, and Calvin Grondhal created a cartoon to go with the story. “Atwood is a skilled cartoonist, able to convey the “good guys,” “bad guys” quality in her drawings. And Carter is skilled at making the characters appeal to modern times. He candidly admits a lot of what he puts in the characters’ mouths is literary license, but it works. Particularly fun are scenes of a young, petulant, bratty Noah.”

New books and their reviews

Jolene Perry, Kaylee Baldwin, Rachel Anderson. All I Want: Three holiday romances . Self, Oct. 14. Three original romance novellas.

Orson Scott Card. Ruins. Simon Pulse, Oct. 30. YA Fantasy/Science Fiction. Sequel to Pathfinder. Three young time-shifters discover new dangers. Pathfinder was my favorite Card novel in quite a while, I am looking forward to this.

Kirkus Reviews. “As they explore these new environments and encounter the ancient, intelligent machines that manipulate their development, a warning from the future reveals that ships from Earth are about to revisit their time-displaced colony—and won’t like what they find. This setup allows the author to display his worldbuilding bravado in wildly imaginative scenarios; unfortunately, it also leads to 500 pages of little more than exposition. The company spends a year travelling and meeting characters conveniently prepped to dump vast swaths of back story. Switching viewpoints each chapter among the three young protagonists should provide some variety, except that their voices are mostly indistinguishable: Supernaturally self-aware and infinitely introspective, they brood over their flaws and failures, ruminate upon the nature of truth and trust, and obsess about the possibility of free choice and the definition of “human,” with occasional jarring lapses into juvenile potty humor and teenage romantic crushes. Nonetheless, the writing is still infused with a compulsive readability that will keep the pages turning right up to the cliffhanger climax. Nobody combines gee-whiz, geeky speculation and angst-y adolescent navel-gazing better than Card; this series should prove catnip to his many fans.”

Publishers Weekly. “The brilliant yet complicated premise, which sees the young quintet racing to save the world while unable to fully trust anyone they meet or anything they learn, is weighed down somewhat by roundabout conversations and overly angsty internal monologues in which characters simmer over perceived slights or insecurities. However, the way Card explores time travel, logic puzzles, and parallel societal development, as well as the clever fashion in which various problems are resolved and the engrossing details of the world he has created, keep the plot moving forward—and often backward in time. For all its twisty, intelligent, and thought-provoking intricacy, the story still seems best summed up by the observation of one character: “I really hate philosophy…. You talk and talk, and in the end, you don’t know any more than you did.”

Ally Condie. Reached. Dutton, Nov. 13. Dystopian. Third and final book in the Matched series.

Kirkus Reviews. Starred (all three books in the series were starred). “While staying true to the science fiction and romance at the core of Matched (2010) and Crossed (2011), the trilogy’s breathless finale blossoms into a medical thriller too, adding breadth and resonance . . . Poems (Tennyson, Dickinson, Thomas) and a painting (Sargent) figure heavily and beautifully on both symbolic and literal levels . . . Condie’s prose is immediate and unadorned, with sudden pings of lush lyricism. Her protagonists are no run-of-the-mill romance triangle, her forms of activism (art, medicine) rich. Each character is differently strong and differently wounded. With reveals seeming to arrive on almost every page, prepare to stay up all night.”

Publishers Weekly. Starred. “Condie doesn’t waste time getting to the action: the long-awaited Rising begins in the early chapters, and its ramifications and complications unfold at a steady pace . . . Condie continues to draw readers in to her vivid broken world, adding rich color to the story through the interplay between characters and small but important moments. Unpredictable twists and revelations—yes, that includes a happy resolution to the trilogy’s romantic triangle—will leave readers satisfied with the fates of their favorites.”

Salt Lake Tribune feature story.  Deseret News feature story.

C. Michelle Jefferies. Emergence. Walnut Springs, Oct. 24. Suspense. First novel.

Steven L. Kent. The Clone Sedition. Ace, Oct. 30. Military science fiction. 8th volume in the Clone series.

Marcia Lynn McClure. The Bewitching of Amoretta Ipswich. Self, Oct. 24. Western historical romance.

Anne Perry. A Christmas Garland. Ballantine Books, Oct. 30. Perry’s tenth Victorian-era holiday mysteries. Set in India during the 1857 rebellion.

Publishers Weekly. “A particularly strong plot distinguishes bestseller Perry’s 10th Christmas mystery . . . The tension becomes palpable as the lieutenant frantically strains to find some evidence to exonerate Singh. Few readers will anticipate the clever solution.”

Kirkus Reviews: “Perry once again shows why her work resonates with readers in this short Christmas story that doesn’t rely on all of the usual yuletide tricks to make it sing . . . Perry avoids all of the mawkish pitfalls that are usually the hallmark of holiday books by choosing an unconventional setting and decidedly different approach. Rather than leaning on sentiment, she writes an honest, though somewhat grim, story that captures the essence of 19th-century India and the character of a compassionate man. A novel approach to an oft-explored subject, this tale will delight Perry’s fans and bring her new ones.”

Obert Skye. Potterwookiee: The Creature from my Closet. Henry Holt, Sept. 18. Grade school illustrated comic fantasy. Sequel to Wonkenstein. The newest creature is a mix of Harry Potter and a wookiee.

Kirkus Reviews. “The second doll-sized literary mashup to come out of a wimpy kid’s magic closet (see Wonkenstein,2011) adds wizardly spells and, far more frequently, noxious smells to a standard catalog of preteen misadventures . . . Still sailing along in Jeff Kinney’s wake format-wise, Skye presents Rob’s tally of haps and mishaps in a mix of block print and frequent, wobbly line drawings with punch lines and side remarks in dialogue balloons. In the end, Hairy leaves his tiny wand as a keepsake and returns to the closet, setting the stage for Rob’s next visitor: Pinocula. Maybe the next episode will be less derivative. There’s always hope.”

Publishers Weekly. “Skye captures all the silly action in the winning text-plus-cartoons format popularized by the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Rob’s dry commentary on his family, school, and social life is sure to provoke laughs.”

School Library Journal: “The text is hysterical by itself, but acts as the straight man in relation to the one-two punch of the childlike drawings and captions that appear on almost every page. Get multiple copies of this book: it will fly off the shelves.”

Booklist: “Potterwookiee is another weird combination of fictional characters: a small-scale mix of Chewbacca and Harry Potter . . . Focusing less on school than friends, foes, and Hairy, Skye delivers a familiar and appealing mix of anecdotes, sketches, and self-deprecating humor. He is also an able satirist of family dynamics. Next up: Pinocula. Grades 4-7. –Abby Nolan

Marilou Sorensen, Deseret News. ““Potterwookiee” is the second “Creatures From My Closet” saga, following “Wonkenstein,” a literary mashup of Willy Wonka and Frankenstein. This series — following the format of the popular Wimpy the Kid — will be a winner with middle-graders, especially boys who like to read about “stuff” in their own lives and can laugh about it.”

Rebecca Lynn Talley. Aura. Self, Nov. 9. YA urban fantasy. A teenage girl discovers she has a power to fight demons. Her power comes from her virtue and chastity. This is Talley’s fourth book, her first one without LDS characters.

Reviews of older books

Space Eldrich ( “It attempts to place the Lovecraft mythos in the context of science fiction, and it succeeds quite well . . . Something that I really like about these stories is that they have a very distinct feel from one another—they’re all science fiction, they all tap into Lovecraftian themes in a direct way, but they also represent different flavors of science fiction. It’s as if someone said “yes, Lovecraft can work within any sub-genre of science fiction you can think of, and we’re going to choose sub-genre’s out of a hat at random to prove it!” Each piece is stylistically different, and each piece works well.” A detailed review of each story follows.

A Timeless Romance Anthology: Winter Collection 2012 (Gamila Reviews). Detailed review of each story.  

Stephanie Black. Shadowed (LDSWBR).  Mindy: 4 stars. “Shadowed had me on edge, just waiting for something to happen, anticipating each page eagerly. My heart went out to Catherine. Talk about bad timing, with lots of bad luck. Moving into a town that is not welcoming and down right spooked by past and current events. Catherine is a great character with lots of great qualities. I really enjoyed what took place in the story, and the outcome of who did it. I was not expecting that. This is a great book to read on Halloween, full of suspense and heart pounding action.” Shanda: 4 stars. “I enjoyed the characters and feel like I got to know them pretty well considering we never leave Catherine’s point of view. Each one took their turn as my suspected bad guy. I thought I had the villain pegged a couple of times, but never with much confidence until the end. Stephanie did a great job keeping me guessing. The pace of the story was effective and kept me reading until my eyes just wouldn’t stay open anymore. Just as I would get feeling comfortable in Riley again, something would happen or hint at happening to shake things up. There are several action-packed scenes near the end that got my heart rate up and kept me turning pages.”

“The End of the World as we know it: Dystopias for young women” (Eric Samuelsen).  Reviews of Alison Condie’s Matched trilogy, the Hunger Games trilogy, and the Delirium trilogy. “These books owe much more to Brave New World than to 1984, except maybe The Hunger Games, which has some of Orwell’s grit and toughness.  So what’s going on today?  Why are these three very clever, exceedingly insightful writers all writing about a dystopia in which ordinary human love is the thing that’s either outlawed or codified or warped? Are young women today really afraid that they won’t be allowed to just fall in love?  Is there something in today’s politics that has led to this specific anxiety? I talked to my teenaged daughter about this, asked her if this was a genuine fear girls her age really have.  She said she didn’t think so.  She said, hey, teenaged girls like love stories, so this is just a new trend, a fad, stories in which love is treated this way, as something to be controlled and regulated by authorities.  And that’s horrifying, and so it becomes the focus of revolution.  I get that. But we’re also in the middle of a big important Presidential election, and one in which apocalyptic rhetoric has flourished.  If President Obama is re-elected, it’s the End of Days!  At least, Chuck Norris seems to think so.  And the rhetoric on the right seems driven by the fear that we are losing our freedoms.  On the left too, where the fear is that we’re losing our reproductive freedom.  Well, what freedom could be more fundamental than the freedom to love?  So is it possible that these books reflect either right-wing or left-wing paranoia? But I have a hard time imagining that could be the case.  These books are just so well written.  Maybe my own prejudices are showing, but I can’t help but believe that crazy extremist political paranoia cannot co-exist with prose this good.  I don’t know anything at all about Suzanne Collins, or Lauren Oliver, or Allie Condie (I have heard that Condie’s LDS), except this: they’re scary good writers.  They’re terrific. And I may not be the intended audience for the books, but I also couldn’t put them down.”

Sarah Eden. An Unlikely Match (AE, Provo Library staff reviews). “I was a little skeptical of a ghost story-romance, but I was quickly pulled into the the banter between Nickolas and Gwen and to the mystery of Gwen’s death. The ending came a little too quickly for me; I thought the way things were resolved was interesting but then the epilogue at the end wrapping everything up wasn’t entirely satisfactory. Overall, it’s my least favorite of Sarah Eden’s books, but it’s still a fun Regency romance.”

Marcie Gallacher and Kerri Robinson. Now Greater Love (Melissa DeMoux, Deseret News). “The shimmering jewel at the end of a gratifying series. More so than the other books, this volume comes alive as it delves into the souls of each Johnson family member. While it is a work of fiction, the factual bits and tidbits sprinkled throughout the story give it an inviting flavor. The descriptions are vivid and tangible, leaving readers to feel as if they are part of the journey. It would be difficult not to feel drawn to these historic characters. The only real problem with the book is that there are so many characters involved it is difficult to keep them straight. With more than 20 people just in the immediate Johnson family — many with duplicate names — the story sometimes becomes muddled. However, because the book follows the lives of real people there isn’t a feasible way around that issue.”

James Goldberg. The Five Books of Jesus (William Morris, A Motley Vision). 4 stars. “It’s not just the plain yet lyrical and evocative language that James brings to this novelization of Christ’s life that makes it such a success. It’s not just a translation compiled into a coherent narrative (although that aspect in and of itself is of value). Rather, it is an exploration of social movements and relationship dynamics and Jesus guides both of those into a situation where his teachings and ministry forge a small community that can survive his death, believe his resurrection and establish His Church.A novel like that requires careful balance: too little context and it risks being insubstantial; too much and it’s plodding historical fiction; too much characterization (by examining the feelings and motivations of those in Jesus’s circle) and it bogs down; too little and we’re left wondering why his apostles and family members react the way that they do. James gets the balance right. In particular, he plants the narrative within a strong sense of place and of the physical needs of life on the road (which is, of course, what most of Christ’s ministry is — itinerant, local) . . . Thus all the parables, all the teachings, all the miracles happen in a conversational context and in communities. And James assembles them in such a way that we see how Christ very much responds to particular situations and people, modifying his availability, his words, his actions as the situation requires. What may seem capricious or fragmentary in the Gospels is here made coherent.”

Scott Hales interviews Goldberg at  “Our Century Needs Alternatives”: James Goldberg on “The Five Books of Jesus”

Jennifer Griffith. Big in Japan (Mike Whitmer, Deseret News). “Griffith weaves a delightfully entertaining tale of change, bravery and true love in the life of a lonely young man trying to overcome an austere and challenging environment.”

Robert Marcum. Storms Gather (Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine). 5 stars. “Some of the characters, particularly the villains, are a little stereotyped but most are strong, distinctive individuals who face big choices and grow through facing risks and danger. The major characters are realistic in that they aren’t perfect, they don’t always make the wisest choices, they sometimes doubt themselves, and they don’t always win. The plot is handled well even though, as is always the case in historical novels, there are certain actions and events that must follow the time sequences and realities of the historical period. There is plenty of fast-paced action that will keep the most action oriented readers happy. There is also a great deal of political intrigue. Readers, along with the characters in this story will find themselves studying the issues of that time period and struggling to determine if and when compromise of moral issues is justified. I predict this series will become a big time favorite of many readers.”

Clair M. Poulson. Accidental Private Eye (Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine). “Poulson has created an interesting cast of characters. Dallas doesn’t change a great deal from the beginning to the end of the story other than to regain the confidence he once had as a soldier and to give some serious attention to the religious faith he had let slip. The two ladies who play significant roles don’t change much either, but their roles are interesting, both suspects and romantic interests. This much loved author has a folksy, rural style that gives his characters a kind of authenticity; they’re the people you meet when you take your car to have the oil checked, the kind of people you meet at church, in the grocery store, and who live across the street. This fast-paced novel follows Poulson’s usual trademark style of plenty of action. There was one point where I felt a little cheated. It was when Dallas received information which was blatantly withheld from the reader. Other than that one incident that added a hint of deus ex machina to the ending this was a satisfying suspenseful mystery.”

Gale Sears. Letters in a Jade Box (Gamila). “I was just blown away by how well the author pulled this book off. I felt like I could hold this book up to any national market novel in the same genre and subject matter and it would still shine like a gem. This book is so beautiful. The language it uses, the images it provokes, and the heart of its characters touched me deeply on so many levels. It is obvious that the author put a lot of thought and hard work into portraying Chinese culture and history, as its little details are woven seamlessly throughout the novel and make the character’s world seem so real and immediate. Just go read this book now. I would recommend this novel to everyone.”

Obert Skye. Beyond Foo, Vol. 2 (Hikari Loftus, Deseret News). “Author Obert Skye’s writing style is clever, humerous and delightfully absurd. Through his words Skye has created worlds, characters and candy that ignite the imagination of the reader — and provide reason to laugh out loud. However, in order to fully appreciate and understand Geth and Clover, the main characters of the Beyond Foo triology, Skye assumes the reader has already come to know them from the Leven Thumps book series. Although the books can still be read on their own, much of the humor comes from assuming these characters are already well-known, old friends.”

E. M. Tippits, Paint Me True (Shanda, LDSWBR). “A story of people and situations that are not what they first seem. Not in a suspenseful, mysterious way, but in a perspective-changing, now-I-see-the-whole-picture kind of way . . . While Paint Me True started a bit slow for me, by the end I was involved in the story and stayed up after my family went to bed to find out how things would turn out for Eliza. I liked the ending and think that those who enjoy clean, LDS romance will like it, too.”


Melissa Leilani Larson. Martyrs’ Crossing. Opening at Echo Theatre in Provo on November 29.

Mahonri Stewart shares a video of the recent Binary Theatre Company’s Production of _A Roof Overhead (AMV).


Christmas Oranges. Covenant. Plays Nov. 2-8. at the Megaplex theaters in St. George, Cedar City, Logan, Ogden, Lehi, Sandy, South Jordan and Centerville.

Deseret News.  “This simple tale is fun and engaging, well-acted and heartwarming for any age. “Christmas Oranges” could rival any Hallmark production this season.”

Redemption (Deseret News). “Now available on DVD, “Redemption” is both picturesque and poignant in its teaching of powerful, soul-searching messages about compassion and about forgiving the unforgivable . . . Though there is some departure from history, as there is still some mystery as to what happened to Baptiste, “Redemption” has a present-day impact. Moving scenes — several with very little dialogue — invite viewers to weigh questions about the handling of the crime and appropriateness of the punishment. Ultimately, the engaging tale causes viewer to examine their own hearts to see where forgiveness may give them a chance for their own personal “Redemption.””

A Re-Release for New York Doll (Kyle M, By Common Consent). “Greg Whitely, the director of the excellent documentary New York Doll, that the film is being re-released with some mormon-y bonus footage, and it’s watchable online.”


New York Times Bestseller Lists, Nov. 11th and 18th.  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

x, #6 A WINTER DREAM, by Richard Paul Evans. First week.

x, #27  A CHRISTMAS GARLAND, by Anne Perry. Debuts at #27.

DARK STORM, by Christine Feehan fell off the list after 3 weeks.

Mass Market Paperback

#27, x  WHEN SNOW FALLS, by Brenda Novak. Briefly on the list. #70 for one week at USA Today.

x, #8 DARK NIGHTS, by Christine Feehan (1 week). Also #29 on the USA Today list for one week.

Children’s Hardcover

x, #6 RUINS, by Orson Scott Card. The sequel to Pathfinder debuts on the list. Made it to #100 on the USA Today list.

Children’s Paperback

#9, #10 MATCHED, by Ally Condie (56th week).

Children’s Series

#3, #8 HUSH, HUSH SAGA, by Becca Fitzpatrick (6th week).  The series is back on the list, with the arrival of the fourth and final volume, Finale. Finale also made it to the USA Today list for two weeks, at #18 and #49.

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3 Responses to This Week in Mormon Literature, Nov. 12, 2012

  1. Wm says:

    I’m hoping to soon have a post up at AMV sometime soon that goes into more detail about the panel “A Crowdsourced Approach to Indexing Mormon Literature and Creative Arts”.

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