What are your favorite LDS novels? Which do you recommend?
Over the years that I've been doing this blog, I've gotten this question many, many, many times—at least a few times a month. Another variation on theme that I get several times a year is, would I consider creating an LDSP award for the best books?
I've mostly ignored these questions because I have a hard enough time finding and reading all the Whitney nominees. The task of finding and reading every novel by an LDS author would be outside my current resources—both in time and finances.
Then there's the possible backlash—accusations of favoritism to friends and genres; promoting books I've worked on, blah-blah-blah. If I give an award to one book, will people think I'm dissing all others? Also, there are a select few individuals who know my secret identity, and I might not give an award to them. Will they hate me forever?
Therefore, my answer has always been No.
But recently I've gotten a deluge of people asking me about this, which has caused me to do some rethinking. I want to be seen as a trusted source of general and unbiased information here on these sites—and I think I've accomplished that for the most part. Any LDS author can get their novel and author events listed for free, simply by letting me know about it. The networking is open to any LDS author, publisher or group (it is just taking me some time to get them posted). The only site that has judgment or opinion attached is the LDS Fiction Review site, and there are a variety of reviewers there.
So a few questions for you are:
- Do you really care which books I'd recommend?
- If I came out with an award for the best of the best (IMHO), would that skew the value of any other information I post on these sites?
- Would you be willing to send me a copy of your book to read—knowing that it may not be chosen for the award, but that by sending a copy you were guaranteed to:
—be considered for the award
—have it passed along to one of the LDS Fiction Review reviewers for review
—get its spot on LDS fiction
—move you up on the "Add to LDS Author Network site" list?
—get you listed on the LDSP Good Reads shelf (which does not yet exist but will be created if I decide to do this)
—get you added as a friend on the LDSP Facebook account (which does not yet exist but will be created if I decide to do this)