This Month in Mormon Literature, November 2015

New national novels by Glenn Beck, Larry Correia (starred review), Richard Paul Evans, Andrew Hunt (starred review), and Ann Perry, and new national YA novels by Renee Collins, James Dashner, Becca Fitzpatrick, and Martine Leavitt (starred review). The Utah Book Awards honored 2013 Utah books, including some Mormon-authored works. There are new issues of Dialogue, BYU Studies Quarterly, Mormon Studies Review, and Sunstone. Mitch Davis’ new movie Christmas Eve will open December 3. We were sad to find out the wonderful actress Tayva Patch passed away.

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In Memoriam

PatchWe are very sorry to hear that Tayva Patch, who appeared in many theatrical and film productions in Utah, passed away this week. Among her credits were “Meredith” (the FBI agent) in Brigham City and “Lucy Mack Smith” in Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration and Emma Smith: My Story. Here is a review of her performance in a 2014 production of The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Lynne Bronson.

Awards and honors

Utah Book Award finalists. The winners were announced on Oct. 22.

CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

Winner:  Princess Wannabe by Leslie Lammle

Finalist:  Fairy Tale Christmas by Michael McLean and Scott McLean

Other short list works:

Climbing with Tigers by Dallas Graham and Nathan Glad
Discover America by Julie Olson
One Little Match by Thomas Monson

Sam’s Christmas Wish by George Durrant

FICTION

Winner:  A Song for Issey Bradley by Carys Bray

Finalist:  The Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison

Other short list works:
City of Brick and Shadow by Timothy Wirkus
Motherlunge by Kirstin Scott
You Could Be Home By Now by Tracy Manaster

NONFICTION
Winner: The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off by Teresa Jordan

Finalist: Wild Rides and Wildflowers by Scott Abbott and Sam Rushforth

Other short list works:

Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp by Lily Havey
Surviving Hitler by O. Hakan Palm
The Lincoln Hypothesis by Timothy Ballard

POETRY

Winner:  The Logan Notebooks by Rebecca Lindenberg

Finalist:  like water, like bread by Joyce Webb Kohler

Other short list works:

Bastard Heart by Raphael Dagold
In the Museum of Coming and Going by Laura Stott
Vivarium by Natasha Sajé

YOUNG ADULT

Winner: The Avatar Battle by Chad Morris

Finalist:  Strike of the Sweepers by Tyler Whitesides

Other short list works: Remake by Ilima Todd

 

Josi L. Kilpack. A Heart Revealed was one of six romance books honored as Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2015. “In Kilpack’s deeply touching and emotionally rich Regency, a spoiled young woman is rejected by society for suffering from a disfiguring ailment. Only one man—an impoverished third son she once snubbed—is willing to treat her as a person as they come together in a slow, graceful dance of humility and forgiveness in a two-hanky read.”

YALSA Teen’s Top Ten. Jennifer Nielsen. The Shadow Throne was named #1. Chosen by thousands of teens who read the books nominated by the YALSA.

Round 1 of the 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards. Brandon Sanderson’s Fantasy: Shadows of Self (Fantasy) and Firefight (Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction) made it to the final ten in both categories. Brandon Mull’s Rouge Knight was on the long list of Middle Grade and Children’s; but did not make it to the final ten.

News and articles

The LDStorymakers Conference schedule has been announced. The conference will be held May 6-7, in Provo.

At A Motley Vision: Jonathan on “Parsing the ‘Mormon’ in Mormon Literature”, Theric “On Subtlety, Briefly”, William on “Call for Submissions: Mormon Alternate History Anthology”, and Jonathan interviews Dave Farland in “Questions and Answers: Dave Farland’s In the Company of Angels

Ellen Fagg Weist at the Salt Lake Tribune on novels by Mette Ivie Harrison, Tim Wirkus, and Andrew Hunt. Three nationally published mystery novels draw upon Mormon culture as their fictional backdrop. Each of these very different novels revolves around naive Mormon sleuths who set out to unravel mysteries.

#FSYALit: Mormon Representation in YA Lit, by Sam Taylor. School Library Journal. Detailed look at the subject, including Emily Wing Smith’sThe Way He Lived and Back When You Were Easier to Love, Louise Plummer’s A Dance for Three, A.E. Cannon’s Charlotte’s Rose, and (the negative example), Ellen Hopkins’ Burned and Smoked.

Martine Leavitt delivered a keynote address at the BYU Beauty and Belief Conference, which was held November 5-6 on the BYU campus. It was the 7th Literature and Belief Conference, sponsored by the University’s Department of English, College of Humanities, and the Office for the Study of Christian Values in Literature. Among the Mormon literature-related presentations were: “Writing a Novel: A Leap of Faith” ‪Chris Crowe. “Finding Milton and Angels in the Downtown Eastside”. ‪Martine Leavitt. “The Laureate and the ‘Mormonites’: Wordsworth’s Niece and Early Perceptions of Mormons in England”. ‪Nick Mason. “Answering Johann Wondra’s 1980 Call for Beauty” Cynthia Hallen. “The Essay as Resurrection” ‪Joey Franklin. “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Writing Literary Mormon Fiction”, ‪John Bennion. “Sensitively Sensuous: The Mormon Aesthetic of Embodiment”, ‪Gideon O. Burton. “Against Happiness: Delay and Trouble in Narrative Fiction”, ‪Stephen Tuttle. “Odd Angles of Heaven: Writing Poems of Belief”, ‪Lance Larsen. “Beauty in Diversity: A Personal Essay on My Experiences as an LDS Student in Secular Universities”, ‪Heather Thomson.

Marvel’s Young Adult Book Series Could Be Its Most Important Project Yet (Film School Rejects). About Shannon and Dean Hale’s upcoming Captain Marval YA novel series.

Magazines

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 48:4, Fall 2015 is now available. It includes Jack Harrell’s article, “The Thirteenth Article of Faith as a Standard for Literature”, Ryan Shoemaker’s short story “The Righteous Road”, poetry by Doug Talley and Ronald Wilcox, essays by Rachel Hunt Steenblik and Elisabeth Muldowney, and a film review of Families are Forever by Robert A. Rees.

BYU Studies Quarterly volume 54, number 3 is now available. It includes two articles, by Robert A. Rees and Rosalynde Welch, which compare Joseph Smith and John Milton. These two figures had drastically contrasting life experiences, but both produced works that had a strong impact on the world. Essay by Sheldon Lawrence (BYU Idaho), “Stranded in the Stars.” Poetry by Susan Howe. “Aliens.” Reviews, including Mark Brown’s review of Boyd Peterson’s Dead Wood and Rushing Waters: Essays on Mormon Faith, Culture, and Family.

Mormon Studies Review #3 is now available. It includes Megan Sanborn Jones’s “Testimony in the Muscles, in the Body: Proxy Performance at the Mesa Easter Pageant”, and Anne Blue Willis’s review of Craig Harline’s Way Below the Angels: The Pretty Clearly Troubled but Not Even Close to Tragic Confessions of a Real Life Mormon Missionary.

Short works

Nancy Fulda. “Metamorphosis”. SF Comet, 2015. Includes a translation into Chinese.

Ryan Shoemaker. “A Stay-at-Home Dad Documents his Sex Life on a Fitbit”. McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, October.

Scott R. Parkin. “Within Limits,” In a Romance anthology. A Kiss is Still A Kiss. “It’s a fun, sweet little humor piece about an atypical hero who finds true love while being stopped for speeding. Has science fiction elements.”

Darlene Louise Young. “Notes on the Back of the Recipe”. North Dakota Quarterly. Summer. Essay.

Lon Young. “Aquascape #7” Sunstone #178, Summer 2015.

News Books and their reviews

Various. Timeless Romance: Under the Mistletoe. Mirror Press, Oct. 15. Romance novella anthology. Authors: Annette Lyon, Cindy Roland Anderson, Heather B. Moore, Jennifer Griffith, Julie Coulter Bellon, Sarah M. Eden.

Various. Tangerine Street: The Mariposa Hotel. Mirror Press, Nov. 9. Contemporary romance novellas. Tangerine Street #3. Heather B. Moore, Julie Wright, and Melanie Jacobson.

Various. Power of the Matchmaker. Mirror Press, Nov. 3. Speculative romance. A prequel novella to a series of twelve novels, once released each month in 2016. Set in what appears to be Republican-era Shanghai, a girl flees to the city, is rescued from ruin, and begins training as a matchmaker. Authors: Karey White, Rachael Anderson, Sheralyn Pratt, Jaima Fixsen, Kelly Oram, Heather B. Moore, Julie Wright, Heidi Ashworth, Taylor Dean, Michele Paige Holmes, Janette Rallison, and Regina Sirois. Heather Moore was the main author of the prequel novella.

Michael and Lee Allred. Batman ’66 #73. Marvel, Nov. The last of the Batman ’66 series of retro comics. AV Club article. 

Glenn Beck. The Immortal Nicholas. Mercury Ink, Oct. 27. Christmas novel. “From the snowy mountains of Western Asia, to the deserts of Egypt, to Yemen’s elusive frankincense-bearing boswellia trees, this is an epic tale that gives the legend of Santa a long overdue Christ-centered mission.”

Sian Ann Bessey. One Last Spring. Covenant, Nov. 2. Historical romance. Wales, 1884. A country girl is torn between two suitors.

Vicki Hunt Budge. Renewal: Kayla’s Story. Self, Oct. 6. General. A single LDS woman is buffeted by difficult relationships, and the bombshell that her father was not her biological father.

Robyn Buttars. Christmas Wonders. Familius, Oct. 1. Christmas novel.

Michaelbrent Collins. The Colony: Reckoning. Self, Nov. 9. Horror. The Colony #7. Conclusion of the series.

Renee Collins. Until We Meet Again. Sourcebooks Fire, Nov. 3. YA Time-travel romance. 1925 and 2015. Second novel.

Kirkus: “Mystery, romance, time travel, and danger…this one has it all. Cassandra would rather be home alone in Ohio or gallivanting around Europe with her best friend, but she’s stuck in a snooty beach town in Massachusetts on a family vacation. It’s not that she doesn’t love her family; it’s just that there’s absolutely nothing and no one she wants to relate to here. Until she steps onto the private beach attached to their rented house and meets Lawrence, that is. Handsome, courtly, interested in her, and generating an immediate attraction, Lawrence comes from a different world—quite literally: the past. Living in the same house but separated by almost 100 years, Cass and Lawrence fall head over heels for each other, even if they can’t see each other except on their isolated stretch of beach. With access to the Internet, Cass looks into Lawrence’s life only to discover that in his time, he is due to be murdered in a matter of days. Alternating narration between her protagonists, Collins gives her characters voices that evoke their respective times, Cass’ modern, slightly snarky voice contrasting with Lawrence’s formal cadences. Their present-tense accounts present an interesting, often amusing intersection of the Roaring ’20s and the 21st century. Suspenseful, poignant, and romantic: well worth the read.”

SLJ: “The romance is woozy and breathless, which gives it a classic feel, and the investigating the teens do on both sides of the event builds some suspense. While there’s quite a bit readers have to accept here (not one person in either time period is interested in using this beautiful private beach except the teens, ensuring nobody figures out their secret until the very end; any culture shock Lawrence might be feeling at the language and dress from 2015 is brushed off a little too easily; and the explanation as to why they can see each other in the first place is spotty), readers with a flair for the dramatic and romantic will overlook these points easily. VERDICT A hazy, romantic mystery that might appeal to fans of Nicholas Sparks.”

Children’s Literature: “The premise of Collins’ book is engaging, and the mysterious action that unfolds around the protagonists keeps the reader invested in their fates. However, the dialogue between some of the characters, especially between Cass and her mother and stepfather, often feels forced, ringing a false note in what is, generally, a compelling story. There are also moments in the book where the pacing seems both plodding and unnecessarily swift, which detracts from a reader’s overall sense of the book. That said, a teen reader interested in love and relationships will most likely find this a romantic, fun read.”

Kathryn Cooper. Aspen Everlasting. Cedar Fort, Sept. 8. YA paranormal romance. Light, fun adventure. Teen sisters discover they are fairies. Debut novel.

Larry Correia. Son of the Black Sword. Baen, Oct. 27. Epic Fantasy. First of a new series. PW Feature Story.

Publishers Weekly (starred): “Bestselling fantasy author Correia casts a compelling spell with this India-influenced series opener. Elite fighter Ashok Vadal, bearer of the magical ancestor blade Angruvadal, has dedicated his life to serving the law. He fights demons and kills rebels who try to bring back religion and stand up for the casteless, the lowest of the low in this highly stratified fantasy-world society. When the Inquisition sends Ashok to infiltrate a rebel group working to free the casteless, he’s certain it’s punishment for the revelation that he himself was born a lowly untouchable. The Inquisition’s real goal is to engineer a reason to annihilate the casteless entirely; unfortunately for them, Ashok is the worst person they could have chosen for the job. Correia skillfully sets in motion this story of plots within plots, revealing complex, sympathetic characters and black-hearted villains with equal detail and insight. Full of action, intrigue, and wry humor, this exciting series launch promises many more thrills to come.”

SLJ: “Correia is best known for his action-packed urban fantasies, so this non-European–set epic fantasy is a pleasant surprise. Hundreds of years ago, the demons arrived and nearly drove humanity to extinction. Saved by a hero named Ramrowan, the survivors formed a strict caste system, with laws enforced by elite warriors like Ashok. When events cause Ashok to learn that his entire life has been based on a lie, he turns his immense power, skill, and his legendary sword toward creating a new world. ­VERDICT Fans who like Correia’s fast-moving style will be pleased with the plethora of action scenes, and epic fantasy readers interested in delving into a new universe should be equally satisfied. A solid choice for admirers of Brent Weeks and Brandon Sanderson’s “Mistborn” series.”

Elitist Book Reviews. “Those fantasy readers who have grown tired of white bread pseudo-European settings should rejoice because SON OF THE BLACK SWORD has a very obvious Asian flavor to it . . . This wouldn’t be a very good review of a Correia book if I neglected to talk about the action. When you open SON OF THE BLACK SWORD be sure to wear a parka because you’re going to be bathed in buckets of blood. With his magical sword and Protector training Ashok is the sort of protagonist to do Conan proud. There’s a running melee through a mountain town between Ashok and an army of raiders at the end of the book that lives up to Correia’s trademark set piece battles. What I appreciate most is that the protagonists are given logical reasons for being able to surviving pitched combat that would fell an ordinary man or woman in moments. It’s fantasy, sure, but that doesn’t mean it has to be unbelievable. The plotting is as deft as it’s ever been, Correia’s writing only continues to approve with every new release.”

James Dashner. The Game of Lives. Random House Children’s, Nov. 17. YA science fiction. The Morality Doctrine #3. Conclusion.

Kirkus: “After narrowly escaping the villainous Tangent Kaine’s clutches at the conclusion of The Rule of Thoughts (2014), Michael, Bryson, and Sarah are joined by Michael’s old nanny, Helga, and a group of rebel Tangents to thwart Kaine’s evil plans once and for all. But not all is as it seems. Tragedy occurs, motives are revealed, and foe becomes friend in Dashner’s exciting finale. Dashner throws everything he has in to this volume, making for a breathless, action-packed read that will have readers on the edges of their seats. He further explores his hard sci-fi premise, in which beings flow like water between a computer world and a real world, lending the book as much speculative fun as action. The characterization still leaves a bit to be desired; few characters are given the depth and shading the author gives to Michael and Kaine. Moreover, Dashner doesn’t seem to have quite enough guts to keep a particularly painful death permanent; the novel’s final pages allude to a resurrection that, while sweet, will make a few readers roll their eyes. However, in the broadest of strokes Dashner has stuck the landing, crafting a complete sci-fi trilogy that has little fat to trim and plenty of action, laughs, thoughts, and emotion. These books have notably improved with each outing, making this the best of the bunch. A fitting end to an exceptional trilogy.”

Julianne Donaldson. Heir to Edenbrook. Shadow Mountain, Nov. 17. Short story prequel.

Sarah M. Eden. A Timeless Romance Anthology: Sarah M. Eden British Isles Collection (A Timeless Romance Anthology) . Mirror Press, Nov. 6. contains two brand new historical romance novellas A FRIEND INDEED and A HAPPY BEGINNING, as well as four hand-picked readers’ and reviewers’ favorites of Sarah’s popular Timeless Romance Anthology novellas. Readers will love this selection of six historical romance novellas set in the British Isles.

Justin Evans. Lake of Fire: Landscape Meditations from the Great Basin Deserts of Nevada. Aldrich Press, May. Poetry.

Richard Paul Evans. The Mistletoe Inn. Simon & Schuster, Nov. 17. Christmas romance. Mistletoe #2. Romance at a writing retreat for romance authors.

Becca Fitzpatrick. Dangerous Lives. Simon & Schuster. Nov. 10. YA mystery/suspense/romance. Girl in the witness of protection program.

PW: After 17-year-old Stella walks in on a murder, she moves from Philadelphia to rural Nebraska as part of the witness protection program. Leaving behind her boyfriend and drug-addicted mother, Stella tries to eke out a new life under the watchful eye of a retired cop. Over time, she takes a liking to the simple life and her new friend Chet, just as her past threatens to catch up to her. Fitzpatrick’s brand of page-turning, plot-twisting suspense is conspicuously absent in a narrative that focuses more on Stella’s emotional turmoil than the threat of being hunted down. That may be why the climax feels more like a pit stop on the way to a happy ending. It’s inevitable that Stella will have to face her past, but a revelation regarding the depth of her lies is lackluster and the resolution too tidy. Essentially a feel-good romance masquerading as a thriller, with an unlikely ending in which the bad guys get what’s coming to them, and the good guys get their happily ever after.

SLJ: Each of the main characters is harboring a secret that will keep readers guessing to the end, but what should be the tension-building specter of ever-present danger gets lost amid quaint descriptions of rural living and Stella’s repeated (failed) attempts at loyalty to her boyfriend. VERDICT A good read for romance fans, but crime drama enthusiasts should look elsewhere.

Kirkus: Though the book is billed as a thriller, Stella’s time in Thunder Basin is actually all simmering summer love and coming into her own. Readers won’t mind—they’ll be too engrossed by Stella’s steady, although reluctant, fall into the arms of charming Chet. A swoonworthy romance that doesn’t really need the promised thrills.

Elizabath C. Garcia. Stunt Double. Finishing Line Press, Nov. 20. Poetry. Garcia has been published in Irreantum, Boxcar Poetry Review, Poets and Artists, Segullah Literary Journal, 491 Magazine, Penwood Review, The Resurrectionist, among others.

Scott Hales, A Motley Vision. “A strong contribution to the field of Mormon poetry. While not overtly Mormon in content, it addresses many of the themes and preoccupations—social and theological—that Mormons grapple with regularly. Specifically, Garcia’s poems display an obsession with the internal landscape of family dynamics, foregrounding intricate ties that bind parents to each other and their children. Often, Mormons speak of interest in these ties as the “Spirit of Elijah,” or the turning of generational hearts to each other. While this “spirit” is usually associated with genealogical work, Garcia’s poems show how the it can manifest itself as we seek to understand the nature of family, generations, and the lived, enduring consequences of human relationships . . . Overtly Mormon readings of Garcia’s poems are not required to appreciate Stunt Double, to be sure. Throughout the collection, Garcia strikes at situations and themes that are more universal than provincial—from watching classic films to losing one’s virginity. Several poems, for example, explore the process of coming-of-age, which we normally associate with adolescence. These poems, however, remind us that growing up is an ironic process that never truly ends, regardless of what beliefs or world views shape maturity . . . Ultimately, Stunt Double delivers a short collection of poems that is as thought-provoking as it is endlessly readable. Garcia’s has carefully honed her craft, like the God in her poem, offering readers an experience that is a challenge and a delight for people of all backgrounds. Each poem moves seamlessly between spheres—heaven and earth, past and present, husband and wife, parent and child—offering readers a sense of the enormity of human experience and why it matters.”

Trudy Thompson, AML. “Stunt Double is a collection of 19 wide ranging poems that explore the difficulties of trying and failing to overcome self, the difficulties of empathy, and a poet’s duty to understand and persist in imagining the pain of others . . I consider this small collection of poems to be abstract in nature, and the reader can assume the author meant one thing or the other, and the intent of a particular poem is not always clear and concise. The reader is left to bring meaning to them from their own perspective and life experiences. One caution: there are several poems, sexual in nature, which might embarrass and offend the average Latter-day Saint reader. I consider this small collection of poems to be abstract in nature, and the reader can assume the author meant one thing or the other, and the intent of a particular poem is not always clear and concise. The reader is left to bring meaning to them from their own perspective and life experiences. One caution: there are several poems, sexual in nature, which might embarrass and offend the average Latter-day Saint reader.”

Betsy Bannon Green. Puzzle Pieces. Covenant, Nov. 1. Cozy mystery. Haggerty series #9. A young woman flees her dangerous fiancée.

Jennie Hansen. By the River. Covenant, Nov. 1. Suspence/thriller. A man and woman bond over the mystery of a dead body they stumbled upon.

Julie Coulter Bellon, Meridian Magazine: “By the River has all the shivers and thrills you’d expect from a Jennie Hansen suspense novel.  The reader is kept guessing until the very end who the killer is and if Kira will survive not only physically, but emotionally. Ford is a relatable character, fighting for his own innocence and for what he might have with Kira. He definitely lives up to the slogan, “Ford Tough.” The other “character” that is a standout is Jasper the dog. Jasper is a scene-stealer who will win your heart with his fondness for shoes, canals, and mischief of any kind, but who also proves dogs can be a man–or woman’s–best friend. This is a quick read because readers will not be able to put it down–and you’ll never look at running trails quite the same way again.”

Teri Harman. Storm Moon. Jolly Fish, Aug. 11. Paranormal. The Stormlight Trilogy #3, conclusion. Magic, and a husband who has gone to the dark side.

Cindy Hogan. Kate Unmasked. O’Neal Publishing, Aug. YA suspense. Code of Silence #1. An adopted girl searching for her biological family stumbles into a dangerous world.

Andrew Hunt. A Killing in Zion. St. Martin’s Press, Sept. 8. Historical mystery. Art Oveson Mystery #2. Hunt is a professor of history, a former SLC resident, and a non-Mormon. “In the scorching, drought-plagued summer of 1934, as wildfires burn across Utah, Detective Lieutenant Art Oveson faces a unique assignment. Salt Lake City’s mayor has tapped him to revive the Anti-Polygamy Squad, a unit formed years earlier for the purpose of driving out the city’s “plural marriage zealots.” . . . Soon, however, Art discovers that the sect has much more to hide than he thought.” Sequel to the award winning City of Saints.

PW (Starred review): “Hunt’s excellent second mystery featuring Art Oveson lives up to the promise of his Hillerman Prize–winning debut, City of Saints (2012). In 1934, Oveson is promoted to head the Anti-Polygamy Squad, a high-profile police unit that works to demonstrate to the world that the Mormons of Salt Lake City have left polygamy in their distant past. Art has been fruitlessly tailing the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Saints, LeGrand Johnston, until one day Art hears shots fired outside the polygamist’s temple and finds both Johnston and his bodyguard murdered. The polygamists are a tight-knit and uncooperative group, but Art discovers hints in the ensuing investigation that the illegal multiple marriages are the least of their crimes. The team learns of child brides, land swindles, and bodies in the desert outside of the town that the fundamentalist Mormons own in southern Utah. Hunt builds the action at a satisfying pace with surprising twists and revelations throughout. Readers will cheer a hero who is not only a fine policeman but also a family man with a strong moral compass.”

Carla Kelly. Doing No Harm. Cedar Fort, Nov. 10. Historical drama/romance. Surgeon from the Napoleonic Wars goes to Scotland, runs into the “Highland Clearance”, a decades long effort to drive highlanders from their lands.

Exponent: “This book dealt with some themes I did not expect, but greatly appreciated. I admit that I was expecting a fairly standard historical romance: boy and girl meet… boy and girl hate each other… but it was all a misunderstanding… so now boy and girl love each other. But that wasn’t this book at all. Both Douglas and Olive gave themselves in service to their neighbors and it is through that path that they find each other – while they are caring for the destitute refugees from the Scottish highlands driven from their lands and dumped on the shores of Edgar by crass, capitalistic landlords. This was unexpected, but appealing to me. I really liked how the main characters worked with each other to cajole the townspeople into taking better care of each other . . . If you like a historical drama or romance, or you’re intrigued by characters brought together by selflessness instead of hormones, I’d say give it a go. For me, it was a really nice change of pace from standard romances. Douglas and Olive team up to heal Edgar’s wounds, literal and metaphorical, and in so doing they find an unexpected partner.”

Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine. “Though this story takes place during the regency period, it’s not a regency but an historical with a hint of low key romance. Mostly it’s a story of discovering what matters most, of people coming together to care for each other, and the ability to change and forgive. The characters are real, flaws and all. They make mistakes; they harbor impulses that are less than kind, but they also have a remarkable ability to grow, become better, and change for the better. The reader is enriched by sharing these characters’ emotions. Kelly is that rare writer who is able to portray violence, terrible events, and base actions in a way that leaves no question what is happening, but in an inoffensive way minus vulgarity or explicit language. She also describes positive events and experiences in a way that touches the heart. The author has written so often of rural England and Scotland during the early nineteenth century it appears in her writing as a firsthand description. It’s easy to believe she has been there and seen the water, the people, and the villages herself. This isn’t an easy book to put down. It’s plotted well and the story is compelling. It’s liberally sprinkled with insights into human thoughts and actions readers will remember for a long time to come.”

McArthur Krishna, Bethany Brady Spalding, Kathleen Peterson. Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Strong Women from the Book of Mormon. Deseret, Nov. 12. Picture book.

Keepapitchin: “They’ve done it again. The writing and illustrating team – and make no mistake: the illustrations are every bit as essential to this book as the words are – who gave us Girls Who Choose God: Stories of Courageous Women from the Bible (which I reviewed last year here) have given us another gorgeous, inspiring album of women’s portraits from the Book of Mormon . . . In each case, these are girls and women who were agents, actors in their own lives. That’s one part of the genius of this series: women who appear in the scriptures almost as victims, as having little say in their own lives and fates, are given to us here as women who chose to respond to their circumstances with faith and free will . . . In the Bible book, the artist reserved the color white for the whites of the characters’ eyes. In this book, white is used somewhat more liberally, for beads and wardrobe details – but still, the viewer’s eyes are immediately drawn to the characters’ eyes because of that brilliant white in the midst of richer, darker colors. There’s something about that effect that makes me see the women as individual people, with thought and will and deliberateness happening behind those eyes. I still haven’t quite found the words to describe the effectiveness of that detail, but it is powerful.”

McArthur Krishna on the creation of the book. Segullah.

Robin M. King. Van Gogh Gone. Walnut Springs, Nov. 14. YA mystery/suspense. Sequel to Rembrandt. Alexandra Stewart’s eidetic memory won’t let her forget anything, ever. And finally she has a life worth remembering—a Spanish tutor who gives perfecto a new name, a roommate that could double as her sister, and a special role in a spy organization with secret headquarters at Brown University.

Martine Leavitt. Calvin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov. 17. YA. Calvin, a 17 year old schizophrenic, hallucinates and has conversations with his childhood stuffed tiger, funnily named Hobbes. After a psychotic episode in school, he’s sent to a doctor to be treated for his mental illness. Because of the many coincidences in his life, he’s always felt a deep connection to the comics, which leads Calvin to believe that the only way he’ll be cured is to convince the creator of Calvin and Hobbes to make one last comic about Calvin living a well-adjusted life, without Hobbes in it. With the assistance of his concerned friend, Susie, he plans to trek across a frozen lake in the hope of meeting Bill Watterson on the other side.

Kirkus (starred): “Hobbes’ biting commentary keeps Calvin grounded enough to make most things work, as Calvin’s voice, bewildered, frustrated, sometimes tragic, but always determined and surprisingly insightful, provides counterpoint to alter ego Hobbes’. Equal parts coming-of-age tale, survival adventure, and love story, this outstanding novel also sensitively deals with an uncommon but very real teen issue, making it far more than the sum of its parts.”

PW: “In a thoughtful story presented as a single, extended letter, Leavitt explores the impact of mental illness through the experiences of a 17-year-old diagnosed with schizophrenia . . . He’s accompanied by Susie, who may or may not be part of his delusions; either way, she’s the voice of reason as they meet an assortment of oddball characters on the lake and delve into philosophical matters. Funny, intellectual, and entertaining, it’s a sensitive yet irreverent adventure about a serious subject.”

SLJ: “This is a gentle and unique story about a boy struggling with schizophrenia; while Calvin is indeed having grandiose visions that include a beloved cartoon character, he is funny, charming, and smart. Even though Calvin’s stream-of-consciousness rants can drag the story down, the premise that Susie may or may not be on this dangerous trek with the protagonist will keep readers interested. There are genuinely beautiful moments in the writing throughout; however, the ending is too pat and feels contrived, which will leave some readers unsatisfied. VERDICT Sweet, romantic, and funny, but flawed.”

Gerald N. Lund. The Storm Descends. Deseret Book, Nov. 2. Fire and Steel #2. World War I ends, and the Saints in Germany are suffering.

Rachel McClellan. The Devil’s Soldier. Self, Nov. 23. Paranormal. Devil series #3. Vampires.

Jordan McCollum. Saints and Spies. Durham Crest Books, Oct. 31. Romantic suspense. Saints & Spies #1. “When she finds her priest murdered, Molly Malone, secretary of their Catholic parish, vows to never let it happen again. She’ll use the full force of her Irish will, and her previous stint on the Irish police force, to protect the new priest from the congregation’s rumors of criminal activity. Falling in love wasn’t part of her plan. However, young, handsome and — dare she even think it? — flirtatious, Father Tim O’Rourke is nothing she expected. But Father Tim is also nothing like he seems to Molly: he’s Special Agent Zach Saint, an LDS FBI agent undercover to root out the mob that’s hiding in the parish.”

Kevin L. Nielsen. Resurgent Shadows. Future House Publishing, Nov. 9. Fantasy dystopia. Successive Harmony #1. “Humanity stands on the brink of annihilation. Dragons fill the skies. Ever since the Breaking, when earthquakes tore the world apart and unleashed the nightmares of myth and legend, humankind has struggled for survival. Caleb is one of the survivors, and the only thing he cares about is getting revenge on the monsters that killed his wife and son.”

Jessilyn Stewart Peaslee. Ella. Cedar Fort, Nov. 10. Cinderella fantasy. First novel.

Steven L. Peck. Evolving Faith: Wanderings of a Mormon Biologist. Maxwell Institute, Oct. 27. Religious, scientific, and personal essays. Excellent reviews. Walker Wright, World Without End. Brian D., Evolving Faith. Heather Young, AML. Emily Parker Updegraff, The Exponent. Steve Evans, BCC. Rameumpton, Millennial Star. Stephen Smoot, Ploni AlmoniA great Radio West interview.

Ann Perry. A Christmas Escape. Ballantine, Nov. 10. Victorian holiday mystery novella. Christmas #13. She uses minor characters from her Thomas Monk Victorian Mystery Series as the protagonists of her Christmas novellas. This time it is the forty-something brother, Charles, of the female partner, Harriet, of the Monk series. He is a widower who feels like a failure in life, so he seeks to spend Christmas away from friends and family, on a remote island. But it turns out there are many British tourists, and deaths and mysteries arise.

Nathan Shumate. The Last Christmas Gift: A Heartwarming Holiday Story of the Living Dead. Cold Fusion Media, July.

Michael R. Collins: “In spite of its rather self-contradictory subtitle, Nathan Shumate’s The Last Christmas Gift: A Heartwarming Holiday Tale of the Living Dead lives up to the implicit promises. It is a heartwarming Holiday tale, a sweet story, in fact, of the enduring love between an eight-year-old boy and his Granpap, who dies of cancer on Christmas Eve. And it is a tale of the Living Dead; Granpap does not stay dead … and neither does anyone else buried in the cemetery across the street . . . In content, The Last Christmas Gift resembles a number of coming-to-grips-with-death stories; given its tone, its surprising (for a zombie tale) sweetness and gentleness, the most significant might be Stephen King’s “The Body.” Mal is a loner with no functional family; to him, death comes as an unwelcome interloper and he is willing to try anything—even something resembling voodoo magic—to turn it back. When, as typically happens as characters meddle with Nature and her laws, things take an unexpected and horrifying turn, Mal must make the final decision as to how to right things … and learns that there are indeed things far worse than death. Shumate handles The Last Christmas Gift admirably. He avoids excessive sentimentality by making its characters seem real: endearing but flawed. And he avoids excessive gore (it is a Christmas tale, after all) by concentrating on Mal. Of most of the zombies, we see primarily detached limbs and fingers, and even then only the minimum. Much of the requisite carnage affects the house and its furnishings, effectively severing Mal from the past his Granpap had preserved. There are twists and surprises; and there are moments when one becomes aware of just how much care Shumate put into crafting his story. And on the whole, as befits the Season, it keeps its promises. It is a delightful, shuddery, memorable, one-sitting read.”

William Shunn. The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary. Self, Nov. 10. Memoir. Story of how Shunn, as a missionary, was thrown into jail for calling in a bomb threat to an airport. Shunn, a science fiction author who left the Church in 1995, has told the story on his web site and in other forums in the past.

Richard Packham, AML. (Packham is also an ex-Mormon). “I devoured the more than four hundred pages of this memoir in what was essentially one sitting, with time out only for potty breaks, some quick nourishment, and a little unavoidable sleep. Yes, it was that gripping . . . Shunn very skillfully interweaves his own personal story with the story of Joseph Smith, Jr., the prophet and founder of the LDS church. He is able to find a number of parallels between his troubles and the Prophet’s, although Shunn does not claim to be a prophet himself. The book thus becomes historical, as well as autobiographical . . . This memoir is a welcome addition to the library of Mormon autobiography – educational and highly entertaining.”

Wired summary of an interview with Shunn on Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Toni Sorensen. Peter. Covenant, May 1. Biblical historical. Story of the apostle’s life. Sorensen’s 13th book for Covenant.

McKenzie Wagner. Casters of Doovik. Cedar Fort, Sept. 8. YM or Middle grade fantasy. Teenage author.

Paul W. West. Bridgetown High. Limitless Publishing, Oct. 6. YA mystery/suspense. A teenage boy’s family were killed in a hit-and-run accident. His returning memory says a school bully caused it. Debut novel.

Natalie Whipple. Sidekick. Curtis Brown, Nov. 10. YA general. “Russ is tired of coming in second to his best friend, Garret. Whether it’s in sports, in school, or with girls, he can never get ahead. Something has to change, and when a new girl comes to town he sees his chance. He has to win her over before Garret does, but proving he’s not second best won’t be easy when Garret is a pro.”

YAdult: “[Whipple] created a realistic story. I saw myself and my friends throughout this novel. I also saw a huge amount of character growth for not only Russ, but also the secondary characters. Whipple never once wasted time or characters in Sidekick everyone was part of Russ’ story from his parents (Parents! In a YA novel!) to his sister to his BFF Garrett. There is pain, there is humor, but every moment felt real and when I got to that last page I wanted more from Sidekick. I’ll miss these characters.”

Reviews of older books

Orson Scott Card. Pastwatch (Michael R. Collins). Two reviews soon after the book was published, one for an LDS audience.

Jessica Day George. Silver in the Blood (Provo Library). “Fans of Jessica Day George may find Silver in the Blood a little surprising, since it differs from her other books in setting and tone. Unlike her fairy tale retellings and fantasy novels, it has a historical setting and a darker feel. The plot took a while to get going, but once the girls finally piece together what is happening, it gallops along nicely. I did find the diary entries and letters interspersed throughout the novel unnecessary, since they rarely revealed anything new. Overall, though, I enjoyed the story, especially the conclusion and the character development. In spite of the werewolves and vampires, Silver in the Blood is less a paranormal romance than it is a clever historical fantasy twist on Bram Stoker.”

Dean Hughes. Home and Away (School Library Journal). “Hughes’s faith-filled, old-fashioned story feels like it could have been written during the period in which it takes place.”

Dean Hughes. Home and Away (Sheila, LDSWBR). “Now, this isn’t the first time that a Dean Hughes story has made me cry. No, he is responsible for many tears shed at my house through the years while reading one of his many novels. I can guarantee that this story will touch your heart, whether or not it’s Christmas time, but it will make it just that more special to read during the holidays.”

Melanie Jacobson. Always Will (Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine). 4 stars. “Both Will and Hannah’s behavior is more adolescent than realistic for a couple in their mid to late twenties, but the dialog is great and the juvenile stunts they pull are complicated and hilarious. As characters both Hannah and Will are fun, likable, and well-intentioned, but are so smart they lose touch with reality. The plot is totally predictable, but readers won’t mind since it’s the hilarious journey that carries the story and readers will love. There are some serious moments that explain some of the childish antics. All in all Always Will is a refreshing fun read.”

Melanie Jacobson. Always Will (Jessie Christensen). “I first loved Melanie Jacobson’s books because of the way she so deftly explored the particularities of the Mormon single adult scene; I thought this added an extra layer to her romances and made them both funny and relatable to me. This book, and her previous one, have moved away from the Mormon singles scene to more generic romance between single adults who aren’t Mormon, but who also don’t indulge in alcohol or who have casual sex. They are also fanatically ready to get married at age 25, like the protagonist of this book. I have no idea if this is true-to-life at all or not; I live in Utah and I’m nearly 38, so it’s not like I know very many non-Mormons in their twenties. It’s just interesting to read a book about characters that could be Mormon, but probably aren’t, and even if they are they don’t talk about church at all. It was still a fun little romance and I mostly enjoyed it, although I thought it was a bit too heavy on the angsty discussions and could have used a little more action.”

Josi Kilpack. English Trifle and Devils Food Cake. (Jessie Christensn). “I’m still catching up on the first few books from this series, and after reading these two I only have two more. I liked the third one (Devil’s Food Cake) much more than the second one (English Trifle). In the second book, Sadie is out of her element on a vacation to England, and she hasn’t really decided that she wants to be a detective yet. The book does a good job portraying her hesitancy to see herself as a detective as well as the fact that she’s still recovering from stumbling into a murder investigation involving a friend. However, the plot feels too rushed and none of the supporting characters were developed very well, including Sadie’s daughter. The book involved a lot of self-doubt from Sadie and dithering around, and it was a bit frustrating to read. In Devil’s Food Cake Sadie is back in her hometown, the setting of the first book, and she has finally accepted that she wants to be a detective. This new identity does, however, come with some consequences and push-back from those around her, which provides a nice secondary conflict in the book to complement the murder investigation. I also wonder if I liked this book a little more because it involved a number of characters who become regulars throughout the series, so it felt much more familiar to me.”

Josi Kilpack. Key Lime Pie and Blackberry Crumble. (Jessie Christensen). “I have now read all of the Sadie Hoffmiller mysteries, even though things were a bit out of order. I think that the first book was really strong, and then things were somewhat uneven but generally got better from that point on. One of the things that I found interesting was that, like Jacobson, Kilpack seemed to want to create a character that would be relatable to Mormons but that wasn’t actually Mormon so she could appeal to a more general audience. Blackberry Crumble included Sadie going to church and teaching Sunday School, and dealing with some gossip from her church community about her actions, but it felt a little weird to me since church-going didn’t seem to be a big part of her life in the first few books in the series. It didn’t come up a lot in the rest of them either. Granted, most of the books take place within a short window of time and Sadie is often some place besides her home, but this aspect of her life doesn’t always seem to be as fleshed out as it could be. Key Lime Pie deals with a character from a previous book who seemed to have a bit of a personality change between that book and this one, and it just wasn’t that enjoyable to me. It also seemed to need more filling out of the characters and better descriptions, since I had a hard time really caring about any of them. Blackberry Crumble was a little more fun to read and had more complex conflict so I had a better time reading it.”

David Pace. Dream House on Golan Drive (Les Roka, The Utah Review). “Pace’s book is a magnificent example of what is possible in the Utah Enlightenment, especially among writers who transcend the conventional boundaries of their Mormon identities (whether as current or former members) . . . Pace leavens his narrative with an authentic, empathetic voice that appeals equally to Mormon and non-Mormon readers alike. He is scrupulously conscientious about never letting the book take on an insider’s tone. There are humorous, some naturally occurring comical moments. Foreshadowing is evident throughout, as the epiphany grows organically in depth and power – the emotional punch exposed as it is subtle and elegantly nuanced. The sense of this unique, strange place of Utah and Mormonism is elucidated with conviction and accuracy . . . Riley’s spiritual crisis becomes a full-fledged ambush, as the book’s pace quickens in the closing act. Some of the novel’s finest writing comes in the literary curtain call. Dream House on Golan Drive is an important novel that deserves the serious attention of any reader, regardless of connection to Mormonism or to any other faith. It is recommended especially for those who are trying to reconcile their spiritual conscience with a church whose decisions and public actions not only have triggered deep reservations about their community but also who see their own experience of family love and life as quintessentially superior in their spiritual and faith identity as a Mormon.”

Steven L. Peck. The Scholar of Moab (No More Meetings).

Jennifer Quist. Sistering (Léonicka Valcius, All Lit Up). “Jennifer Quist’s first novel Love Letters of the Angels of Death her critical accolades and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta’s Emerging Artist Award in 2014. Considering this positive response, it is fair to wonder if her newest book Sistering is as strong as her first. The comparison of debut and sophomore novels is inexact. Comparing the two books is not a simple matter of seeing if Quist has “improved” as a writer. As often is the case, Sistering was written before Love Letters was published. However the themes of these books are too similar for comparisons not to be made. Both involve characters managing the aftermath of death—both natural and unexpected—and reevaluating their lives in its wake. Both books examine death, love, and family so intimately, but Quist manages to create two very different books . . . Because they have very similar themes, it is the structure and style of each book that sets them apart. Both have short, episodic chapters, but in Love Letters the chapters are more self-contained—like stand-alone vignettes that allude to Quist’s experience writing short fiction. In Sistering, the chapters fit together like scenes in a drama, each building on the previous one. Both books are in present tense, but that stylistic choice fits better in Sistering. The melodrama in Sistering lends itself well to the urgency of the present tense. Love Letters has a more introspective, almost nostalgic, tone that the past tense would have highlighted . . . At their core, both of these books test the strength of relationships under the intense distress usually associated with death. To that end, I found Sistering more successful. The pace and drama of this sophomore work are akin to a modern soap opera. Each twist puts a strain on the characters until each sister reaches a snapping point. It is fascinating to anticipate how the sisters will navigate these conflicts. Their solutions are as over-the-top as the situations themselves but the emotional depth grounds the book. There is subtle charm associated with the chronicling of a love story over time as Love Letters does. But, while I wouldn’t describe it as a comedy, Sistering’s approach to the same themes makes for a thrilling read and satisfying conclusion.

Anita Stansfield. Legally and Lawfully Yours (Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine). 3 stars. “Readers who love a story that makes them weepy will identify with Stansfield’s characters whose reaction to both positive and negative events is tears. Both Shannon and Phillip do a lot of crying in this story. The characters don’t quite ring true for me, but Stansfield is a highly popular writer and many women identify intensely with her emotional characters. Phillip is a little too good to be real and some readers will find Shannon’s growing faith in God a bit preachy and distracting. Their greatest strength is their determination to forge ahead, start over if they must, but never quit. The story is plotted well, though it seems to build toward a dramatic climax which never really happens. It does an excellent job of pointing out the deplorable condition of some children’s homes, the destruction of families caused by drug addiction, and the lack of quality foster homes. It also brings to light the sad condition of siblings separated in the child foster care system. The story is well researched and if it is overly emotional it can easily be forgiven.”

Robison Wells. Airships of Camelot (Elitist Book Reviews). “A fun read . . . Wells knows how to move a story forward, so the pace is great from page one, clear up until the end. He doesn’t dump information on us, but weaves it in as we go along, so we never feel lost or confused. The good guys are good and worth cheering for; the bad guys have their understandable motives, but are definitely troublemakers. We get to see a lot of the characters in the old stories, but they don’t crowd out Arthur’s story, instead adding dimension to the narrative as a whole while still being true to the old stories. One of my favorite things about Wells’ writing are the surprising bits of laugh-out-loud humor and I was pleased to find those here, too.”

Theater

The staged reading of Mahonri Stewart‘s new play, “The Drown’ed Book“, about the end of William Shakepeare’s life, is at Utah Valley University this Monday, November 23 at 7 pm in the Noorda’s Green Room (GT 631). The play is about the end of Shakespeare’s life (especially his relationship with his wife and two daughters), is written in iambic pentameter verse, with pseudo-Elizabethan verbiage.

James Arrington, Marvin Payne, Steven Kapp Perry. Trail of Dreams. SCERA, Orem. Nov. 13-21. UVU production. Arrington directs, his last production before his retirement. Payne stars. Revival of the 1997 musical, performed in the same space.

Callie Oppedisano, UTBA. “This production of The Trail of Dreams hits all the right notes in its story of faith and doubt and human attempts to control eternal destiny . . . [It tells] the Mormon story in the quintessential genre of the American musical where humor and pathos run parallel and into each other. There are the typical romance numbers with husbands and wives dreaming of a better future and professing their love such as “A Box for my Dream,” and “I’ll Love Whatever’s Left of You.” So, too, there are the rather incongruous humorous numbers strategically placed for comic relief, such as “Oxology,” a number in which the female characters pretend to be delightfully stubborn oxen that are uncooperative when the menfolk attempt to yolk and direct them. The music throughout The Trail of Dreams is satisfactory and pleasant to the ears, though there are, perhaps, only two or three numbers that are memorable in terms of lyric and score, of which “Oh, Zion!” stands out. It is the performance of the songs and the book that make this musical worth hearing and seeing. The great passion of Payne as John Brown is met and matched by the rest of the cast that owns the legacy of the characters they represent . . . I was greatly aware that the great majority of the audience was viewing the play as their own historical and religious inheritance. This often happens in historical Mormon theatre, and when it does, there is always an added energy to the performance as spectators become co-creators in the production. In the world of theatre idealism, this is often the goal, and if you have never felt this experience, your chance may be now. The Trail of Dreams at SCERA has much to offer.”

Eric Samuelsen. The Kreutzer Sonata. Plan-B, Rose Wagner, SLC, Oct. 18-Nov. 9.

Julia Shumway, UTBA. “The Kreutzer Sonata beautifully portrays the unique relationship between music and the human experience. Americans are so used to hearing music paired with action in visual media that music’s ineffable power of expression is easy to take for granted. In The Kreutzer Sonata, music is pulled from the background of the story and revealed to be the play’s driving force. Plan-B Theatre Company’s production calls attention to the ability of music to take on a life of its own and carry a meaning so vivid that, once seen, it’s impossible not to believe that meaning to have been there all along.”

Glen Nelson (book), Andrew and Stuart Maxfield (music and lyrics). The Bridge. BYU, Feb. 10, 2016. Based on the Ambrose Bierce story, “The Incident at Owl Creek Bridge”. Rock opera. The production includes live performance by Stuart Maxfield of Fictionist, augmented by an extended jazz ensemble, vocal ensemble, string quartet, and two actor/dancers. The story is also told with video and brief excerpts from the short story projected behind and around the musicians onstage; otherwise it is without dialogue. Andrew Maxfield is producing it. Glen Nelson is the founder of Mormon Artists Group. Christopher Clark will direct. Features the BYU Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Voices.

Film

Christmas Eve. December 4, limited national release. Mitch Davis, director, co-writer, producer. Tyler McKeller, original script (his first). Larry King and his wife produced. Patrick Stewart and Jon Herder star, along with a pretty impressive cast. It is an ensemble comedy, like Love Actually or Valentine’s Day, where the characters are in separate vignettes, and don’t actually interact with most of the others. Six different groups are stuck in elevators in New York City for Christmas Eve. Not Mormon specific, but family and faith friendly. KSL article. The Cultural Hall Podcast interview with Davis.

Miracle Maker. John Lyde, director/producer. Sally Meyer, writer. Mainstay Productions. Covenant Communications distributing. Premiered Oct. 26, Jordan Commons Megaplex in Sandy. Direct to DVD on Nov. 3. Western. A man thought to be a miracle maker comes to town. He is less than what people expected, but then some miracles do start to occur. The Cultural Hall Podcast interview with Lyde.

Once I Was a Beehive. Stopped reporting box office on Oct. 20. Finished with $611,754, after ten weeks.

Bestsellers

Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

Stephenie Meyer. Twilight: The Life and Death Dual Edition

USA Today: #8, #16, #26, #36, #50 (6 weeks)

PW Children’s: #1, #3, #5, #6, #7 (6 weeks). 43,473, 23,952, 16,873, 14,671, 10,976 units. 176,303 total.

NYT YA Series: #1, #4, #6, #8, #10 (225 weeks)

Glenn Beck. The Immortal Nicholas

USA Today: x, x, #34. #32, #39 (3 weeks)

PW Hardcover: x, x, #6, #6, #8 (3 weeks). 14,350, 13,908, 10,965 units. 39,223 total.

NYT Hardcover: x, x, #13, #14, #16 (3 weeks)

Lora Koehler and Jake Parker. The Little Snowplow

PW Picture Books: x, x, ?, ?, #6 (3 weeks). ?, ?, 11,221 units. 26,708 total.

NYT Picture Book: x, x, x, #1, #3 (2 weeks)

RaeAnne Thayne. Evergreen Springs

USA Today: #100, #142, x, x, x (4 weeks)

PW Mass Market: #10, #11, x, x, x (4 weeks). 8155, 6621 units. 42,548 total

PW Romance: x, #4

NYT Mass Market: #11, #13, x, x, x (1 week on main list, 4 weeks on extended list)

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party

PW Children’s: #10, x, x, x, x (1 week). 4709 units.

NYT Middle Grade Hardback: #4, #6, #6, #6, #6 (5 weeks)

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale. The Princess in Black

NYT Middle Grade Paperback: #7, #9, #7, #8, #8 (14 weeks)

Brandon Sanderson. Shadows of Self

USA Today: #84, x, x, x, x (2 weeks)

PW Hardcover: Off after one week.

PW Fantasy: x, #3

NYT Hardcover, E-book, Print/Ebook: Off after one week

Richard Paul Evans. Michael Vey 5: Storm of Lightening

PW Children’s: #22, x, x, x, x (5 weeks). 3462 units. 41,478 total.

James Dashner. The Maze Runner

USA Today: #141, x, x, x, x (98 weeks)

NYT Children’s Series: #5, #5, #7, #7, #8 (162 weeks)

James Dashner. The Death Cure

USA Today: #106, x, x, x, x (76 weeks)

James Dashner. The Scorch Trials

USA Today: #125, x, x, x, x (82 weeks)

Brenda Novak. A Winter Wedding

USA Today: x, x, #123, x, x (1 week)

Orson Scott Card. Gatefather

USA Today: x, #147, x, x, x (1 week)

Debbie Macomber and RaeAnne Thayne. A Little Bit Country

PW Mass Market: #25, x, x, x, x (8 weeks). 4111 units. 72,040 total

PW Romance: #3, x

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