Lots of Bloggers at Sunstone

Sunstone starts tomorrow (Thursday), and the bloggers are coming. I will be responding to a wonderful paper by BHodges on C.S. Lewis–and I have had my husband read and comment on it as well, so I’ll be proxy-responding for him. Believe it or not, I will not be talking about race issues (though Darius Gray will), but about fiction in a couple of my presentations. (Oh, I might sneak a comment about race into one of my other respondant papers…) I was just asked to substitute as a respondant for Tom Kimball’s session on “the best books.” (Btw, Tom is one of my favorite people, so even though I’m over-scheduled as it is, I was happy to agree.) He wants me to come up with short lists of my favorite books by LDS authors in any genre–science (right, like I’m going to know about that…), fiction, cultural phenomena, history, devotional, etc. So I thought I’d open this to BCC. What are your top five books written by or about Mormons?

Comments

  1. I could suggest Quantitative Measurements and Chemical Equilibria by Ernest Swift and Eliot Butler, but it wasn’t that much fun reading the galleys as a teenager 40 years ago, and I doubt that it’s become much more interesting (to a non-chemist) with age.

    But, it’s about science!

  2. gotta have The Backslider in there.

  3. Orson Scott Card: Folk of the Fringe and Saints

  4. Terry Warner: Bonds that Make Us Free
    James Ferrell: The Peacegiver

  5. Natalie B. says:

    I don’t like Ender’s Game (too much of the special chosen child theme for me), but I really like the books that follow it.

    By the way, I hope someone here blogs about the various Sunstone presentations.

  6. Mark B–you may not have issues with insomnia at your age, but I do. And that book looks like a wonderful, non-narcotic soporific. Thanks.
    Steve S–I agree.
    Kent (MC)–Interesting. Would you put it over _Ender’s Game_?

  7. Natalie B. says:

    And, wait, what about Twilight!!!! And Rough Stone Rolling…

  8. Yes, BHodges’ paper on C.S. Lewis is excellent. Wish I could be there to hear your response.

  9. Oh, one more vote for _Bonds That Make Us Free_. My husband has given away our copies to couples trying to fix their marriages. What a great book!

    Natalie b–I think there should be a collaborative symposium review, since none of us can be everywhere. But if one person blogs, the rest of us can add our two cents’ worth about what we saw and heard.

  10. John Mansfield says:

    Paradise Regained by Halldor Laxness deserves a look, only case I know that a writer of that caliber made a Mormon convert the subject of a novel. There are a couple of old Dialogue articles on it. At this link, you may find part of an interesting letter regarding it by David Timmins. Brother Timmins was in U.S. diplomatic service in Iceland (1958-1960).

    Sometime during this process, we found ourselves invited to the country home of Iceland’s Nobel Laureate for Literature Hjaldor Kiljian Laxness for a most entertaining evening with some of Iceland’s elite. Towards the end of the evening Mr. Laxness invited me into his library for a tete a tete. It turned out that he was considering a Mormon theme for his next novel and had been put on to me by our mutual acquaintance the [Lutheran] Bishop. We talked history and doctrine for about three hours, and at the end of the evening he asked my assistance in arranging contacts and interviews for his intended visit to Utah to gather background for his novel.

  11. Ender’s Game is my favorite book by an LDS author, and one of my favorite sci fi books evah.

    Twilight should be on the list since a few people liked that one.

    I enjoyed RSR very much, as well.

    Other than these three really really obvious (and previously mentioned) choices, I am of no use to you. Good luck!

    As a side note, both Twilight and Orson seem to be pretty popular at bookstores here at Dupont Circle in D.C.

  12. My favorite all-but-forgotten book of stories, from the good ol’ days when Mormon fiction was still a daring thing to do: Bela Petsco’s Nothing Very Important and Other Stories. Very sad that this was Bela’s first and last published book.

  13. Eric Russell says:

    What Kent said.

  14. For fiction, I loved “Giant Joshua” and “A Little Lower than the Angels.”

  15. Oh I’d love to be there for this panel! Alas, my move to Utah is coming one week too late.

  16. Lili Anderson has a new book out this week, Choosing Glory, which gives a unique view of choices, agency, and consequences – good read

  17. John Mansfield, thanks for mentioning _Paradise Regained_. Years ago, when we had “Cultural Refinement” in RS, that book was highlighted. My husband is from Spanish Fork, Utah, where a lot of Icelandic immigrants settled. There’s still a lovely monument to them. I haven’t read the book yet, but you just reminded me that I need to.

    And Dan, thank you for mentioning dear Bela. His collection is wonderful. Though it’s long out of print, I think it possible that attendees can get copies at Benchmark Books, which will have a large table there.

  18. I love Wallace Stegner’s books about Mormons: The Gathering of Zion and Mormon Country.
    And for YA fiction, I like Kristen Randle’s books: The Only Alien on the Planet, Slumming, and Breaking Rank.

  19. Another vote for Paradise Regained.

  20. Orson Scott Card has a whole slew of books that should be on the list, though Folk of the Fringe are the two most outwardly Mormon. Just don’t forget about the whole Homecoming series which is Science Fiction based on the story from 1st Nephi through Mosiah and the beginning of Alma.

  21. Oh and still on the OSC kick he wrote some marvelous novels about characters from the Old Testament. Sarah, Rachel, Leah and Stone Tables about Moses.

    Then there is Alvin Maker which patterns itself on the life of Joseph Smith, though not as overtly as Homecoming does with the Book of Mormon.

  22. The Great Brain series and Papa Married a Mormon by John D. Fitzgerald–I found these books to be very entertaining and endearing.

  23. Kevin Christensen says:

    Some top five books by or about Mormons… not definitive, even for me, and not counting the Book of Mormon, which has to be number 1.

    People of Paradox by Terryl Givens
    Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman
    Seventh Son by Scott Card
    Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley
    Goodbye, I Love You by Carol Lynn Pearson

    Also, I quite like Breach of Contract by Anne Perry

    Kevin Christensen
    Pittsburgh, PA

  24. I’ve enjoyed the Runelord series by David Farland and I’ve read the Fablehaven series with my daughter and found that pretty good as well.

  25. And what ever you do don’t forget:

    One more River to Corss
    Bound for Canaan and
    The Last Mile of the Way

    The authors’ names escape me now, but they were important and major in Mormon lit. Now who were they . . . ?

  26. For ALL Scandinavians, “Homeward to Zion” (Wm. Mulder)
    For Utah Mormons, “Children of the Covenant” ( Scowcroft).
    For Stegner lovers, “Selected Letters Of Wallace Stegner”. (Nine to Bodie, and other Church figures).

  27. I remember loving the Great Brain books when I was younger.

  28. #25–Those _Standing On The Promises_ volumes will probably be worth a lot of money someday. I happen to know they’re out of print but have been rewritten and will soon be re-published–though not by Deseret Book. The authors found lots more material after the books’ publication, so buy those volumes as collectors’ items only–and wait for the revised editions.
    But SteveP, I was expecting something about gospel-living ants from you. Or how ants can teach us how to live the gospel better. Or how about _A Short Stat in Hell_?

  29. Three words:

    Terry . . . Tempest . . . are-we-really-on-comment-29-and-I’m-the-first-to-mention-her-sheesh-folks

    :)

  30. Williams

  31. That’s the one! :)

  32. StillConfused says:

    I liked The Peace Giver.

  33. For fiction, I would recommend The Backslider, by Levi Peterson; Where Nothing Was Long Ago by Virginia Sorenson; The Earthkeepers, by Marilyn Brown; and Love Chains, by…sorry, the author’s name escapes me…

  34. The most deeply Mormon work of fiction that I’ve read is The Worthing Saga (sometime titled The Worthing Chronicles) by Orson Scott Card. In many ways it contains the seeds of the ideas that he gave greater individual attention to in other works, but none of those have the density of Mormon thought and excellence of insight that Worthing has. I recommend it online with great frequency. So far only Clark has ever responded with a followup endorsement, but you people talking about Ender’s Game might not know what you’re missing.

  35. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    Darn….I’m reading One More River to Cross right now! Should I stop reading and wait for the revised edition? Kind of like buying a DVD when you hear that there is a Special Edition DVD coming out that is loaded with special Features!

  36. My fave five:

    Orson Scott Card, “Speaker for the Dead”
    Eugene England, “The Quality of Mercy”
    Terry Tempest Williams, “Refuge”
    Leonard Arrington, “Great Basin Kingdom”
    Richard Bushman, “Jospeh Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism” (Superseded by RSR, I know, but still a landmark work at the time)

    Runners up:
    Truman Madsen, “Eternal Man”
    Steling McMurring, “Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion”

  37. Arrrgh, major spelling issues there. That’s what I get for typing fast. Sterling McMurrin, and Joseph Smith.

  38. I’m a big fan of the Worthing Saga as well.

  39. Rigel, we’ve put the story of Q. Walker Lewis into the first volume and revised a few things we got wrong. The changes aren’t major.

    Todd–thanks! :) And thank you for mentioning my dear friend, Marilyn. She should get more attention.

    I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Stegner’s _Gathering of Saints_. And I’d put Prince’s _David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism_ high on my list.

    Oh, by the way, we just got word from KUED (PBS station in SLC) that they’ll broadcast _Nobody Knows_ in October. That means we’re ready to really roll.

  40. laurenlou says:

    #18 Rachel,
    i thought i was the only person that ever read “the only alien on the planet”! definitely one of my favorite books as a ya, and i’m still, five years later, sad i lost my copy. brilliant book.

  41. I echo those who mentioned Terry Warner…his was a book that I had a hard time putting down. I thought _The Peacegiver_ was good, too.

    My husband almost never reads fiction for fun, but he has not been able to put down Fablehaven. Life may be a little more normal now that he’s in waiting mode for book #5.

    (And please keep us posted on when _Nobody Knows_ will be showing!)

  42. Fun Question

    Fiction:
    Mike Allred’s Comic Books (most famously Madman, but they are all good)
    Lund’s “The Alliance” (His only good book imho)
    Card’s “Xenocide” (Only Card book I’ve read, sorry)
    Arbinger Institute’s “Anatomy of Peace” (better than, as in more complete, the peacegiver or leadership and self-deception. This is probably more self-help than fiction. I recommend this over Bonds that make us free by Warner, as this is easier to read and apply)

    Childrens:
    Sacrament Time by the Hinckley Daughters (I can’t remember which ones now, but cute book)
    Allred’s “The Golden Plates” (maybe this shouldn’t be in childrens, but my 5yo loves it)

    Non-Fiction
    Paulsons “Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies” – Easy to read and enjoyable
    “David O Mckay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism” best biography I have ever read.
    “By the Hand of Mormon” – Beautifully written and very intelligent
    “Jesus the Christ” What can I say, it’s perennial
    The Scriptures- easy pick

  43. I definitely recommend Henry Eyring’s “Reflections of a Scientist” for a good Mormon science read. Unfortunately, last I checked it was out of print.

  44. Seargent Nibley Phd was a good read. It is a book based on Hugh Nibley’s memoirs during world war II.

  45. Utahn in CT says:

    Please, someone mention Brady Udall’s first novel, _The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint_ (Norton, 2001)! There, it’s mentioned. The community of LDS serious readers seems to ignore this writer, and I find that mystifying.

  46. OSC is great but obvious. I’m tired of hearing about TTW and The Backslider.

    How about some other, newer stuff that’s just as great?

    Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom
    Traitor, by Sandra Grey
    The Reckoning, by Tanya Parker Mills
    Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
    The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson

    I could go on and on. The caliber of fiction produced by Mormons (and not just by Mormons but by FOR Mormons, in the LDS market) has skyrocketed in the last five years or so.

  47. If you have them follow our blog, LDS people will learn more up do date science than about anything else. (I promise.)

  48. Argh. I have forgotten many.

    Arbinger Institute’s “Anatomy of Peace” (better than, as in more complete, the peacegiver or leadership and self-deception. This is probably more self-help than fiction. I recommend this over Bonds that make us free by Warner, as this is easier to read and apply)

    YES! YES! I AGREE that this is better than Bonds or Peacegiver. It’s the book I share with others, even as I really did think Bonds was amazing…but it’s more theoretical and was hard to wrap my practical head around. Anatomy of Peace is so applicable, so sink-your-teeth-into-it-able. It’s probably at the top of my list of books I have read that have impacted my life most directly.

    Are all the authors Mormon, though? That is one of the questions I have.

    Bound on Earth, by Angela Hallstrom

    Good addition. I just had her at my book group last night. (Yeah, big duh moment there for not adding that to the list.)

    Lund’s “The Alliance”

    I read that way back when but loved it. Glad to see it on the list.

    I definitely recommend Henry Eyring’s “Reflections of a Scientist” for a good Mormon science read

    That was going to be on my list but I spaced the title.

    The Whitney Awards might be a good place to look for ideas as well. (e.g., Annette Lyon wouldn’t toot her own horn, but I will…she was a finalist in 2007)

  49. berzerkcarrottop says:

    Shannon Hale: The Goose Girl or Princess Academy

  50. I second Brian Sanderson (Mistborn Trilogy) and Shannon Hale (Princess Academy and Goose Girl).

  51. Latter-day Guy says:

    -Rough Stone Rolling
    -The Backslider
    -Several by Card (I like the Alvin Maker series particularly)
    -I hesitate to mention Mysteries of Godliness, but (while I don’t agree with all of its analysis) it does give access to important source material.
    -It is scarcely a book––almost a pamphlet, really––but one of the few really helpful resources for new temple attendees I have ever seen is Endowed From on High: Understanding the Symbols of the Endowment. Written by John D. Charles (aka John Charles-Duffy, who is no longer a member), clocking in at barely 100 pgs, it is comprehensive and comprehensible, very scripturally-based, and a great jumping-off point for understanding those ceremonies. (Far better than “Preparing to Enter the Holy Temple” or the materials for a Temple Prep class; I wish the Church would publish something like this!)

  52. And I will add one: Lewis Horne. I’ll pay a bit of homage to him in the session. What a writer!! Check out _House of James_ (Signature). Also, would you include Brian Evenson? Though not currently LDS, his fiction certainly rises from the tradition.

  53. Oh, and how did we miss Douglas Thayer? Who has read _The Treehouse_?

  54. Mommie Dearest says:

    I’m so happy to see The Backslider mentioned prominently in a lot of posts. That means I don’t have to mention it. And with all the buzz re: Orson Scott Card, I have to say that I’ve read maybe 75% of his work, and my all-time favorite of his hasn’t been mentioned–“Lost Boys”, first published in 1993. Ever so often I read it again and have a heart wrenching cry. If you are a parent, you’ll relate to it, and it’s a pleasant experience to read him effortlessly weaving ordinary Mormon everyday stuff into the story.

  55. Under the Cottonwoods remains one of the most memorable collections of stories that I’ve read. The decade that Thayer spent writing those stories is for me when Mormon fiction became worthwhile. Who knows how many writers were inspired by his work to write more complex and nuanced fiction. In high school when I thought I’d try writing stories, Thayer was one of my models.

  56. Dan–I’ve mentioned it before, but when I went to Guatemala one of the many summers I did that, I took three books: _Moby Dick_, _Under the Cottonwoods_ , and my scriptures. I completely agree with you about Thayer’s influence. I will be mentioning him and his pioneer status in another session. The wonderful thing about both Thayer and Peterson is that they’re getting BETTER with time. Both have stories in a forthcoming anthology which are simply stunning. The anthology, called _Dispensations_ is edited by Angela Hallstrom.

  57. By the way, I’ll have my laptop with me. I don’t know if there’s a wireless connection in the room where I’ll be presenting, but if so, I’ll go to this discussion and bring y’all into my response.

  58. • The Standard Works, God
    .
    • “Confronting the Myth of Self Esteem: 12 Keys to Finding Peace,” Ester Rasband
    .
    • “Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Behavior,” Martha and John Beck (when they were LDS and Martha and John Beck)
    .
    • “Chainbreakers: a True Story of Healing from Abuse” (Michele Sorensen)
    .
    • “By the Hand of Mormon,” Terryl Givens
    .
    • “Added Upon,” Nephi Anderson (not great, but a charming slice of 19th-century LDS writing)
    .
    • “Leadership and Self-deception: Getting Out of the Box” and “The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict,” Arbinger Institute
    .
    • “The Peacegiver,” James Ferrell
    .
    • “Addiction Recovery Program: A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing. Manual,” LDS Church
    .
    • “God Loveth His Children,” LDS Church
    .
    • “Now Don’t Try to Reason with Me: Essays and Ironies for a Credulous Age,” Wayne C. Booth, BYU grad and professor at the University of Chicago. Includes chapters on rhetoric, Aristotle, and his “College as Church” lecture aka the “Church of Reason” lecture that was seminal to Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Also, see “Rhetoric of Fiction” and his one writing in the “Ensign” (12/1977, p. 25) answering “How can I develop a love for great literature?”

  59. Screwtape Letters. Lewis is LDS, right?

  60. All you folks who named Orson Scott Card books, please come to my Friday morning session on Mormon themes in Card’s fiction!

  61. Jacob–ask Bhodges. His paper is all about that and some other compelling aspects of Lewis’s theology. But we could certainly count the books Mormons have written on C.S. Lewis. There was a collection of essays by BYU profs on his work. Deseret Book published it. I don’t recall the title. We include writers from the Mormon tradition, even if they’re no longer a part of it. If I could include any Christian writers, I’d put Reynolds Price and Andre Dubus right up there. “Letter to a Man in the Fire_ is wonderful. (That’s Price.)

  62. God wrote the Standard Works?

  63. No one’s going to mention Steve Martin’s fiction?

  64. 1. The Backslider — I don’t care if it already gets talked about too much around here, it just can’t be left out. Incidentally, outside of the Bloggernacle, I have yet to meet another Mormon in real life that has read it (or, at least, that has admitted to having read it); though, of course, the Sunstone crowd will certainly be familiar with it.

    2. Something by Orson Scott Card — there are so many that could work, but you can’t leave him out. I also recommend The Worthing Saga. It’s been years since I read it, but I remember thinking it was some of the most interesting stuff that Card has ever written.

    3. I’m a big fan of By the Hand of Mormon and Rough Stone Rolling — I wouldn’t even mind seeing No Man Knows My History.

    4. I hated, hated, hated Twilight (no disrespect to Stephanie Meyer, though, I certainly haven’t been able to accomplish what she has). However, there’s certainly a strong argument for including it merely because its worldwide influence in terms of readership quite possibly eclipses (hah!) all the rest of the books mentioned here combined.

    5. Study in Scarlet — no special reason, I just used to laugh at Conan Doyle’s Mormons when I was a kid.

  65. Paul Swenson says:

    In addition to “The Backslider,” Levi Peterson’s “Canyons of Grace,” “Aspen Marooney” and “Night Soil.”

    Margaret Blair Young’s “Salvador,” “Love Chains” and her “Standing on the Promises” series with Darius Gray.

    Phyllis Barber’s “And the Desert Shall Blossom,” “School of Love,” “How I Got Cultured,” “Parting the Veil” and most likely next year’s “Raw Edges” (which I have read in manuscript form).

    Linda Sillitoe’s “Crazy for Living,” “Sideways to the Sun” and “Salamander: The Mormon Forgery Murders,” with Allen Roberts.

  66. OOOh! Seeing Paul’s flattering list, I just realized that we haven’t made ANY room for poetry–including his great stuff. Besides Paul and May Swenson (siblings, incidentally–and clearly inheritors of wonderful gifts), we’ve left out Lance Larsen, Alex Caldiero, Susan Howe, Robert Christmas, Emma Lou Thayne, Timothy Liu, others I can’t think of, and one I’m afraid others don’t know: Philip White. I adore his work. Now I’ll have to go to my office to get his book.

  67. I am loving this post, so many book suggestions to add to my “to read” list! And I’m glad so many are mentioning Orson Scott Card. “Worthing Saga” is also my favorite series of his and in my opinion contains some of the most profound “doctrinal” speculations of any of his works.

  68. As far as memoir is concerned, Kathryn Lynard Soper’s _The Year My Son and I Were Born_ is excellent, as is the recent anthology of personal essays by Segullah women, _The Mother in Me_ and Thayer’s _Hooligan_.

    And for short fiction, _Bright Angels and Familiars_ is a must read anthology. Darrell Spencer’s _Caution: Men in Trees_, Paul Rawlins’ _No Lie Like Love_, and Mary Clyde’s _Survival Rates_ each won the prestigious Flannery O’Connor award and are excellent examples of contemporary fiction. Todd Robert Petersen’s short fiction collection, _Long After Dark_ is great, too, as is Brady Udall’s first published work, _Letting Loose the Hounds_.

    Coke Newell’s _On the Road to Heaven_ also deserves a mention as an important contemporary Mormon novel.

    Love the list that’s developing!

  69. And thanks for your mention of _Dispensation_, Margaret. It’s an exciting project and includes some really excellent work by many of the authors mentioned here.

  70. I also loved The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle by Kathleen Flake. For me, it was a page turner. And I enjoyed Brother Brigham by Martindale, but I have yet to find anyone else who has read it. Can’t see our RS book group discussing it.

    I like Refuge and Leap by Terry Tempest Williams. And of course, The Backslider. Our copy of Warner’s book is permanently out on loan, but I still have the unbound not-yet-published version from the BYU copy center.

    And no one has mentioned Eugene England’s work. His collections of essays are wonderful–Why the Church is as True as the Gospel is one of the reasons I didn’t leave the church when I was struggling.

  71. I just have to add this book: Selected Writings of M. Catherine Thomas (Amalphi Publishing). This book has profound insights. It is the same caliber of many/most of the books mentioned, and non-fiction.

  72. OK, now I am seriously embarrassed. Angela, yay for you for mentioning Kathy Soper and MIM. Good grief.

    If we are going to mention poetry, then let’s also add Segullah’s journal (MIM has poetry, too). Darlene Young, Johnna Cornett, Emily Milner … it’s late, but those are a few of the women who publish poetry regularly via Segullah. I know I’m surely missing others.

    And I, too, liked “Confronting the Myth of Self Esteem: 12 Keys to Finding Peace,” by Ester Rasband
    And I love Cathy Thomas’ work (71). I had a class from her way back when. She’s amazing.

    I may never have to look up a list of potential books to read again. :)

  73. re: 66 Philip White has been incredible, but I know him almost exclusively through his Dialogue submissions years ago (and Sunstone, maybe also Western Humanities Review?) I think I better go find some of his books now that he’s publishing all over and winning prizes.

    Dixie Partridge was also a poet I enjoyed back when I paid attention to poetry. And Robert Christmas, and … well, I won’t go through the list. Maybe a future literature session could be a “whatever happened to…?” with updates on writers who have done some brilliant things in the past but have dropped off the radar.

    And not to digress too far, but am I the only one that prefers The Canyons of Grace to The Backslider? Maybe it’s my preference for stories over novels.

  74. I’ll add another vote for The Backslider and The Giant Joshua.

    I’m not sure it would quite make it into my top 5 fiction list, but I did really enjoy a book that hasn’t been mentioned yet — Dancing Naked by Robert Van Wagoner.

  75. My absolute favorite is “My Parents Married on a Dare” by Carlfred
    Broderick for a serious spiritual book and for fun, I love the “Trust Trilogy” by Robert F Smith.

  76. I know I’ve already done more than five, but this article in Slate reminded me that Stephen Covey’s work is notable as well.

  77. … not counting the Book of Mormon, which has to be number 1.

    The Book of Mormon wasn’t written by Mormons (if we take Joseph Smith at his word, of course). And it’s not written about Mormons, it’s written about “any manner of -ites”, so, therefore, it can’t be on the list. :-)

  78. OSC’s early writings (Worthing Saga, Wyrms, Songmaster, Ender’s Game, etc.) are all wonderful, noteworthy works of science fiction. Those works are on par with non-LDS science fiction writers of note. Most of his more recent stuff…not so much. Although I’ve enjoyed reading the Women of Genesis and sort of enjoyed the Homecoming series, they’re so derivative of the scriptures it’s hard for me to consider them novel and interesting. They’re too heavy-handedly Mormon, unlike the Worthing Saga, which is a thought-provoking exploration of what agency means.

    In spite of his recent works, and his political statements, OSC rates as one of my favorite science fiction writers–LDS or not.

  79. Another vote for the Miracle Life of Edgar Mint. It’s the best Mormon novel I’ve yet read.

  80. Charles B says:

    I too loved Lund’s The Alliance and Eyring’s Reflections of a Scientist.

  81. Edgar Mint is a fine novel. I think it’s a cop out to the Gods of American Literary Fiction in the end, though. Not that that’s a bad thing, per se, since it meant that a lot of people read the middle part with is straight up faithful realism (for the most part).

    Filling in a few gaps from the past 10 years or so (and I did read very comment, but I may have missed this so if any of these works were already mentioned then I apologize):

    _Vernal Promises_
    _Leaving Moscow_
    _Angel Falling Softly_
    _Angel of the Danube_
    _Falling Toward Heaven_
    _The Pictograph Murders_
    _The Marketing of Sister B_
    _Hunting Gideon_
    _The MTC: Set Apart_ and _Into the Field_
    and although I haven’t read it _The Coming of Elijah_

    The forthcoming novels from Todd Robert Peterson and Jonathan Langford (both which will be published by Zarahemla Books) are well worth picking up. Each breaks ground in Mormon fiction in very different ways. I’m too lazy to create links for all the above, so instead I’ll just link to the Mormon Literature Database.

    If pressed, I think the works I absolutely couldn’t do without are:

    Under the Cottonwoods and Other Mormon Stories
    Nothing Very Important and other stories
    Long After Dark

    Three short story collections. That’s interesting. And for a fourth I might even choose _Benediction: A Book of Stories_ (by Neal Chandler) or _Bound on Earth_ or both. Or I might pick _Angel of the Danube_. That’s a tough one. But it’s interesting that the short story seems to be the dominant form for Mormon literary fiction. Heck, even my favorite OSC works — Folk of the Fringe and The Worthing Saga are collections of stories (and one short novel).

  82. Gerald Lund’s Work and the Glory was very popular, getting many members to actually learn LDS history from a fictional standpoint. His research was outstanding.

    Parley P Pratt’s Key to the Science of Theology should also be considered, unless you are looking at newer stuff.

    And perhaps a book or two by Hugh Nibley or John Sorenson.

    Stephen Robinson’s Believing Christ, which was a huge step forward in rethinking LDS concept of grace/works.

    Blake Ostler’s Exploring Mormon Thought, for providing perhaps the first philosophical review of Mormon belief, and opening up some major discussions on LDS belief on many levels (free will, foreknowledge of God, how the atonement works, etc).

  83. 77, are you saying Mormon wasn’t a mormon?

  84. I really enjoyed “Stone Tables” by Orson Scott Card, the “Great and Terrible Series” by Chris Stewart, and the “Porter Rockwell Chronicles” by Richard Lloyd Dewey.

  85. Anything by Brandon Sanderson, Jessica Day George or Traci Hunter Abramson.

  86. This reminds me there were some books I read as a preteen, which I absolutely loved, but can’t remember the names. It was about a guy who joined the church at the height of the persecutions, was nearly castrated by the Missourians, became best friends with a freed slave named Ike, and the two went on to become mountain men in the west. There were a bunch of books in the series which had a catchy name, but its beyond reach of my accessible memory at the moment.

    Any help?

  87. A lot of good books mentioned here. I’ll add a strange one I don’t see on the list, though I haven’t revisited it since I was 14 or so. (Maybe this author is anathema because he has done a few poorer books imo.) The book is *Eddie Fantastic* by Chris Heimerdinger when I was about 13 or 14.

  88. Hi Margaret– I’d say:
    The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
    Children of God by Vardis Fisher (although I haven’t read it in a long time)
    Under the Cottonwoods
    Where Nothing is long ago
    and… I’m not sure. I’m blank right now.

    I’m sorry that I’ll miss you at Sunstone– next year should work out better.

  89. My favorites are Freefall and Lockdown by Traci Hunter Abramson and Counting Blessings by Kerry Blair.

  90. #86:

    The Storm Testament (Lee Nelson)

  91. Thanks Justin. After looking at Amazon, I think I must have only read the first 3(out of 9). They’d be worth reading again if I can find them for cheap.

  92. My son just found out this weekend at GenCon that fantasy writer (Dragon Lance) Tracy Hickman is LDS. Tracy told him that he’s going to become a temple worker this week, and wondered if he would have to shave his goatee….

    So, we have one more LDS writer to consider.

  93. Margaret, you asked if anyone had read Thayer’s THE TREE HOUSE. I read it in an earlier version; (I think that was called HARRIS), and in its published version. A fine work. And I recommend Doug’s forthcoming collection of short stories, which contains a few of his classics (including “Red-Tail Hawk”) and a whole sheaf of new stories, that are, IMHO, the best stuff Thayer (now 80) has ever written. I have to admit that Thayer has amazed and delighted me with the steady honing of his skills over the years, and with his industry.

    May I add that the Sunstone Symposium exceeded every expectation and came close to intoxicating me with the heady wine of renewed associations and intellectual fun.
    My one disappointment: by the time Margaret’s presentations were on, my batteries were completely OFF, and I couldn’t physically get there. Kindly Margaret later spent time she couldn’t well afford chatting one-on-one with me. Thank you, Margaret. I understand that happily recordings of sessions can be ordered. They are no longer tapes, of course, nor CD’s. I believe one just summons them from out the ether, somehow. “Here, Pod! Here, Pod!” (I’ll figure it out.) And I believe it was Kevin Barney who first posted the preliminary Symposium program on BCC; except for that, I wouldn’t have gone to Sunstone at all. So thank you to Kevin and BCC.

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