Though it can’t always be proven true, if I know that an author is LDS I will turn to their work with a hope of finding a good story that won’t upset my delicate eyes with things that shouldn’t be on the page. That’s not an easy thing to do in this day and age. So, here it is. The whole premise of the Whitney Awards was to find a way to recognize and reward LDS authors, both from the LDS market and the national market, who manage to do just that: write a great story. The Whitney committee gathers nominations for any book written by an LDS author throughout the calendar year, these are narrowed down, first by the number of nominating votes, then by votes from genre experts and readers. The titles announced are all highly recommended and a great sampling of what great literature can be.
I’ve provided an alphabetical list of the finalists for you here. Over the next two months basically anyone who has a part to play in the publishing business- LDS authors, publishers, distributors, bookstores and more will all be reading and casting their private votes to identify the best of the best from these titles. This includes yours truly. Some of these titles I’ve already talked about here on my blog. You can find other people talking about them on yourLDSneighborhood and other book rating sites. In fact I’d encourage you to pop in and start a discussion on the titles you’ve read or what you think about the Whitney Awards in general. To me, it’s much better than discussing the Oscars or who just got kicked off of Idol.
Enter your guesses. I will not be posting my own reviews on any more of these titles until after the awards are announced on April 25. Not that I think I could sway the vote, but just ‘cause that’s the kosher thing to do. When the dust settles, I’ll let you know how many of the winners I picked. Who knows, you may find out I have lousy taste in literature- if you haven’t decided that already.
If you have a hard time trying to decide where to spend your precious book buying dollars I’d suggest you aren’t likely to go wrong with these titles. Don’t wait for just the winners. I think it’s fair to say that they are all a good bet for a great read. I know money and time are tight, but I also know how much an author will tend to sweat and bleed to give us as readers a beautiful story. So, buy a Whitney finalist or two, support an awesome LDS author. You won’t regret it.
Whitney Award Finalists
The 13th Reality by James Dashner (Best Youth Fiction)
Abinadi by H. B. Moore (Best Historical)
Above and Beyond by Betsy Brannon Green (Best Mystery/Suspense)
Alcatraz vs. The Scrivner's Bones by Brandon Sanderson (Best Youth Fiction)
Bound on Earth by Angela Hallstrom (Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel by a New Author)
Do No Harm by Gregg Luke (Best Mystery/Suspense)
Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card (Best Speculative Fiction)
Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague (Book 3) by Brandon Mull (Best Youth Fiction)
Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage (Best Youth Fiction)
Fields of Home by Rachel Ann Nunes (Best General Fiction)
Fool Me Twice by Stephanie Black (Best Novel of the Year, Best Mystery/Suspense)
Freefall by Traci Hunter Abramson (Best Mystery/Suspense)
From the End of Heaven (The Great and Terrible, Vol. 5) by Chris Stewart (Best Speculative Fiction)
The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson (Best Novel of the Year, Best Speculative Fiction)
The Host by Stephenie Meyer (Best Speculative Fiction)
Isabelle Webb, Legend of the Jewel by N. C. Allen (Best Historical)
Keeping Keller by Tracy Winegar (Best General Fiction)
Master by Toni Sorenson (Best Historical)
The Reckoning by Tanya Parker Mills (Best Novel by a New Author, Best General Fiction)
Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson (Best Mystery/Suspense)
The Ruby by Jennie Hansen (Best Historical)
Seeking Persephone by Sarah Eden (Best Romance)
Servant to a King by Sariah Wilson (Best Romance)
The Sound of Rain by Anita Stansfield (Best Romance)
Spare Change by Aubrey Mace (Best Novel by a New Author, Best Romance)
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (Best Novel of the Year, Best Youth Fiction)
Taking Chances by Shannon Guymon (Best Romance)
Traitor by Sandra Grey (Best Novel of the Year, Best Novel by a New Author, Best Historical)
Waiting For the Light to Change by Annette Hawes (Best Novel by a New Author, Best General Fiction)
The Wyrmling Horde: The Seventh Book of the Runelords by David Farland (Best Speculative Fiction)
Lifetime Achievement Awards
Orson Scott Card
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