I'm in the middle of an LDS novel that I think is really, really good.
I recently finished another one that I enjoyed a lot.
My daughter recently read a YA book by an LDS writer and is dying for me to read it too. I will soon.
And my husband and I have plans to read aloud a book by yet another LDS writer, whose books we've enjoyed in the past.
All four of these books are by talented people, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if all of them ended up as Whitney finalists for 2008.
But I'm not telling you the names of the books or who wrote them. There's a reason for that.
Now, as many people know, I'm hyper-opinionated. I won't just tell you if I liked or disliked something. Instead, I'm liable to go on a rant about the virtues (or lack thereof) of a particular work. I get passionate about these things. I debate. I foam at the mouth.
That kind of thing.
But this year . . . you won't be hearing any of it from me. At all. Or, at least about fiction written by Latter-day Saints. (Movies and fiction by other writers are all fair game. I may have to get loud and ranty about those just to compensate.)
See, I was thinking about posting review about the one I'm reading as soon as I finish it, but then I remembered: I can't.
The reason is that I have the privilege of serving on the Whitney Awards committee for 2008. I get to read a ton of novels by LDS writers this year and judge in two categories as well as help select the novels that will be up for Best Novel and Best Novel by a New Author.
That's the terrific part about being on the committee. (For those wondering, I'm willing and able to be part of the committee because my next novel, Tower of Strength, won't be released until 2009.)
Keeping my opinions to myself might just be torturous for someone with as big a mouth as I have. On the other hand, I will get to voice them with the other committee members. That's some consolation. (Poor souls have no idea what they're in for.)
I encourage readers to nominate books they think are deserving of a Whitney and to tell others to do the same. Broadcast the news far and wide! The program is there to recognize quality fiction produced by LDS writers and to help the entire cannon improve and grow. The only way to do that is to get the best books nominated, and that takes the readers.
Visit the Whitney site at the link above to submit a book for consideration. Don't assume your favorite is a shoo-in. You never know.
In the meantime, I'll be tying my tongue into a knot.