As I’ve gone back and looked at all the reviews I’ve written for Families.com so far, I’ve noticed that the majority of books I’ve chosen to review are either from LDS or mainstream Christian publishers. On my last visit to the library, I made it a point to grab an armful of books from national publishers, realizing that I should have more of a balance in the books that I read and review. I picked up so many books that my back hurt by the time I went through check out. It’s my favorite kind of backache.
Once home, I lined up all the books on the “library bookshelf” we have in our kitchen, and I cackled with glee at the sight. (You think I’m joking, but I really did. I love books that much.) Last night I grabbed one and sat down to read.
Page three had the F-word. Well, at least the author didn’t waste time in showing me – I hate getting halfway through a book and then realizing I shouldn’t finish it. I grabbed another book – sex scene, page ten. I must have thumbed through seven books last night before I gave up and went to bed. Seven books that I can’t review here and seven books that I’m not interested in reading on my own time. I went through another four this afternoon, spending only five minutes on each before chucking them over my shoulder, which really is not a polite way to treat a library book.
When I pick up a book from an LDS or mainstream Christian publisher, I know that I will not run into words and scenes like that. Period. I may not like the plot and I may not identify with the characters; that will happen with books from any publisher in any genre. You do have to hunt around to find authors that fit your own particular reading style. But I know that with LDS and mainstream Christian publishers, those will be the biggest worries I’ll have. There’s not going to be a sex scene on page 30. There’s not going to be profanity sprinkled throughout like confetti at Mardi Gras. I have a measure of trust in those markets and I tend to gravitate toward them.
I love books written about Amish people and Jews and Episcopalians and Methodists, etc – books that are written about people who live their religion or their moral beliefs are uplifting, even if I don’t understand all their theology. There’s integrity to be found in literature like that, and so I naturally enjoy reading it.
I will continue my search for clean national fiction. I have found some, as my reviews here will attest – but it’s so much harder to find than it is in a religious-based market. I will keep making back-breaking trips to the library to bring you the very best of what I find, in any genre.