Monday, June 1, 2009

OFF WITH THE OLD, ON WITH THE NEW



BRITT is the winner of the second May contest. Please contact me at bhansen22 at msn dot com to let me know which book you would like and to give me your mailing address. Remember your prize doesn't have to be one of the three books featured for this contest. If you choose a different book, please give me a wishlist of books to select from. Congratulations!




Since Father’s Day is this month, I decided to offer books for the first half of June contest that are all written by men, are told from a male point of view, and all have strong, masculine covers. If the winner is so inclined, one would make a fine Fathers’ Day gift. Two are even stories of father/son relationships.

Most LDS fiction is written from a female point of view and the majority of the authors are also women. Most LDS novels are also purchased by women, though it is much harder to pin point whether readers are more typically female or not since most of the well-known authors have both male and female fans, women give books as gifts, and large numbers of men read whichever books their wives bring home, even the romances. Several male authors such as Gerald Lund, Dean Hughes, and Lee Nelson have garnered huge followings among both men and women. One area where I see a real shortage of males writing for males is in youth fiction except in the science fiction/fantasy genre. Alma J. Yates is one of the few male writers who writes realistic fiction for and about young men.

Yates is a favorite author who has given us a number of books written for young men, but his stories have a much broader appeal than just to his target audience. Finding Dad is one such story. It is the story of a man who left his wife, the small town he grew up in, and his young son to discover a bigger world. After years on a road leading nowhere, he begins to get his life back together. Then he receives word his ex-wife has died and that his sixteen-year-old son he left behind ten years earlier is now his responsibility. He returns to claim his son and discovers a stranger who isn’t eager to go with him. He agrees to go only on the condition that his broken-down truck must go with them, even if the two of them have to push it the entire five hundred miles.

Recovering Charles by Jason F. Wright is another father and son story though the son is an adult and the father is a derelict old man, an alcoholic who has pretty much destroyed his life and his relationship with his son. The father was an enabler who catered to his wife’s prescription drug addiction until her death when he became an alcohol addict and his son stepped into the role of enabler. The son finally takes a stand and refuses to support his father’s addiction. That’s when he becomes branded an unsympathetic and unnatural son. Forced to survive on his own, the father, cleans up his act enough to be accepted by a group of bar buddies in New Orleans just before Hurricane Katrina hits. That’s when his father’s friends perpetrate a cruel hoax on the son.

Most so-called “men’s novels” focus on war or the wild west. Brad E. Hainsworth wrote Revenge and Redemption, a civil war era story of political intrigue, suspense, and a touch of romance. This book ranges from Utah to the bloody civil war battlefields and the halls of government in Washington D.C. It begins after the battle of Glorieta Pass in New Mexico, one of the few Civil War battles fought in the West. It features Clay Ashworth who returns to his ranch in Utah to find his wife pregnant with their first child. The child is stillborn and in her grief, she runs away, presumably back to Mexico. Another prominent character is Porter Rockwell’s old enemy, Wolf Striker, who survived the battle at Glorieta Pass.

Buckshot Higgins, His Life and Treasures by Charles Moore Hackley III is another western. This one is set in New Mexico among the native population there. Since the earliest settlements by Spaniards in the Southwest, there have been legends of buried treasure, hidden gold, and secret stashes of ancient valuables. This book centers around one such legend and though the legend may be myth or reality, the background details of the natives, their culture, and the mountains and mesas are authentic.

I’ll send two, your choice, of these books to the person whose name I draw from those who submit thoughtful comments concerning your father , your husband, or a father you consider exemplary between now and noon June 15.

6 comments:

Britt said...

Hey, wait a minute, that's me! Whoa. Cool.

It's interesting how much LDS fiction caters to women. I can't think of a single LDS author that my husband has read or is interested in. He's more of a scifi/fantasy guy, though.

Britt said...

Okay, I take that back-- I can think of one author my husband likes: David Farland. And I think he'd really like Sanderson.

He is really really good about reading to our little ones, though! Even when he hates the books they pick!

Stephanie said...

My father is a wonderful father! I couldn't imagine a better father. He is always there for me and always understanding. My mom always says I've been blessed because I can speak "dad" and "mom." I was dating this guy not too long ago, right when the song by chuck wicks "Stealing Cinderella" came out. And one time he made the comment that whenever he hears that song it makes him think of me and my dad. The funny thing was, it also made me think of my dad and my current relationship. I'll always be my daddy's little bowned-eyed girl.

Kelsi Rose said...

My dad and I have an interesting relationship. We are very similar personality wise (which can be good or bad). I have one thing on my side though that my brothers just can do. I am daddy's little girl, always have been, always will be. He is always there for me when my life gets tough (even when I don't tell him exactly what is going on). He was my motivation to get my bachelors. He is pretty much the best dad ever.

Randy and Lisa said...

My dad came into my life when I was around the ripe old age of 9 or so. Although, he worked with my biological dad before I was born, and was good friends with my biological uncle all the years of my growing up. When I was 10, he and my mom were married, and we moved to Southern Utah. He treated me like his daughter from day one, and filled a hole which had been in my life, since my biological father walked away when I was 5 years old. Although, I would call him by his name, I called him "dad" to others. The day my baby brother was born, was the day I first called him dad to his face. I was ready and he was thrilled. At the age of 16 he adopted my brother, just younger than me, and myself, completing a family.
He is the man who has always been there for me, and supports me in my life. He has his faults, who doesn't, but when the chips are down, I know that I can depend on him. My children know no other maternal grandpa, and he is always glad to have us come and visit.
Besides him being there for me, he has always encouraged me to keep in touch with my biological paternal grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins. This is why my dad is the man I love most, next to my husband.

Ralph said...

We could always count on my father. No matter the time or trouble, he would take time to help us out. He has sacrificed a lot of sleep over the years, towing cars, getting wayward sons out of trouble and looking for sons who were late getting home. I don't think we ever really appreciated him until we got older and found ourselves doing the same things for our children.

Contact me at rmpoulsen@aol.com