What do we mean by "clean" books and where can they be found?
In a previous post, I spoke about Proper Romance Novels and recommended a few titles. When I wrote that article I didn't realize that Proper Romance is a trademark for clean books published by Shadow Mountain. (I highly recommend their books!)
The industry terms for clean romance novels are Sweet Romance or Clean Romance.
What Does Clean Mean?
Although not the most popular category, there's a substantial group of readers looking for "clean" literature and many of them aren't religious.
The dilemma with using the word "clean" is that there isn't one standard or universal rating that satisfies everyone. You need to determine who is declaring the book clean and by what standards.
For example, Shadow Mountain is a Mormon-based company, so check their website for their definition.
Your idea of "clean" may be different from mine and that of others. Each of us must decide what we will and won't accept according to our conscience That's why if you scour the internet for clean books you'll get a variety of answers!
I can only tell you what I think based on my standards.
My absolute list of no-no's in a book are:
No foul language.
No bloody gore (murder in mysteries is ok).
No disparaging remarks about ANY group of people.
No sex scenes (light kissing is ok, please leave out tongue or heavy petting).
No spiritism, witchcraft, or uncanny stuff.
This list isn't comprehensive nor is it a guideline for YOUR conscience.
Where Do I Find Clean Books?
Amazon has an entire category dedicated to Clean and Wholesome bestsellers (I couldn't find a definition of clean and wholesome on their site so reader beware).
Another resource for finding clean books is Goodreads. But instead of going directly to their site, I recommend typing 'clean books goodreads' into the Google search engine. I believe GoodReads lists are created by its readers, so take suggestions with a grain of salt.
You can also read what other bloggers are recommending. My standards are a bit stricter so I will be curating my own list! Check here for updates.
Let's grow a list together!
I will be creating my own list of "clean books" in every genre (not just romance) and sharing my finds with my readers.
Since it isn't possible for me to read every single book out there, I would love YOUR help!
Your action Item
Please send us your fiction and nonfiction recommendations for CLEAN literature in ANY genre.