Monday, December 30, 2013

13 Books of 2013

Hey guys!  I haven't done the What I'm Reading Wednesday posts very much this year.  Part of that is that I've written a lot more this year instead of reading, so I haven't read nearly the number of books I did last year.

That being said, here are my top 13 books of 2013.  These are books that I read in 2013, not that were necessarily published this year.

Honorable Mention:
First Test by Tamora Pierce
I read this book at the start of the year.  I thought it was really enjoyable and I went on to read the rest of the series.  Most of all, I loved the main character and the character interactions.  As much as I would love for this to be on my actual list, I have a really hard time supporting this author.  I feel like the first books in her series are relatively clean and lighthearted, only to get trashier with each book.  As a reader who likes the clean aspect, I always feel betrayed by her books, which is why I tend to not read them as often or let myself like them as much.  Either way, I did really like this book and would recommend it.

13. Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams
I'm not sure if this book is Christian Fiction, but i really enjoyed it.  This book is a contemporary something-or-other.  I would maybe call it a coming of age or
a romance, but it's not really either of those.  Either way, I really enjoyed it and think you might want to check it out.

12. The Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices bk 3)
This book was a great conclusion to a great story.  I love the story of Will, Tessa, and Jem.  I'm firmly on Team Will, but I think that might be because I'm always for the bad boy.  That might not be such a good thing.  Anyway, Clockwork Princess is a great book wrapping up a great story.  I just love Clare's perfect yet shattered heroes.  Give me a Will or a Jace any day.

11. What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang (The Hybrid Chronicles bk 1)
Bonus points, the author of this book is a teen writer.  I really liked the idea of this story and it was generally a great book.  Seriously, this is just the kind of sci-fi I love to read.  It's really great, fresh and clean.  And I think we teen authors need to stick together.  I would highly recommend this book!

10. Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson
This isn't a novel, but a writing craft book.  I found the section on writing useful, but not world shattering.  The section on publishing, on the other hand, is wonderful!  This is a book I would highly recommend to any writer, teen or otherwise.

9. Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (Heist Society bk 3)
The Heist Society books are my favorite running series.  Perfect Scoundrels came out this year and it was even better than Uncommon Criminals.  I really liked this book and though it went even deeper into the characters, especially Hale, who is possibly my favorite.  (Although I'm a big Nick fan too.  *see previous comment on bad boys.)

8. The Program by Suzanne Young (The Program bk 1)
I actually got to read this book as an ARC that I won from my library.  It was so good and I was really sad to see the book Slated come out first.  They both operate on the concept of the government wiping teens brains.  In my opinion, Slated isn't as good as The Program and I'm so glad it came out!  I think you should defiantly take a look at this book, if you can.  Plus, don't you love that cover? I can't wait for book 2!

7.Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel bk 1)
I started this book a few years ago and couldn't get through it.  I think it's a book for a little bit of an older YA audience.  Not that it has mature content, but that it's a little bit of a slower, more thoughtful book, if such a thing can be said of high fantasy.  I'm really glad I read it this year and I am a new Sherwood Smith fan.

6. The Runaway King by Jennifer Nielsen (The Ascendance Trilogy bk 2)
The False Prince, the first book in this trilogy, was my top pick last year, but I think first books in series tend to be the easiest to fall in love with.  While Runaway King was amazing and fully satisfying, I felt like it was a little more ridiculous, to the point where it was hard for me to suspend my disbelief.  In my opinion, this book cemented the fact that this series is a Middle Grade book, not a YA book.  I would have liked to see it grow older for it's readers, not younger, but that's okay.  I still can't wait to read book 3, but I know I'll be sad to see the series go.

5. Glass Girl bu Laura Anderson Kurk
I got to read this book for free and absolutely loved it.  I talked about how much I love broken boys that are still beautiful earlier.  As much as I do love that, I really loved the broken heroin in this book.  Again, this book isn't my typical fantasy read, but I really enjoyed it a lot!  I would highly recommend it to any high-school girl.

4. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill (Ellie Sweet bk 1)
Who, that reads this blog, wouldn't love a book about a teen writer?  This book was really great!  One thing I especially loved was how the author used names of actual teen writers that are part of the teen writer community she started in her book.  Any time she needed filler names, she used teen writers.  Who knows, if you read the second book, The Unlikely Debut of Ellie Sweet, you might even spot the name of yours truly.  

3. Hourglass by Myra McEntire (Hourglass bk 1)
I read this book in the beginning of the year.  I don't remember a lot about it except that I loved it.  Seriously, it's really good.  It's kind of a classic romance meets time travel.  That might not sound great to you, but trust me, it is!  Or actually, don't trust me.  Read it for yourself and decided what you think.

2. The Spy Princess by Sherwood Smith
The last two books have everything I love in a book, magic, princesses, and a good, old fashioned revolution.  I really enjoyed The Spy Princess, even though it's geared toward a 9-12 year audience.  (Don't judge.  We all read JV books now and then.)  I love that this story was a little bit fun, a little bit serious, a little bit far fetched and a lot bit magical.

1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (Fire and Thorns bk 1)
Finally, my number one pick of the year.  I only read this book in November, but it's SO good.  It's clean and interesting.  It also taught me some things about writing, which I always value in a book.  The characters are real, not some perfect human that never makes mistakes, which I really appreciated.  The plot wasn't exactly fresh, but I'll always fall for the classic rebellion meets magic type of books, which this certainly is.  I liked that this was a book I had no problem recommending to my mom.  I think it convinced her that not all YA books are scandalous.  (The last two series she read were Hunger Games and Graceling.)  All in all, this book is a really well rounded book that's just up my ally.

I'm really looking forward to reading The Shadow Throne this year, as well as the new Heist Society book, though that might not come out until 2015.  I'm also hoping Hilari Bell, Cinda Williams Chima, and Cassandra Clare all publish something new this year.  That'd be great.

What about you?  What are some of the best books you read this year?  Either leave their titles in the comments or write your own post and leave the link.  I love hearing from you guys!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 23, 2013

{You Know You're a Writer When} Tag . . .

Hey guys!  First of all, just wanted to let you know that posts for the next two weeks will come when I fell like writing them, or possibly not at all.  I'm on Christmas break and all my siblings are home for the holidays, so I might be too busy beating my family in Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Power Grid to write new blog posts.

I was tagged yesterday by Sarah, over at Dreams and Dragons.  I had another post planned for today, but this one just looked like so much fun.  To complete this tag, I have to post four to six signs of being a writer, without knowingly copying anyone else, then tag as many other bloggers as I want.

So . . . You know you're a writer when . . .

1. When you take time away from playing (and beating) your family in a board game to critique a friend's short story.

2. When you buy as many school notebooks as possible at the start of the year, even though you know you'll never need that much paper for school this year.

3. When most of your Christmas wish list consists of novels and writing craft books and you insists they all be bought new so the money actually goes to the author.  (I kept having to tell my mother I'd rather have 3 new books than 5 used.  I'm not sure she believes me.)

4. When you're a little disappointed for Christmas, because it means you didn't finish your novel by your deadline.

5. When you're organizing a Twitter chat for teens everywhere to talk about books.  That right, I'm hosting what I hope to be a monthly Twitter chat.  I'm calling it the Teen Book Chat and the first chat will take place Monday, January 6th at 8:00 PM eastern time.  To join us, just use the hashtag #TBkChat.  For more information, I've created a second blog.  You an find it by clicking here. 

That just about sums it up.  Hopefully on Thursday I'll do a Christmas book haul, but I guess we'll see what Santa brings.

For the tag, I'm tagging:
Julia @ Julia the Writer Girl
Hannah @ Candy Apple Books
Jillian @ Covers and Ink
Lily @ Lily's Notes in the Margins
And YOU, if you want to join in.

Merry Christmas.  I'd just like to leave you with the reminder that Christ is the reason for CHRISTmas and I don't plan on ever taking him out of the equation.  You're welcome to feel differently, but that's how I feel.

Thanks for reading!  If you're looking for something to comment, I'd love to know your twitter handle and/or what you're hoping to ger for Christmas in the way of books.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Entwinded

Hope you're having a good week!  It's almost Friday, one step closer to the end of the semester.

My library, along with a bunch of other libraries in my state has an online database where you can download a temporary ebook or audio file.  It's one of my favorite things, because I can read books right when I want to, even if I don't have anything good on hand.

The latest audio book I got was Entwinded by Heather Dixon.  Without further ado, here's my six word review of the book.

Who doesn't love twelve dancing princesses?

4 out of 5 stars.

Buy this book on Amazon, B&N, check out the author's website, or add it to your to-read list on Goodreads!

Similar titles include The Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George and Enchanted by Alethea Kontis.

Have you read Entwined?  What did you think?  If you could sum it up in six words, how would you do it?  Any ideas for a book I should read next?
See you Monday!  Thanks for reading.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Questions for You

Hey guys!  Recently, I've wanted to make posts that are more applicable to you, my lovely readers.  But I feel like I don't know you very well, so I can I make good posts for you?  So here are some questions for you.

  1. I have almost 85 followers, but each post only gets 2 or 3 comments.  So how often do you read my posts?  I'd just like to know.  Do you read most Mondays?  Thursdays?  Both?  Only when the title is interesting?
  2. Are you just a lover of books or a writer as well?
  3. If you are a writer, what do you like to write?  Fantasy, poetry, a little bit of everything?
  4. How much have you written?  Two first drafts, one carefully revised novel, what?
  5. How long have you been writing?
  6. What type of blog posts do you find interesting?
  7. Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of on Inklined?
  8. Do you read books similar to what you write?
  9. If not, what are some book genres and common themes you like to read?
  10. Are you a teenager?
All of these questions are optional.  If you don't feel like answering all of these, just pick two or three that are easy to answer.  If you don't feel like commenting, share on Google+ or something, just so I know you've read this.

Thanks!  Have a great day.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Purple Moon Blog Tour {GIVEAWAY!}

Hey guys!  Today I'm really excited to be part of the Purple Moon Christmas blog tour.  Purple Moon is a book by Tessa Emily Hall.  Here's a little bit about the book:

Selena's life isn't turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena ... but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn't how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her "bad habits" for this.

Things don't seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that's been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin's nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom's example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her?

Onto the author interview, but first, a little background on Tessa.

Tessa Emily Hall is a 20-year-old author of Purple Moon, her YA Christian fiction novel to be published September 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, a column writer for Whole Magazine, a contributing writer for More To Be, as well as the PR for God of Moses Entertainment. Other than writing, Tessa enjoys acting, music, Starbucks, and her Teacup Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.

 How much did you write before your wrote Purple Moon?  

I wrote all the time growing up. Before I could read, when I was 3-years-old, I would tell my mom stories and she would write them down for me. I eventually began writing several “books” in my childhood, which continued throughout my teen years.

 How did you get published?  

It all started when I was fourteen and decided to switch to an online schooling in order to pursue writing. I took a Christian Writers Guild squire course, as well as a creative writing class through my school, to learn more about the craft. I also studied several books on the writing craft, followed writing-related blogs, and read books in the genre I write.

I wrote the first version of “Purple Moon” when I was 15, then changed the title, as well as the plot, when I completed the book at 16-years-old. I was 16 when I attended my first writing conference (Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference), which is where I met my publisher. After showing much interest my book, he asked to send him the next chapters. He eventually offered me a contract, which I didn’t sign until several months later, after much prayer and consideration.

Since I was continuing to learn more about the writing craft, I wanted to revise “Purple Moon” a few times before I sent it to my editor. Being the patient man that my publisher is, he was completely fine with this. (One of the many perks of having your first book published by an indie publisher.)

In the summer of 2012, I forced the perfectionist in me to let go and send the manuscript to my editor. “Purple Moon” was then published a year later—September 24th, 2013.

  Do you feel publishing as a teen is harder?  What have you done to conquer that?  

At first, writing a book didn’t come as naturally to me as it did to more experienced writers. I had to study the craft constantly by reading books on the subject, as well as following blogs in the industry. The only thing I don’t necessarily enjoy about publishing as teen is being looked down on by some adults in the industry. There are many professionals who feel as if teenagers are only published because their age.

Of course, I understand where they’re coming from. But I guess I just don’t enjoy the preconception that some adults have given me, without reading my writing first. Sure, other teens may want to be published for popularity—but many teens, such as myself, only wanted to pursue writing simply because it’s a huge desire.

It was also to sacrifice a lot of teen experience—such as attending public school in grades 9th – 11th, or hanging out with my friends on the weekends—in order to pursue writing. But anything worth having is worth making sacrifices for. And although there were many hard aspects of getting published as a teen, it was definitely worth it. =)

 What is your favorite and/or least favorite part of writing?  

Favorite: I love the freedom of being able to create a story from my imagination—and, in the process, minister to others. I also love expressing myself through writing and incorporating some of my own experiences into my stories. Of course, being able to work from home or at a coffee shop is pretty nice too. =)

Least favorite: I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my writing—so after I complete a book and go back to read it, I begin to have several doubts about the story and my writing. So I guess self-doubt is my least favorite part about writing. I want the story to be the best it can be, which puts a lot of pressure on me. Writing a good book is hard work, and I don’t want to settle for writing a mediocre story.

 What is once piece of advice you'd give to teen writers hoping to get published?

Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of reaching your dream. When I was fourteen, I emailed a best-selling author and asked if she had any advice for an aspiring author. She told me that she wouldn’t recommend that I puruse writing, only because it was hard work and very unlikely to find success.

Although she was right, I do not think either of those facts should hold anyone back from pursuing publication. Of course, I respected her advice, but I obviously did not follow it. Yes, writing is hard work. But since when has any career ever been easy? And yes, it is unlikely for a writer to be published. But I did. And so did all of the authors who wrote all of your favorite books.

I certainly wouldn’t have found a publisher had I followed the author’s advice. No, writing isn’t going to be all fun and games—however, if your passion is big enough, then none of that will matter. People may try to discourage you and tell you that it’s unlikely, or that your work isn’t good enough, or that the pay isn’t good, or even that writing isn’t a real job. Ignore all of those voices, especially if it is your own.

Don’t let anyone—including yourself—keep you from reaching you dreams.

 Tessa Emily Hall has also graciously offered to give away an e-copy of Purple Moon to one lucky commenter.  To enter the giveaway, you must
1) Leave a comment
2) Include your e-mail address in the comment
3) Be a follower of Inklined
4) Bonus Entry*  Leave the link to your Goodreads list with Purble Moon marked as To-Read
5) Bonus Entry* Leave the link to a tweet about this giveaway

Giveaway closes at 11:59 PM EST Monday the 16th.

Thanks so much, Tessa, for coming here today!  And thank you guys for reading.

Monday, December 9, 2013

How to Make Passive Writing Active

Hope you've had a good week.  Mine was incredibly long, but wonderful all the same.  I wrapped it up watching Catching Fire with some friends, and, well . . .  don't even get me started.  I am in like.

Today I'd like to start with something I recently figured out for myself.  A lot of writing advice books and blogs will include something along the lines of "avoid the word was" or "never use passive writing.  Ever."  Sometimes I just feel bad for the horrible rap the word "was" gets, along with other helping verbs like is, has had, had been, are, and so on and so forth.

As a new writer, I found all of this advice very confusing.  I knew not to use the word "was" or the phrase "had been," but I didn't know to avoid the word in a sentence.  Often, instead of fixing the problem, I just tried to come up with sentences that didn't use the word "was" even if that meant skipping over what I wanted to say.

It wasn't until the past year or so that I've figured out how to change passive writing to active.  One thing that really helped me was what fellow teen writer Nick Hight had to say.  He wrote a passive sentence: "The beach was being sat on."  Then he wrote an active version of that sentence.  "They sat on the beach."  Most people would say the second sentence is better.  Even if they couldn't put their finger on it, they would say they prefer the second sentence.

So how do you do it?  How do you change that passive writing to active?  Here's what I've learned.

1) Figure out who or what does the action.
Take the sentence "The inn was noisy."  This is a fine sentence.  It communicates what's going on in the room.   But it's passive.  We can make it stronger.  To do this, we ask who or what made the inn noisy?  Maybe the patrons, maybe just a few drunk old men at the bar. But saying, "A few drunk old men at the bar made the inn noisy," gives you a lot more information than "The room was noisy."

2) Re-arrange the sentence
Let's use a similar sentence to the one above.   "The room was filled with noise."  Now, put the end of the sentence at the front.  "Noise, the room was filled with."  I think we can agree that's a pretty bad sentence.  It sounds like something Yoda would say.  But it might suggest another sentence.  To me, it suggests, "Noise filled the room."  This sentence says the exact same thing as the first one, but it gets rid of the passive writing.

3) Hunt down your -ing words
Something I tend to do a lot is use a sentence like, "The girl was running." Often, I find that when I use "was" with a word ending in "-ing" I can get rid of both the "was," and the "-ing" and have a stronger sentence.  In this case, "The girl ran."  Sometimes this don't work, but it does for the most part.*

4) I had had too many had's
Recently, I found a pin on Pinterest.  It said something like, "I love English.  This sentence makes perfect sense.  'The faith he had had had had no effect.'"  While that sentence is grammatically correct, it is not something I would want to find in a printed book.  Often, we use too many "had"s.  For instance, earlier in the post, I typed "I had wanted to say."  Then, I read the sentence over and realized I could take the "had" out and the sentence read exactly the same.  "I wanted to say," is still a past tense sentence that still makes perfect sense.  Although avoiding or deleting the extra 'had' won't boost your word count during NaNoWriMo, in my opinion, it makes for better writing when you have to take a red pen to those extra words.

*) The exception that proves the rule
Sometimes, you need the word 'was.'  It helps you describe an action that is ongoing.  The sentence, "She was string the pot as we walked through the kitchen," means something a little different than, "She stirred the pot as we walked through the kitchen."  They are similar, put in this case sentence one makes you think she stirred the put the entire time they walked through the kitchen, while sentence two makes you think she gave the pot a stir as they walked through the room.  In a case like this, I would say using the word 'was' is excusable.

(Just a note, the example in that paragraph was borrowed in part from a writing book I highly recommend, Go Teen Writers by Jill Williamson and Stephanie Morrill.  The e-book is currently on sale for $0.99, but I think that only lasts a short while longer.  I happen to own both versions, and I can't sing it's praises loud enough.  And yeah, it's signed.)

Hope this helps.  No one is perfect.  In my 'closest I have to a finished,' novel, I have used the word 'was' just under 500 times. I could do a lot better.  There are times I use the word 'was' because I don't like the flow of the revised sentences.  I'm not saying you can never use passive writing, I'm just showing you how to make it active, should you chose to do so.

I'm planning on writing another post for Thursday, but we'll have to see how my week goes.  I will definitely see you on Monday.

I need your help with an upcoming blog post.  What are some of the best books you read in 2012-2013?  And what genres were those books?  Are there any genres you love but can never find good books in?  Please leave a comment and let me know.  I love hearing from you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Few Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

Hey guys!  This is more of a personal post than I'm trying to do, but I'll do my best to keep it interesting or at the very least entertaining.

NaNoWriMo is something I participated in this year.  I hope to do so for a long time to come.  In my opinion, it's a very good idea for writers to try their hand at.  The only time I wouldn't recommend it is if you've never written a novel before, but you think you want to become a novelist.  Because if you try it then, you might get burnt out.

This year, I wrote a high fantasy a little bit like the Septimus Heep books by Angie Sage.  The first draft is not finished, but I won NaNoWriMo on Friday, November 29 with 50,130 words.  This is my fourth novel and something that I think is really cool is that with each book I write, I feel like I get better at something.  Maybe that's just because I'm at the start of my writing learning curve, but I hope not.

I'm writing this book to the oldest audience I've ever written a book for.  My first book's main character (MC) is fourteen at the start of the book.  In The Thirteenth Wizard my MC is only fifteen at the start of the book, but I fell like you can tell this book isn't for children.  Although I say I write YA, my other two books are more middle grade (MG) or even juvenile (JV.)  This might just be because I'm the oldest I've ever been when I wrote a book, but maybe it's just because I'm getting better at rising the action and the themes, and I don't want younger kids or teens reading such intense stuff.

Another thing I learned during NaNoWriMo is that I can write pretty quickly.  If you give me 2 hours, I can churn out about 3K.  I have to turn my music up and my wi-fi off, but I can do it.  That's something new for me.

All in all, NaNoWriMo was pretty wonderful and I'm really glad I did it this year!  My story has flaws.  I need to raise the stakes, because right now, if my character fails, it doesn't really matter.  I need to tighten the writing, because I used the word "was" 518 times in 50,00 words, which is not good.  But I think I have some good things going for me and I'm pretty excited for what this book can become.

What about you?  Did you participate in NaNoWriMo?  Did you win?  Did you finish your novel?  Do you feel like you learn something new or get better at something with each draft you write?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

See you on Monday!

P.S. I thought some of you might like to see the birthday cake I made for my little brother.  He's a big LotR fan!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Know Your Market: How to Dig Into Your YA Genre

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I did.

Last Monday, I talked about How to Dig into the YA Market.  Today, I'm going to talk specifically about genre.  While it's important to know your general market, I think it's far more important to understand your genre.  Some people would say YA is its own genre, and while that's kind of the case, on a basic level I disagree.

The genre I'm going to use as an example is high fantasy, because that's what I write.  When you Google high fantasy books, you'll see a lot of the same titles.  For me, some of the big names in High Fantasy are Tamora Pierce and Diana Wynne Jones.  Both of those authors write great books and they do it well.  A few other hallmark books include Eragon, Lord of the Rings, and  Chronicles of Narnia. (People would argue that all three of those aren't true high fantasy, but I think they're close enough.)

These are the building blocks for your search.  Once you have some books that are similar to what you write, one of my favorite things is to find that book on Amazon and Goodreads.  As an example, let's use Eragon, because most people have at least heard of it.  If you go to the Amazon page for Eragon and then scroll down to the Customers who Bought this Item also Bought: section, you'll find a lot of good, similar, high/epic fantasy.  If you scroll through the pages, you'll find some similar books, including Inkspell, Divergent, Magyk, and Airborn.  All of those books are great speculative fiction not set in the present day.  They are good books to check out.  Goodreads has a similar function.

Another thing you can do is look for author connections.  If you're favorite genre writer starts mentioning a book a lot or she mentions another book or author in the acknowledgements of fantasy books. check the new author out.  Do the authors thank and other authors?  What to those authors write? One thing I noticed was that Cinda Williams Chima tweeted at Rae Carson a lot.  I respect Chima's second series and after I read Girl of Fire and Thorns, I also respect Carson.

Keep an eye on the best seller lists for your genre.  I talked about best seller lists last week, but they are truly one of the best fiction resources for writers.  Just skim them over once or twice a week.  See what books in your genre are on the lists and read them.

You can also find lists of books in your genre.  Once again, I recommend Goodreads, because the lists on there are voted for by people, so the most loved books are at the top of the lists.  Using the example of Eragon, if you go to the Goodreads page and scroll down, you'll see a section marked Lists With This Book.  Click the more lists button to see what lists include Eragon.  Some of those lists include Best Epic Fantasy, Dragons, Fantasy Books of the 21ts Century,   Most Interesting Magic System, Most Obvious Tolkien Imitators, and The Best Fantasy Books.  After taking a quick look at these lists, I can tell you there are going to be some books that are in your genre that people consider good high and/or epic fantasy.

And perhaps most importantly, find people who also love your genre.  Find an exclusively high fantasy review blog.  Share titles with friends who also love high fantasy.  Find a high fantasy forum, share latest good titles with your Lord of the Rings loving friend.  Word of mouth is still the best way to find good books.

This is less concrete then last week's post, because genre is harder to pin down, but I felt it still needed mentioning.

Thanks for reading.  How do you find other great books within a genre you're loving?  Are you looking for some titles to read in your genre?  If so, let me know what genre you want to read in.