Reading to Write

One bit of advice everyone knows is that to be a good writer, you have to read good stuff. Of course, everyone has their own favourites, and there’s always a big debate going on about what qualifies as ‘good stuff’.

For me, if it speaks to you, has decent grammar and spelling, takes you out of yourself and makes you think, it’s probably good stuff.

So here’s a list of my all time faves. I’ll do a second post about my more ‘problematic’ ones*.

In no particular order:

  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Wen Spenser
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Patricia Briggs
  • Ilona Andrews
  • Georgette Heyer
  • Tamora Pierce
  • Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
  • Anne Bishop
  • Robin McKinley
  • Jennifer Crusie**
  • Seanan McGuire
  • Kerry Greenwood

Sub list (of writers I really like but haven’t committed to fully):

  • Jennifer Estep
  • Tanya Huff
  • Michelle Sagara
  • Kate Elliott
  • Ann Leckie
  • Kate Griffin

These lists are by no means comprehensive. I will probably look at a bookshelf later and think, “Dammit! I missed Writer X!””


*I don’t think most of these qualify as actual problematic faves; I’m just incredibly freaking picky about what tops my ‘OMG soo shiny!’ list, and the rest goes on my I comfort-reading list.

**I originally placed her in my slightly less loved list, but then I took a good look at the rest of my tarnished faves and realized she really belonged here!


8 thoughts on “Reading to Write

  1. chekistocrat says:

    Ah, what a great list! I’m with you on Pratchett, loved Tamora Pierce as a kid.

    My #1 would be China MiΓ©ville in a heartbeat. The best fiction writing I have read and I struggle with fiction a bit, not being the most imaginative person. So the more imaginative fiction is more interesting for me to read because my brain doesn’t go there by itself.

    Others I would say – Ken Macleod (The Star Fraction is one of my favourite books of all time, but you do have to be a Trot to get loads of the references), Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita may be the most perfect book written ever), Anthony Trollope (The Way We Live Now I have reread repeatedly), Jane Austen obv, and…in fact it’s difficult to know where to stop πŸ™‚ So many good books, so many good writers. I could post a huge post that would destroy your comments list!

    Two things I like are satire (especially) and to a lesser extent, dystopias. (Can too easily pick holes in these, they are rarely internally consistent). When I was a kid at strange religious school I studied Latin for a bit and my mum showed me her English translations of Juvenal. (My mum was mature student at City University). I was 10 and the idea of satire caught into my brain πŸ™‚
    Aside from that I normally read nonfiction for relaxation, but I will read both Ayn Rand and Georgette Heyer for very different reasons πŸ™‚ At the moment rereading Philip K Dick’s “Man in the High Castle”….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yay, things to read! I spent a lot of money being required to read classics, so I kinda stopped reading them on my own. Even though that was ages ago, I find I still have an artificial division in my mind; books for me, and books for improving. Jane Austen is my exception, but I was reading her before I was required to!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, when you added your problematic fave list, we’ve come to almost a complete overlap.
        Except I don’t think you added Chuck Wendig, and I love his books, especially the Miriam Black series.
        Also Kristen Ashley and Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James/Ashley Gardner and Shelly Laurenston, in my “trashy” (lol) category.
        And Eileen Dreyer, for her medical suspense. And Julia Quinn. Also Nora Roberts, for nostalgia, and because me and my mom read her and Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle/Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard together(J.D. Robb In Death series we both like a lot).

        Liked by 1 person

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