What Are You Reading?

We’ve all heard the advice that if you want to be a good writer, you should also be an avid reader.  I have to admit that I’ve been resting on my laurels for quite some time now.  Since I received my Kindle, however, I’ve poked my head out of my shell and dived into the world of literature once again.  I recently asked you all to offer suggestions for what I should read.

It went something like this: “What should I read, and why? Tell me about your favorite fiction. What classics make the world a better place by their mere existence? Fill me in on industry books I should be reading. What authors will blow my mind? What’s the best nonfiction book I’ve been missing out on for these last several years?”

Many of you jumped on board and offered some great suggestions.  I thought it would make sense to list them all in one place so each of us could take advantage of the advice of our colleagues.  I’ll continue to add to the list if and when more suggestions are made.  I was trying to gather 100, and we have 35, not counting specific authors that were recommended.

So far, I’ve used my electronic book to read Alice Sebold’s The Almost Moon, Gregory McGuire’s Wicked, and Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts.  What should I choose next?  Maybe one of the following from Freelance Writing Job readers.

Laney Landry

Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (3)

Simon J. James

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Closing Time by Joseph Heller

The Liar by Stephen Fry

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Tomas by James Palumbo

Choke by Chuck Palahnuik

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Heidi Heidel

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborelli


The Shadow of the Wind by Carolos Ruiz Zafon

The Angel’s Game by Carolos Ruiz Zafon

Better by Atul Gawande

Complications by Atul Gawande

Unconditional Parenting aby Alfie Kohn

Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Wicked by Gregory Maguire


The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

This House of Sky by Ivan Doig

English Creek by Ivan Doig


Rebecca by Daphne Dumaurier

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

The Chamber by John Grisham


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


The Japanese Wife by Kunal Basu


Treasure Island by Robert Stevenson

Journey to the center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum (3)

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (second time this one was mentioned)

Authors that were also suggested:

David Sedaris

Matt Taibbi

Tony Hillerman

Jody Picoult

Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

Nora Robers (as J.D. Robb)

Mary Higgins Clark

James Patterson

Janet Evonovich


  1. says

    As an ecumenical Christian poet & writer, I like to read the Bible cover to cover to get a clearer understanding of God and the church in all its faces. I especially love writing poetry, so I focus on the works of biblical poets, Pulitzer-prize winning poets, and children’s poets, and I welcome “how-to” books (like those published by Writers Digest) on effective techniques to use in writing and revising. Since I also enjoy writing children’s books, I read those too – the classics and new books that kids respond to well.

  2. says

    I’m adding several of these to my long list of books to read. Here are a few of my fiction favorites:

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford
    The Bean Trees – Barbara Kingsolver
    The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
    To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
    gods in Alabama – Joshilyn Jackson
    A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

    A few non-fiction favorites:

    A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink
    Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott
    Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott
    The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan

    And I’ll also put in a word for authors David Sedaris, Jodi Picoult, and Janet Evanovich and add two more: Laura Lippman and Anne Tyler

  3. Samantha says

    I’ve always enjoyed the classics. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding

  4. says

    I love reading! Being in Guatemala means I don’t have a lot of access to English books, but I find them online when I can. I would love to get a Kindle now that they have made the international version available, but can’t justify it just yet. Here are my favorite reads:

    – Anything by Marilyn Halverson
    – Anything by S.E. Hinton
    – Anything by Monica Hughes (especially Invitation to the Game)
    – The Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series
    – The Vampire Academy series
    – Chronicles of Narnia
    – The Anthropos Chronicles by John White


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