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10 Books That Inspire Me

Lib posted a nice photo list of 10 of her favorite books for her summer reading list.  I LOVE the idea….and I love her list.  And I’m cheating just a bit here, because while there are TONS of Indie Authors who inspire me, I’m going to stick, in this case, to my 10 favorite print books…the ones that either got me into writing, or else that I turn to when I need some fuel for my writer’s brain.

In no particular order…

The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.  A gritty, dark tale of survival in the post apocalypse.  One of the most lyrical and beautifully prosaic books I have ever ead.

Dark Dance, by Tanith Lee.  A dark paranormal horror, and Book 1 of Lee’s never completed Blood Opera sequence.  Tanith wrote the manual on beautiful, efficient descriptions, and this may be one of the few “romantic” vampire novels I thought was worth the read.

The Scar, by China Mieville.  Book 2 in the dystopian Bas-Lag series, Mieville’s epic tale of a pirate city searching for the edge of reality is a deft exercise in world-building and descriptive power.

A Fortess of Grey Ice, by J.V. Jones.  Jones’ visceral attention to detail and deeply realized characters make her entire Sword of Shadows series a must-read for epic fantasy fans. This, volume 2, is my favorite of the series so far.

Vampire$, by John Steakley.  A book about vampire hunters, and how bad-ass they are.  Made into an inferior film by John Carpenter, this book is a gut-wrenching page turner.

The Grand Design, by John Marco.  Book 2 of Marco’s Tyrants & Kings trilogy is a smartly plotted, richly realized tale of intrigue and war in a wonderfully detailed world.  Marco’s naval warfare passages should be required reading for anyone aspiring to write battle scenes.

Mountain of Black Glass, by Tad Williams. Book 3 of the Otherland series, William’s story of virtual realities gone wrong is filled with luscious characters, wildly imaginative settings, and some of the nastiest villains you’ll ever see on the printed page.

When True Night Falls, by C.S. Friedman. Book 2 of the Coldfire Trilogy is an engrossing epic journey filled with mystery, heart-pounding action and dark, vivid descriptions.  Highly original epic fantasy.

Bone Song, by John Meaney.  Take a hard-boiled crime noir, shift the setting to a technopunk necropolis, and add a few shakes of Jerry Bruckheimer style action and you might get an idea of what John Meaney has accomplished with this novel.  Great stuff.

A Man And His Pan, by John Boswell.  A cook-book filled with nothing but dishes you make entirely in the frying pan.  Yes, it’s that awesome, and some of the dishes — Japanese Fried Chicken, Gaucho Steaks and Challah French Toast — get made in my house quite often. ;D

What books inspire you?



  1. Amber

    I LOVE the Otherland series! Enough that I am tempted to scour the used book stores (or more accurately, and buy them again to reread them.

    • Daezarkian

      “Memory, Thorn and Sorrow”, his fantasy trilogy (in 4 parts), was also incredible!



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