Yesterday was Book Lovers Day, and we couldn’t miss this chance to celebrate all the bibliophiles out there. We know that writers are also passionate readers, so we asked several Book Country members to tell us about one book that has inspired their writing. Their answers not only reflect the diversity we have here on the site but also make up a great list of reading suggestions for you to sample. Enjoy!
DJ Lutz: Time to Write
Kelly L. Stone’s Time to Write offers a retort to many of the most common excuses used by novice writers to justify procrastination. The easy-to-read text speaks to me as a writer with potential, not as a poor student (which I was) or worse yet, a slacker (how I often see myself). The short chapters each identify a common problem, offer a solution or two, and then present a few real-world examples of successful writers who have overcome the obstacle. It is a quick read, yet full of numerous a-ha moments that can resonate with writers of all ability levels. Featuring more than a hundred writers, the book’s mantra states—if these writers can find the time to write, so can you. And I have!
Lynn Montagano: The Stand
I read The Stand for the first time when I was in high school and it completely captivated me. The depth of the characters, the setting, the massive storyline. All of it made me want to write something completely character driven. For me, an author’s job is to transport a reader and make them feel like they’re right there in the middle of the story. Stephen King does a great job with that.
Noelle Pierce: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover
Sarah MacLean’s book is my current go-to when I think about aspirational writing (meaning I wish I wrote like that!), for both amazing characterization and sexual tension. Pippa, the heroine, is scientific and “odd.” Everything she does screams the fact that she’s a scientist, and if she doesn’t know something, she researches it. From her speech patterns to her behavior, Pippa has one of the strongest characterizations I’ve ever read in a romance. If I can reach even a portion of that in my own writing, I’d be proud. Additionally, the sexual tension is palpable in this book, and grows from the first chapter to over page 200, without the characters even touching.
Renee Gravelle: Leaves of Grass
In Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman defied the poetic expectations of his time to write about everyday Americans in an authentic verbal style—described as “free verse” in 20th-century English curricula. He was a Romantic Era writer in keeping with his times, which were still able to accept the essential integration of an individual’s body, mind, and spirit, as well as the connection of the integrated individual to the natural world. His poems are a celebration of American vigor and vitality. Because Leaves dared to present a revolutionary poetic style while laying out what it means to be an American, it is my essential, defining book.
Amanda Kimberley: Stripped
I started Jasinda Wilder’s Stripped at probably the most vulnerable time in my life—I was in the outpatient waiting room for a dilation and curettage. I could relate to the book’s character, Grey, because she was a lot like me at the time, stripped of emotion. While reading the book, I felt I became Grey by opening my heart to life and to writing the kinds of things that I like—which is romance, of course!
Timothy P. Niedermann: Emma
This Jane Austen novel showed me what fiction can do. There is no third-person overview. The reader is caught in the mind of Emma as she matures from a superficial, flippant girl to an insightful, more modest adult. Brilliant!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these writers’ picks. What are the books that have inspired your writing?