The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Poisonwood is easily my favorite novel by Kingsolver. I love the way she switches POV in each chapter between the sibling and the mother and father (preacher.) The hubris of the father uprooting his family to the Congo to convert the natives is dealt with honestly by the author.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I think I was 14 when I first came across the book in the library. The back cover read: “what happens when the most beautiful girl in the world meets the handsomest prince in the world and he turns out to be a son of a bitch?” SO of course, I had to read it. It is this story and so much more. “Hello, My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
Poland by James Michner
I was 12 and it took me a solid month to read this book, a chapter at a time. It was easily the hardest book I had ever read at that point in my life. Michner always shared what was fact and what was storytelling and it was the introduction that first captured my attention. He said some of the names of people he wanted to thank for interviews had to be omitted so that their lives would not be endangered. Wow. People lives could be endangered by words. That made no sense in my white-bread world.
Drunk and in Charge of a Bicycle by Ray Bradbury
Insight into the mind of one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
As I write this post, it occurs to me that these books and authors, each in their way have inspired and defined my own writing. When someone new finds out I write for a living one of their first questions is “Have your read…?” Inevitably it is a work of non-fiction (maybe a bio) and I must say, “No. When I crack a book open or my Kindle I read for pleasure.”
Style + research + whole characters = excellent way to spend a weekend reading.
The STEN Series by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch
Adventure and friendship set in the far future of the Eternal Emperor. A military SF romp through the galaxy and beyond. And along the way you get to meet the Bohr and the Manabi and Marl and Senn. Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, Donner make this a movie please‼
Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Shifting shadow until I get to Amber.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Rich, luxurious language. Ahhhh. Romance. Interwoven plot lines. Perfection.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Memorable characters on a future dystopian Earth struggling to survive. It is about the human need to trust even when past experience tells you the helping hand might slap you instead.
Hammerhead by Jason Andrew Bond
SF combat, aliens and government conspiracy. Fun!
Desire to Inspire, Using Creative Passion to Transform the World by Christine Mason Miller.