We’ve all heard people talk about the benefits of reading. Your teachers in school probably constantly told you to read more in order to become smarter and a more well-rounded individual. What a lot of people do not realize is that reading regularly can also make you a much better writer. As a writer, the more you read, the more you’ll feel inspired in your own writing. Reading enhances your grammatical abilities, as well as shows you the best ways to get your point across. You’ll be exposed to all kinds of writing: good, bad, and transcendent. Here are some great books to help inspire you in your writing.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Though short, this novel is incredibly chilling and offers great insight into a period of history that is not often discussed. Conrad relates experiences he had in the Congo, only fictionalizing them slightly, and gives readers an idea of the horrors of imperialism in Africa. This novel is a fantastic example of how to use very few words to convey a powerful image and message.
Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Though The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald’s novel that gets all the attention, Tender is the Night is truly his great masterpiece and the last novel he completed during his lifetime. He weaves a tale of love, betrayal, and struggle that reflects his own relationship with his wife, Zelda. The original design of the novel uses flashbacks to tell the tale, showing a unique style of storytelling.
Hemingway is the master of the short sentence. While lyrical writing can be beautiful, sometimes short and sweet is the best way to go. Hemingway’s novels about Americans living in Europe during World War I are engaging reads. For another inspiring read, check out his autobiography, A Moveable Feast. It’s a beautiful work about a writer’s life and struggles with his work.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
One of the most harrowing psychological thrillers in recent memory, this novel shows you how to mess with people’s minds in a way they’ll thoroughly enjoy. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and you’ll never see the end coming (unless you already know what happens). Get ready to not put it down!
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
What Rowling lacks in skilled writing style, she compensates for with her storytelling. Reading the Harry Potter series will give you a valuable understanding of how to write a truly engaging story and utilize your imagination. It’s an easy read and a great example of a quality YA novel.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Another classic from the 20th century, this novel looks deep into the nature of evil and human tendency toward it. Made more terrifying by the fact that the violence is perpetrated by children, it’ll stay in your mind long afterwards and help you with writing about heavy topics, like evil, while also writing a complex story.