I've been reading through a fun blog chain lately and their topic was books that had inspired them whether as authors or in their personal lives. This is a topic that automatically draws in anyone who loves to read and I couldn't help just throwing in my two cents or, in this case, my stack of books.
I'd always loved to read, but in third grade, I discovered my first fantasy series. It was The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander and I haven't stopped reading Fantasy since. A few of my favorite authors in this genre include Steven Lawhead, Terry Brooks, Anne McCaffrey, R.A. Salvatore, Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis, Mercedes Lackey, Robert Jordan and more recently Jim Butcher, Brandon Mull, Obert Skye, J.K. Rowling and my favorite by far Tamora Pierce. I'm sure there are many more I'm missing, but here's the short list. They have all influenced my desire to write fantasy novels as well.
In high school, I discovered two things about myself. I loved classics and I loved history. This led to a love for all books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Hardy, Doyle, Carroll, Tolkein, Faulkner, Orwell, Steinbeck, Twain, Shakespeare, Hugo, Gaston Leroux etc. I haven't listed specific books because, frankly, these people wrote too many! Some of my very favorites include Pride and Prejudice (and every other book she wrote), The Phantom of the Opera, Tess of the D'Ubervilles, Heart of Darkness, Jane Eyre, 1984, and Wuthering Heights.
Those were just the classics! I also fell in love with historical fiction. My first taste came from Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt(and all her many other pen names!) and Michael Shaara's Killer Angels was next, but I must admit I also devoured the non-fictional (okay, maybe partially fictional... haha!)text books of my history classes. If you enjoy historical fiction and have other authors to suggest, please do! I have been pretty single minded in the fantsy genre for a long time and I would love some recommendations in this category! Lately, I've read, New Deal or Raw Deal by Burton Folsom Jr, Meltdown by Thomas E Woods Jr and A Slobbering Love Affair by Bernard Goldberg, all very good!
Along the years, I stumbled across C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters and had to read everything he wrote as well.
I read a book by Cynthia Voigt when I was in Jr high called Jackaroo and it is still one of my most favorite books. I haven't read anything else by her. I probably should!
Finally, I LOVE Mary Higgins Clark! She and Tamora Pierce are the only authors where I find myself rushing to the bookstore as soon as they have a new one out. I love them! I do enjoy Carol Higgins Clarks books as well.
Other favorites include Timothy Zahn, Orson Scott Card, L.E. Modesitt Jr (His wife was my vocal teacher in college. I wonder what he'd say about my trying to become an author...), John Grisham, Neal A. Maxwell, Bruce R. McConkie, Gordon B. Hinkley etc.
I'm sure I've missed a lot! This was harder than I thought it would be!