Beach reads offer inspiration for writers
You may be a writer but you’re a reader first and books lay claim to you. Whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, a hike to the mountains, or a runaway road trip from home, these books will not only engage and entertain you but also push, shove, and nudge your inner writer. Read for enjoyment but also read to discover.
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Peter Susskind (translated by John Wood) – Susskind’s book should be on every writer’s bookshelf and be read by every writer. He built the entire architecture of a novel on a single sense. How he took scent and turned it into a crime novel is stunning.
- Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman – This is so worth reading for the opening alone. I love reading Hoffman for many reasons but the way she digs deep into herself and pulls out unique and original metaphors and imagery makes for a much more pleasurable read. When I read Turtle Moon, I know no one else will even come close to writing it the way she did. Great mystery, great atmosphere, great writing.
- The Virgin of Small Plains: A Novel by Nancy Pickard – Nancy Pickard outdid herself in this one. Wait till you see what she does with a tornado. No mere plot prop for her. Reading The Virgin of the Small Plains proved to be an entertaining writing lesson, too.
- Promise Me (Myron Bolitar) by Harlan Coben – If you want to see how one writer massages a tiny off-the-cuff bit of dialogue and molds it into a whopping crime novel, read this book.
- The Empty Chair (Lincoln Rhyme Novels) by Jeffrey Deaver – There’s a lot to learn from Jeffrey Deaver in any book he writes; however, this one lives on in my memory and continues to instruct. The way Deaver carefully crafts one of the characters and then uses those characteristics to spin major plot details is well worth studying. This book provided me with a major Aha!
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – Any of Bradbury’s books are pure entertainment and full of instruction for writers even if you only marvel at the use of language. Fahrenheit 451 is a good novel any year and, perhaps, even better this summer. Give a nod and some time to this delightful man and entertaining writer who inspired so many readers and writers.
- Truth: A Novel by Peter Temple – This crime novel took center stage when it won Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin award. South African writer Peter Temple relied on as many conventions as he defied.
- The Tenderness of Wolves: A Novel by Stef Penny – The writer’s debut novel won the 2006 Costa Book of the Year and and two years later won Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year award. It’s always good for a writer to explore new works that are capturing attention.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – Imagine writing about someone who is a mathematical genius but who has no grasp of human emotions. That alone is worth a read by any writer but throw in the aspect of a novel within a novel and you’ve got a hit.
- New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers and Their Families by Colin Toibin – This essay collection will no doubt speak to many writers and may spark a new novel…much to the dismay of your family.
Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week a different topic is posted for the participants to create their own list.
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