25 Books Every Author Should Read

By Turgay Birand

Stephen King famously said:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Reading on a daily basis allows writers to learn new styles, words and find inspiration from some of the greatest writers of all time. If you aren’t finding time on a daily basis to read even a few pages, your writing will almost certainly suffer.

Now there are a lot of books for you to choose from, many of which will help you become a better writer, but there are a select few that truly stand out. These are the books every author should read sometime in their life.

In this post we have listed 25 books that we feel every author should read. Over time we hope to grow this list, so please comment below any books you feel should be added to this list.

1. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe  

Written in 1841, Poe’s masterpiece is recognized as the first detective story. Years later, Dorothy Sayers would describe it as “almost a complete manual of detective theory and practice.”

If you write fiction, this book is a must read. You will learn how to captivate your readers with a story they can’t put down. Poe is still regarded as one of the world’s best authors and for good reason. It would be impossible for us to make a “must read list” that didn’t include at least one of his books.

2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

3. Runaway by Alice Munro

4. A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams

5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

It is hard to believe that any writer hasn’t read this book. Written in 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird has lost very little popularity over the years. Harper Lee grew up in a small town similar to the one portrayed in this book and it is believed that her personal experience greatly influenced the writing of her Pulitzer Prize winning book.

6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

7. Perfect Your Poetry by Maya Angelou

8. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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