Top 10 Famous Authors on Books that Inspired & Shaped Them

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Writing skills are very important for everyone - but, unfortunately, not all people are born good writers who can write exciting fiction or non-fiction books or compelling scholarly articles. Many college students struggle with their writing, and often look for essays or research papers for sale online when they lack skills to complete them on their own. 

How do people become writers? For many successful authors, the answer is obvious. It was reading that made your favorite writers want to write. Some writers say that they have loved reading since early childhood, and have been reading all kinds of books, spending practically all their time in the libraries. But there are writers who can definitely point to the specific book that made them into writers.

Here are favorite reads of 10 famous writers who recommended them in their interviews or essays. Maybe one of these books can inspire you to become a writer, too.

Top 10 Famous Authors on Books that Inspired & Shaped Them

1. Ernest Hemingway called books loyal friends and in a 1935 piece for Esquire magazine, he made a list of 17 favorite books. He mentioned Wuthering Heights, Dubliners, La Chartreuse de Parme, La Reine Margot, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Brothers Karamazov, Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Madame Bovary, and others.

2. Ray Bradbury discussed his favorite books during an interview in 2003. He mentioned books by Loren Eisley, collected essays of George Bernard Shaw, and Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. But the most important books for him were John Carter: Warlord of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Bradbury read them when he was 10 and started writing himself.

3. George R.R. Martin said he admired The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. He also recommended Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven

4. David Foster Wallace admitted that he wanted to become a writer when he read Donald Barthelme’s The Balloon. Among other books that had a great impact on his personality were Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Socrates’s funeral oration, The Great Gatsby, and Moby-Dick.

5. Vladimir Nabokov named several books that he considered great literature: In Search of Lost Time by Proust, Andrei Bely's Petersburg, Kafka's The Metamorphosis, and Ulysses by James Joyce.

6. Neil Gaiman said that C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia made him want to be a writer. He was impressed by C.S. Lewis’ style which he tried to follow in compositions written in his childhood.

7. J.K. Rowling was inspired by Jane Austen's Emma. When she was a child, J.K. Rowling liked E. Nesbit’s The Story of the Treasure Seekers.

8. Henry Miller wrote a special book about the role that books played in his life and added an appendix a list of 100 books that made a great influence on him. Among them, he mentioned: Leaves of Grass, Les Miserables, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Wuthering Heights.

9. Joyce Carol Oates named Dostoyevsky as her favorite author and mentioned his Crime and Punishment as a book that had an enormous effect on her. Speaking about James Joyce's Ulysses, she said that every page in it is wonderful. 

10. Jane Austen was fond of reading poetry and plays and her favorite book was Sir Charles Grandison by Samuel Richardson. She liked Ann Radcliff’s The Mysteries of Udolpho, and The Corsair by Lord Byron.


What books have inspired your writing?