I’ve included Stephen King for his overall body of work. Some of his books I have loved, been awed by and inspired by. Others I have not been able to get through. It’s not that some books are bad and others good, but Stephen King is one of those lucky authors who can dabble in anything, and some of those things I just don’t tend to enjoy as much.
He has written some of my favourite short novels/novellas including ‘The Long Walk’, ‘The Running Man’ and ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.’ I think it is no mistake that so many of Stephen King’s stories become movies, the man knows how to put a story together. He’s also got some really nice prose, but I’m usually so caught up in what is happening that I don’t stop to mull it over.
One of his books that has guaranteed its place in my library is ‘On Writing’ –it has been the best writing book I’ve ever read and I try to re-read it at least once a year, usually in January just as my New Year’s resolutions are starting to fail. Yes, I have just finished reading it again last week. It always gets me writing and that alone will leave me forever in Mr King’s debt.
For any of you who have dismissed Stephen King as a trashy horror writer, I really encourage you to try his work, and if you don’t like horror he has written a heap of non-horror stories. You may find it under Richard Bachman, but you really won’t have to try hard to uncover something without gore. I highly recommend you give it a go because you’ll find yourself transported to another world. He really is that good.
It should be no surprise to find Eoin’s name here. I’ve publically declared I’ve hugged two of his books after reading them (there is now a third to add to that list). Eoin makes my list for his total body of work. I have read both his adult and young adult books and I love them all.
I think a big part of what I like about these books is that the sense of humour meshes so well with my own. There have been several occasions where I have laughed out loud on the bus, and I’m normally quite a reserved reader. I know this is a very personal thing, but hey, this is my top 10 so it gets a place.
The other thing I like about these books is the characters. They are not only humorous, but they are flawed (something else I can relate to) but deep down they are good. I like reading about good people, even if they do bad things by accident or omission. It is so much nicer to climb into the head of a good person than a bad one. Less muck sticks as well.
Eoin’s books are definitely the novels I turn to when I need to feel inspired to write again. When I read them, it makes me want to be a writer. I can imagine my characters hanging out with his and having a really good time. I actually love these books so much that I’ve set a limit on them, so that I don’t use up all their magic too quickly.
If you want to try them for yourself, and you don’t want to commit to his series (though you’d be doing yourself a favour if you did) then try ‘Half Moon Investigations’ – it is stand alone, but is very representative of Eoin’s style.
Over recent months I’ve learned that one of the best things to inspire me to get back to writing is reading a good book. As such, I’ve actually got some emergency authors I turn to when I’m feeling particularly sluggish. So this year I’m going to give you my top ten authors who entertain and inspire me.
For some of them, they have booked a place in the top ten with just one book. When someone has written something that makes you want to hold onto that book forever, no matter what your reaction to the rest of their novels, I think they are worthy of getting into your top ten. Others have just consistently delivered books I love to read, that I can’t wait to get back to, with characters that I think about long after I’ve put the book down. And some authors have managed to do both.
I’m going to deliver them in a bit of a random order, I struggled to whittle down to a top ten, let alone put those that are in there into any kind of order. Also there is no denying that mood plays a big part in how much you love a book, so what is number 1 today may be number 7 tomorrow after a big day at work.
So, for the next ten months at least, my last post of the month is going to be my top ten; the authors I turn to when I want inspiration. I would love to hear your top ten, because I know there are many great authors out there I have not yet discovered. Tune in next week for my first top ten post.