I love to read almost as much as I love to write. My favorite book changes from day to day, but these books will always be dear to my heart.
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang—Ted Chiang influenced my writing more than any other author. His slipstream short stories are entertaining and profound and stand up to multiple re-readings. I had the honor of meeting Mr. Chiang at a convention in Detroit. He is soft-spoken and deliberate with his words, and every bit as smart and nice as you’d think. I’m so glad I got a chance to tell him how much his stories mean to me.
Wool by Hugh Howey—Hugh Howey isn’t just an indie author rock star, he’s also a great writer. Wool is the book that made me talk out loud to my e-reader. “Whoa! I can’t believe it! Did that really happen?” Plot twists for the win.
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis—I don’t even like time travel stories! But this one got me. It got me right in the feels.
The Martian by Andy Weir—Mark Watney just wants to get home. But home is Earth, and he’s alone on Mars. I love so many things about this book, but my favorite thing was the way the stranded astronaut channeled his inner MacGyver to make his unfortunate home habitable. This book made me feel profoundly lonely and fully connected to my fellow humans all at once.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell—Another huge inspiration. The structure of The Sparrow is genius, with the best use of flashbacks I’ve ever seen. I love every character in this book. I want to live next door to them and go to all their dinner parties.
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore—This one’s just for fun. A zombie/humor mashup that takes place in a small town at Christmas. I re-read this book every December and it’s hilarious every year.
I hope you’re reading something equally awesome today.