“Authors aren’t born great, but they are born with a desire to be great.”
Authors from Stephen King to Ian McEwan all agree that reading and wide reading makes authors better writers. If the style of Charles Dickens is out of fashion then what should we read? Do we only look at the Booker Prize shortlist or New York Times Best Sellers?
Personally I don’t like NYT Bestsellers as I think it is more to do with marketing than craft. Much as I would like to write the next Midnight’s Children, I don’t think I’m going to get there any time soon. So what should we read? Something which moves us forward, although all reading is beneficial there are some books which are outstanding examples of first person narrative, non-linear structure and group dynamics.
The pages that follow detail the modern books I have found useful and why. It is a work in progress, but hopefully it will give some people some new ideas.