What I read:
While you wait for my first story in the Man on a Wharf series (I promise I’ve started), I thought I’d let you know a bit about what I like to read and my literary influences.
I read quite widely for both entertainment (mainly) and literary fulfilment (occasionally). Some of my reading choices are quite embarrassing and others I am very proud of and would recommend them to others.
I also really enjoy listening to audio books and reading aloud as the beautiful nature of spoken language really becomes evident. I commute for at least two hours per day, so have plenty of time to read and listen to books.
Here are some of my favourite authors. As an Australian, I particularly recommend getting a hold of some of my Australian suggestions (Markus Zusak, Arthur Upfield, Shane Maloney, etc.).
I hope you enjoy reading books by these authors as much as I have.
Highly Recommended Influences:
- James Lee Burke – He is one of the most poetic prose writers on the planet today. He kills the first person narrative style with his subtlety and haunted characters.
- David Morrell – He is the master of the thriller. He weaves amazing plots; however it is his well rounded and developed characters that makes him stand out from the crowd.
- Arthur Upfield – He brought the Australian outback to the world through the mystery pulp novel. He captures time and place expertly.
- Raymond Chandler – One of the most witty writers of his era. His first person narrative jumps off the page from the first line.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald – Gatsby is a novel I can read over and over and still gain something new. Restrained and poetic writing.
- Markus Zusak – The Book Thief is my favourite book in the world… Ever! Unique techniques, captivating characters, poetic language… It has it all.
- Shane Maloney – His novels are simultaneously hilariously funny, great satire of the Australian political environment and very well written murder mysteries.
- Lee Child – This man finds a new and mind-blowing premise for every book. A prolific and successful writer, his main character hangs around in your mind long after you’ve finished the novel.
- Roald Dahl – Deliciously subversive children’s stories that were a staple of my literary upbringing. I love exploring his unique perspective with my school students.
- John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men is one of the most brilliantly crafted pieces of literature. He exercises restraint whilst using many techniques. I love teaching this book to my students.
- Clive Cussler – He spins a good yarn. I particularly like the Isaac Bell stories. The historical and transportation oriented plots of these novels tickle my fancy. Plots are Cussler’s strong point.
- Dan Brown – Causer of much controversy, he can also spin a good yarn. I like the use of conspiracy theory to capture people’s imaginations.
- Matthew Reilly – I admire how he is able to write a book of solid entertainment. Many people come to reading through Matthew Reilly. No literary value, but a very important writer none the less. He’s also Australian.
- Ian Fleming – Who doesn’t like a bit of sexist, misogynistic but action packed bondiness, eh?
PS – A ‘yarn’ is a term to describe a long and rambling (and often implausible) story. In Australia, it is usually a complimentary term. We use this word a bit in Australia, but I’m not sure how widely it is used everywhere else.