Stephen King. Robert B. Parker. Elmore Leonard. S.M. Stirling. Rick Bragg. Jim Butcher. These guys know how to tell a good story.
Marian Keyes, Jodi Picoult.
I loved Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" and "The Island" as well as "1984" by Orwell. I feel they were ahead of their time.
I read anything really - I like to be inspired.
Oscar Wilde, Somerset Maugham, Ray Bradbury
Stephen King because obviously he's the most known and richest writer.
And also those people who write self-help books that use titles like "x number of Steps to do y". They have literally found the most easy, effortless and talentless way to make people give them money.
Eric Van Lustbader, James Patterson, Ayu Utami, Dee Lestari
They are so many. Mostly I admire classic writers with a touch of romantic writing style.
I love the snark that you find in all of Molly Harper's novels. I don't think that I could ever just sit down and write with that much sarcasm. That truly takes talent!
I also love Richelle Mead and her series, Vampire Academy.
Julia Child and Marcella Hazan: The best cookbook writer's of all time. Peter Mayle for his insight into the dog's psyche in A Dog's Life.
Virginia Wolfe, Truman Capote, William Faulkner, John Irving, Larry McMurtry, Barbara Kingsolver, Jonathan Kellerman
Ooooh.... James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Raymond Chandler, Ken Kesey, Victor Hugo, Alice Walker, and H.G. Wells come to mind first.
Gillian Flynn, for writing Sharp Objects, a near-perfect book, and one that I recommend to everyone. Alexandre Dumas, for The Count of Monte Cristo. Dan Brown, because he made a fortune off a book that my wife couldn't even finish! Seriously, I admire any writer who makes a lot of money off a book, especially one I didn't like, because I can't figure out how they do it!
Shakespeare (really!); Tolstoy; Clavell; Dickens; Joseph Conrad; Franz Kafka; Solzhenitsyn; Stephen King; Michael Chrichton; Isaac Asimov; Phillip K. Dick; Norman Mailer; Phillip Roth; Saul Bellow; Hemmingway; Steinbeck; Orwell; Pearl Buck; F. Scott Fitzgerald, Twain; T.S. Elliott; Truman Capote; J.R.R. Tolkien; T. H. White.
My favorite fiction writers are Anne Tyler, Cormac McCarthy, Colum McCann, Ian McEwan, Dave Eggers and the classical greats, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Nobokov and Dickens....to name a few.