All kinds, but my first love will always be mystery. I can't write in a vacuum and I used to worry that my writing style would change each time I read something different but as long as I re-read a couple of pages I can back to my style without too much trouble.
Oh, anything, really. I find it's good to read a wide range of different things. I really like Michael Crichton and Stephen King. I also draw a great deal of inspiration from video games (yes, it's true). Console Role-Playing games, or "RPGs" are akin to visual, interactive novels. They tell some wonderful stories, and the writing quality has seen great amounts of improvement over the years.
Everything except horror and violent media.
Even then, I sometimes want to hide from my creativity. Because it has become apparent that I can create almost anything, given the time, energy and volition!
This year, I have been inspired by poetry, creative nonfiction (especially dealing with spiritual and ecological issues), and some memoir. My friend's dissertation has also inspired my writing; his topic centers on love and sexuality in Turkish poetry.
I have been reading books about religious and spiritual practices during the holiday season.
Sometimes, lyrics, sometimes novels, sometimes behind the scenes featurettes on the making of a movie gets me going because it's creative people talking about the process. Sometimes I'll just pick a random page from Burroughs' 'The Soft Machine' and just soak up the language. Sometimes I'll re-read a comic book by Alan Moore or Garth Ennis, other times a novel by Vonnegut. Sometimes I'll read a Sears catalogue and the truth of the universe will spill open to me like a fluttering jellyfish.
First and foremost, reading the Bible inspires me to write.
Beautiful writing. Reading Sarah Plain and Tall made me weep at the perfection of each word and image. Michael Ondaatje can create characters and a story that gets you before you even get to the second chapter. His honesty to his characters and human nature stuns me. How can he know everything soo well? Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain laid me flat. I was irrevocably changed after reading that book and in the bleakest days, I think of Aida repeating over and over again, Is there nothing we can't get over? And I believe her--that there ISN'T. Aida is real in my mind. The story is real. That's writing.
I also love humor intermingled in the mess of human emotions. Life, no matter how horrid, is sprinkled or sometimes drowned by laughter. After a late miscarriage, I fell into this dark place where I thought I'd never emerge from, but my children and friends had other ideas. No matter how hard I fought it, I would find myself killing myself at the antics of my kids and the stupid madness' of my friends daily actions. That laughter called me back to life. Fanny Flagg does this brilliantly. I cry and laugh and laugh and cry through her whole books. When I read personal essays or blog entries where they take the bitter bite of laugh and cover it in rich chocolate it's so much easier to enjoy.
Most of my writing influences come from reading religion, philosophy, sociology, and politics.
I tend to read a lot in the genre I want to write in, like a kind of personal research of the genre. Currently, that is the supernatural horror genre.
all types of books
I try to read all kinds of books. I read romance novels, suspence novels, drama, science ficition, poetry, fantasy, inspirational, business, spiritual, etc...you name it I try to read it.
Inspirational books and romantic comedy books as well as mangas and movies of the genre I like.
Again, it would be assignment based. I find the poetry of John Berryman and other poets of his ilk to be especially inspirational.
Reading my mind. Literally.
I'm mostly inspired by writing that elicits images without the reader even noticing it happens. A perfect example of this would be what J.K. Rowling does in "Harry Potter." The language she uses is by no means dumb, but it is simple and pointed, but also beautiful. I would love to have her talent and imagination as a writer. Sue Monk Kidd is also good at creating visuals and images through a flowery but not flamboyant voice.