That's a good question. I like stuff that is deep and epic. I think Cider House Rules by John Irving sort of led to Living with the Gray Tones. I liked that it was convoluted and tried to incorporate that into my book. Any good mystery that keeps me guessing. If I can figure out who done it before I get to the end, I lose interest.
Anything that takes you far with as few words as possible. I find economy very stimulating.
Pretty much anything, I love to write so any type of reading makes me in the mood to write. It all depends on if I can put the book down long enough to write or not.
Anything and everything! I read novels, of course, and news, sports (I am a baseball nut) ... lots of mythology, of course, and science.
My inspiration comes from many sources, but I find that gazing at a map is the most productive for me. When I look at a map, my mind begins to think of what places might look like. I ponder what kind of people must live in such places, and what horrors they might hide. I think about people traveling from one place to another and what troubles could beset them before they reach their destination. For some reason, maps bring my imagination alive, but they are hardly my only source of inspiration.
Sometimes I see a person in public whose mannerisms suggest a new character. Other times a news article might touch off the thought of a subplot. A new idea might come in a dream, or be delivered by the postal service in a piece of junk mail. Ideas can come from anywhere. I just have to be receptive and ready to utilize them when they arise.
I enjoy reading history, culture, art, and the sea. I also read a great deal of tanka poetry. I am always reading things relevant to the writing and sailing that I do. I like to know more about a culture and the people: how they live, what their boats and houses are like, and so forth. I like to know about the wild creatures, especially the water birds: herons, ospreys, fishhawks, seagulls, shearwaters, and so forth.
anything can inspire me. Mostly it's music not books.
Any sort of writing that makes me feel smarter after I've read it. Malcolm Gladwell is a great example of this. So is Oliver Sachs, Julian Baggini, Marcus Chown, Jon Ronson ... these people make me want to know more. They make me want to write.
Impassioned, well written prose; the final pages of Che Guevara's Motorcycle Diaries has been the best argument for a socialist revolution I've ever read and completely turned me on to left-wing politics aged 16.
Anything that has strong writing, the kind that you get so deep into you forget you're reading something written at all. It just seems to be taking on a life of it's own. I also really like reading something that doesn't forget life is funny, crazy and should never be taken so seriously that we smother ourselves with the weight of it all. Great ideas and new things inspire me to write, I write every day.
Pretty much anything. Anything that takes itself too seriously. There's always an element of the absurd, even in the most serious moving pieces of literature.
Classic novels and poets, the Bible, especially when it's preached well.
The type of readong that inspires me to write has to be provoking. Something that will have my mind wondering even after I close the book. Inspiration to me comes from the way that thw words are used and what I see in my mind as I read. I want to envision color when I read, passion, and something that I can hear music in my mind. I want to feel words.
Writing that engages me regardless of whether it's fiction or non-fiction.
Writing that doesn't use too much jargon and doesn't treat me like an idiot. Writing that doesn't trigger my internal editor :O) -it's hard to read when that happens.
Writing that is passionate and true to the subject.
My favorite novels are about vampires, werewolves and anything out of the ordinary. Mix that with a little bit of historical reference and that for me is inspiration. I think maybe because it's something I would like to experience, but it isn't real so that will never happen. That's what makes it exciting.