Generally, the more difficult, the more what is called, quirky. I like Spinoza's definition of quality in any sphere..."all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.". What is common these days is for agents and publishers to disregard anything that is in the least taxing. Good writing is likened to skiing down a nursey slope. Gentle on the mind.
Consequently my favourite works of literature are like my favourite works of philosophy. I love Joyce. Ulysses is the most rewarding work to read. Irish literature in general tends to offer up the sort of style that simply overwhelms me. Flann O'Brien comes immediately mind. The Third Policeman is remarkable.
I recently read Allain Robbe-Grillet's The Voyeur and found myself slowing down my reading in order not to finish it.
I think the less about what is called "story" the better.
none. As I explained in the last answer, whatever inspires me, and I honestly do not know where my ideas come from, they certainly have no source in other peoples writings. My work has frquently been described as idiosyncratic and that is as close as it gets.
I read files, documents, historic news articles and emails from people who's experiences have been ignored by others and they inspire me to write so they know someone is listening. Survivors of abuse are an inspiration and their stories of surviving the most tragic experiences are something that everyone can learn from and be inspired by. They are the key to positive change.
What inspires me is writing that is challenging on both a thematic and formal level. I don't want to read something that comfortably reminds me of things I know already, I want to be astonished and estranged. I want to put down a book and feel like it has helped me to think for myself, to question established views and values. I hope that my writing does the same for other people.
All good writing. I'm an insatiable consumer of newspapers, magazines and the books - particularly biographies and non-fiction books about modern history and crime. The one thing I don't read when I'm working on a novel is thrillers, for fear that I might inadvertently be 'infected' by what I read. I save my favourite authors up until I'm done, and then take a long vacation and catch up on what I've missed.
I'm not sure. It's usually music that inspires me to write.
The bible inspires me to write in words that everybody can understand.
I like action type books that help me understand what people like.
I do not like to read! I do read for classes and such, but I do not pick up a novel and start reading from cover to cover. I might come across a book and read its back cover, but unless there is some compelling sleeve, I will more than likely put it back down where I found it. I do enjoy history though, and it is one of my fields of expertise.
Factual history and newspaper items and reports
Just about anything i read inspires me in some way but I have to say that music is my biggest inspiration
I touched on this a bit in my first answer. Anything by King or Koontz inspires me to write. Some other novels that really inspired me were Beardless Warriors by Richard Matheson and The Legend of Baggar Vance by Steven Pressfield.
there have been many
I read almost anything - anything but sex and shopping. I write what I like to read, and that includes literary fiction, F, SF, murder, children's books...
K.C.Constantine, a murder mystery writer whose work is set in the rust belt of Pennsylvania, writes like an absolute angel: his command of demotic language is incredible. I can hear the words in my head when I read him. He's a better sociologist than most sociologists, better literary writer than most literary writers. He's a good reason for looking on genres as a cataloguing device rather than anything about a book.
Literary writing inspires me to improve my writing skills, but plot and great stories are the background of any successful endeavor. I love stories with an original plot, strong characters, but most of all INTENSITY is a must. This is almost always achieved through showing emotions, especially in the interaction of characters through their relationships. If done right, this can solicit awe in the reader. I will read anything showing this: literary, fantasy, horror, romance, etc.