The type of reading that inspires me is varied. I like a good book that has a point, a raison d'etre that makes you think, sucks you into it and makes the conflicts and issues your own. Books from 19th century Russian, French, and German literature are among my favorites, being from a time of upheaval, industrialization, and political change. The books challenge perceptions, and require the reader to find their own conclusions. Non-fiction, written by keen observers and with biting cometary do this as well. Polemics and diatribes do not. Better to state the case and let the reasoned mind find its own path. A good read of this sort makes me want to do the same, not to tell the details of my experiences, but the lessons I have learned.
Fiction, and interesting, colorful nonfiction.
Great stuff. I like literature. My favorites are the Russian novelists -- Tolstoy, Turgenev, along with Flaubert and Mark Twain. I just read "A Tale of Two Cities." If that wonderful rhetoric does not inspire a person to write, find some other noble purpose in life.
I love all types of genre. I enjoyed reading at an early age. As I got older, and started traveling, I found the love for mystery's, historical romances and then black authors and of course erotica.
Life inspires me to write. Speaking with people hearing what they have been through, holding conversations with friends and co-workers. Everyone has a story to tell.
The type where a hero faces external and internal conflict and resolves them to reach a happy ending - or who sacrifices his own happy ending for someone elses.
I get inspiration from many different sources, some of the best other than the Bible which sets the standard are books written by psychiatrists and psychologist; R.D. Laing's, The Politics of Experience, Dr. Eric Berne's, Games People Play: The Basic Handbook of Transactional Analysis.
Thomas Szasz', Ceremonial Chemistry, Joseph Campbell, C.G. Jung, Dennis Greenberger, PhD, & Christine A. Padesky, PhD, in Mind Over Mood, Konrad Lorenz, On Aggression all give insight into the workings of man's mind and The Bible tames them and deals with the soul and Spirit in man.
The central theme of order out of chaos and good versus evil and man over machine are all themes I admire.
I love a good story that has an ever-changing plot and fascinating characters that I can relate to. When an author can draw me in so that I forget the outside world, I'm hooked and the book consumes me.
Memoir and literary fiction written by independent women inspires my writing. I also really like Kazuo Ishiguro and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for their mysticism and magical realism, something you don't find much these days in American fiction. I have a secret love of science fiction and will take a weekend off of work and serious writing to curl up with a good sci-fi book. I love Philip K. Dick.
Any writing that gets into your head, permeates your soul, swirls around you like an aura inspires me.
When I need inspiration, like a painter I return to the old masters. I read Raymond Chandler to be reminded what prose should sound like. I read Ross MacDonald and challenge myself to plot a mystery that tight. I read John D. McDonald to be reminded of how to keep a story socially conscious. And of course I reread Elmore Leonard to see what great characters are.
A really good mystery, articles in the newspaper.
That's a tough one to answer; I read so much of everything, always have. But I suppose one of the biggest inspirations is the giants of twentieth century literature: Ernest Hemingway (nobody can touch him still for gut wrenching stories), Steinbeck, Norman Mailer, Gore Vidal, Ernest K. Gann, Ray Bradbury and of course the late Hunter S. Thompson.
I love to read books about writing. They are very inspiring to the creative process. Other things that I have found helpful is reading Writers Digest. It is a great magazine for news on the markets, help on writing as well as success stories (which are my favorite). I must say that everything I read, the book that most inspires me to write, is Stephen King's book, On Writing. I must have read it five or six different times. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about writing.
Anything Horror. I love King and Little. Alos historical fiction.
I read other science fiction authors, and I wanted to write for years. Finally, I psyched myself into believing that I could write a novel, and I did it.
I read a lot of science stories, in print and on line. I watch a lot of tv programs that cover discovery, technology, and history. I will hear a bit of news about something and begin wondering what it means and what the next step might be. Then a germ of a story starts growing.