- The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King–Sherlock Holmes may not be the same detective as the one in Conan Doyle’s stories, but King explains why. She knows her Holmes. That allows me to forgive a lot when it comes to the Mary-Sue nature of her protagonist.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee–Atticus Finch is amazing , and Gregory Peck is phenomenal as the Maycomb County lawyer in the movie version. He is the kind of hero I strive to create in my own writing.
- Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton–Anita Blake should be the yardstick by which all female protagonists are measured, at least the Anita in this book. She’s strong and incredibly powerful as a vampire executioner and animator. She’s also human. And she sleeps with a stuffed penguin.
- World War Z by Max Brooks–I didn’t feel like I was reading a work of fiction. This book so closely resembled the military history books I read in college that I was genuinely creeped out.
- Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning–My first experience with the romance genre. I couldn’t put it down and made the mistake of starting it late at night. I think I finally pried myself away around 2am.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling–Remus Lupin introduced me to werewolves. I also loved the message of how people aren’t always what they seem.
- The Complete Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle–I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t be writing if not for this short story collection. I read it when I was ten years old, and Sherlock Holmes has been a presence in my life ever since. I owe a debt to Doyle. I’m also very glad he didn’t succeed in killing off the world’s greatest consulting detective.
What are some books that have stuck with you even after you finished the last page? What sort of impact have they had on you?