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Essential Reads for Aspiring Writers


As an aspiring writer, it is important to not only focus on your own writing, but also to read and learn from the works of other authors. Reading not only expands your vocabulary and knowledge, but also provides inspiration, insight, and guidance in your own writing journey. In this blog post, we will discuss the top picks for essential reads for aspiring writers. From classic literature to contemporary books and helpful writing guides, these recommendations are sure to enhance your writing skills and spark your creativity.

Importance of Reading for Aspiring Writers

Before we delve into our top picks, let’s first understand why reading is crucial for aspiring writers. Reading exposes you to different styles, genres, and techniques of writing. It helps you understand the elements that make a story engaging, how to develop characters, and how to create a captivating plot. Additionally, reading also helps you improve your writing mechanics, such as grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.

Moreover, reading can inspire and motivate you as a writer. When you come across a well-written book, it can ignite your passion and drive to write better. It also gives you the opportunity to analyze and learn from successful authors and their writing styles. By reading widely, you can discover your own unique voice and hone your craft.

Classic Literature Every Aspiring Writer Should Read

Essential Reads for Aspiring Writers

Reading classic literature is a great way to study the evolution of storytelling and gain a deeper understanding of the foundations of literature. These works have stood the test of time and continue to be relevant even in today’s modern world. Here are some of our top picks of classic literature that every aspiring writer should read:

1. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

Considered one of the greatest works of English literature, “Pride and Prejudice” tells the story of the strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet and her tumultuous relationship with the proud Mr. Darcy. This novel is a prime example of character development, as we see Elizabeth’s prejudice towards Mr. Darcy slowly evolve into love and acceptance. It also brilliantly explores themes such as social class, marriage, and gender roles.

2. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s masterpiece, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is a timeless classic that tackles issues of racism, injustice, and moral courage. Through the eyes of a young girl named Scout, we witness the story of her father Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman in 1930s Alabama. The book is a testament to the power of storytelling and highlights the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity.

3. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The Great Gatsby” is a quintessential American novel that delves into the themes of the American Dream, love, and class struggles. Set in the jazz age of the 1920s, the novel follows the enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession with the beautiful but unattainable Daisy Buchanan. With its lyrical prose and vivid characters, this book is a must-read for any aspiring writer.

Contemporary Books for Inspiration

Essential Reads for Aspiring Writers

While classic literature provides a strong foundation, it is also important to read contemporary books that reflect our current society and explore modern themes. These books can inspire and challenge your writing, pushing you to think outside the box. Here are some of our top picks for contemporary books for inspiration:

1. “Beloved” by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved” is a powerful and haunting tale of slavery, motherhood, and the enduring legacy of trauma. Set in post-Civil War Ohio, the story follows Sethe, a former slave who is haunted by the ghost of her baby daughter. Morrison’s lyrical prose and use of magical realism make this book a masterpiece that speaks to the resilience of the human spirit.

2. “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

In this dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood, we are transported to the Republic of Gilead where women have been stripped of their rights and are forced into roles solely for procreation. Through the story of protagonist Offred, we see the devastating effects of a totalitarian society on individuals and their relationships. With its thought-provoking themes and powerful storytelling, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a must-read for all writers.

3. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Díaz

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Junot Díaz tells the story of Oscar, a Dominican-American nerd living in New Jersey, and his family’s struggle with curse and tragedy. Mixing elements of magical realism, history, and pop culture, Díaz creates a unique and captivating narrative that explores themes of identity, love, and the immigrant experience.

Writing Guides and Resources

Aside from reading books, it is also important for aspiring writers to have access to helpful guides and resources. These can provide practical tips, exercises, and techniques to improve your writing skills. Here are some top picks for writing guides and resources:

1. “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King

In this memoir, acclaimed author Stephen King shares his personal experiences and insights on writing. Part autobiography, part writing guide, this book offers valuable advice on building a successful writing career, developing characters, and crafting compelling stories. King’s honest and humorous approach makes this book a must-read for any writer.

2. “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott

In this witty and insightful book, Anne Lamott shares her wisdom and experiences as a writer. She offers practical advice on overcoming writer’s block, finding your voice, and dealing with rejection. With its honest and relatable tone, “Bird by Bird” is an essential guide for aspiring writers.

3. “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Considered the “bible” of writing, “The Elements of Style” is a timeless guide that covers the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation, and usage. Written in a concise and easy-to-understand manner, this book is a valuable resource for any writer looking to improve their writing mechanics.

Biographies of Successful Writers

Lastly, reading about the lives of successful writers can provide inspiration, motivation, and guidance in your own writing journey. These biographies highlight the struggles, triumphs, and creative processes of some of the most renowned authors in history. Here are some top picks of biographies of successful writers:

1. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

In this highly acclaimed memoir, former First Lady Michelle Obama shares her journey from growing up in Chicago to becoming one of the most influential women in the world. The book not only gives insight into Michelle Obama’s personal life and experiences, but also provides valuable lessons on perseverance, determination, and leadership.

2. “Ernest Hemingway: A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway

This posthumously published memoir by Ernest Hemingway offers a glimpse into his years as a struggling writer living in Paris in the 1920s. It provides a behind-the-scenes look into the literary and social circles of that era, as well as Hemingway’s writing process and reflections on his craft. A must-read for fans of Hemingway’s work and aspiring writers alike.

3. “Maya Angelou: A Biography” by Donna Brown Agins

Written by Maya Angelou’s close friend Donna Brown Agins, this biography explores the life of one of the most beloved and influential poets of our time. It offers an intimate view into Angelou’s childhood, her struggles with racism and trauma, and her journey to becoming a renowned writer and activist. With its honest and inspiring storytelling, this book is a must-read for all aspiring writers.


In conclusion, reading is an essential aspect of being an aspiring writer. From classic literature to contemporary works, writing guides, and biographies of successful authors, these essential reads can enhance your writing skills, inspire your creativity, and provide valuable insights into the world of writing. So make sure to include these top picks in your reading list and continue to expand your knowledge and craft as a writer. Happy reading!

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