Sanderson, Tyler, McMurtry: 3 Writers Worth Reading

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All writers are readers, too (or at least they all should be). And although I write primarily in the epic fantasy realm, I read in all genres. Here are a few of my favorite current writers.

Brandon Sanderson. The family’s been on a major Sanderson kick. We’ve read both of the Stormlight novels (the next one’s out in November – yay!), and we’re currently going through the third novel in his Mistborn series, “Hero of Ages.” His novels are so deep, complex and rich. One of the things I like best are the gigantic story and character arcs. To see one of the major Mistborn characters — Elend, for example — change over the course of many books is instructive to me as a novelist, beyond just enjoying them as books.

Anne Tyler. She’s been around a long time, but I hadn’t read any of her stuff until recently. Since last year, I’ve read three novels: “The Accidental Tourist,” “Dinner at the¬†Homesick Restaurant” and “Breathing Lessons.” Her books are so unusual; from an outward appearance, nothing really happens in any of them. “Breathing Lessons,” in fact, takes place over a couple of days, and nothing *at all* happens. But her writing weaves a spell. She gets so deep into her characters’ inner lives that you feel you’re living through them. Her insights into families and people are astonishing. If you like pure character studies and family dynamics, nobody does it better.

Larry McMurtry. He writes novels mainly about Texas and the west. His main series is the “Lonesome Dove” cycle, which deal with Gus McRae and Woodrow Call, two Texas Rangers. McMurtry’s style is impossible to describe, but it pulls you in immediately and is simply captivating. The last book of his I read was “Buffalo Girls,” but if you’re new to him, start with “Lonesome Dove.” It truly deserves the “epic” label.

That’s all for now. Back to writing!

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