books postWhat you love to read says a lot about you. And even though writing takes a lot of time and energy, reading is an integral part of the writing process. It helps unlock words and concepts in the mind, so I’m always wary of writers who say they don’t read. I write. Therefore, I read.

Yesterday I wrote about five of my top 12 books read. Today I bring you the remaining seven. (There are no spoilers below, fear not.) We begin again, with:

The Winds of War and War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. A friend told me I should read every book that comes my way on WWII, but start with these books because they’ll give the entire picture. He was right. And I spent the better part of a year with these two books. My friend would even ask, “How are the Henrys? Where are they now?” at dinner parties, and we’d discuss the characters as if they were good friends.

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. There might be a reason for just about everything. And sometimes, you have to break out of your mundaneness in order to track down your destiny.

The Bible. Themes are consistently “borrowed” from this book in literature. Genesis alone reads like Desperate Housewives. I’m on track to complete my reading in December, and I’ll probably start it again.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Years ago, long before the movies came out, I tried to fast track straight into Lord of the Rings. I struggled and couldn’t follow the book. So I stopped and went to get The Hobbit. I found a beautiful gold-embossed copy at the library in D.C., loved every minute of reading it, and when I launched back into The Fellowship of the Ring, it made perfect sense.

On Writing by Stephen King. An inside look into his process and advice to writers. Many details of this book have stayed with me over the years, from his personal “audience,” his solid (and sometimes feverish) writing habits, and his “must read” list at the end of the book. (Further proof that writers read.)

Upside Down Kingdom by yours truly. What kind of writer would I be if I didn’t like to read my own book? The writing of this book changed my life. And I still re-read it when I need a pick-me-up, a hearty laugh, or encouragement to chase down a dream. Main character Amy is great for all of those.

Well, there you have it. You now know everything there is to know about me. Well, mostly.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at