I love chatting with other authors and discovering what books they love to read and would recommend…here’s Christie Stratos’ recommended books!
Top five? Almost impossible! There are so many that have impacted my thinking, broadened my perspective, and made me swoon with their sumptuous writing. It’s tough to narrow it down, as it would be for any book lover, but here they are. (I will change my mind about this twenty times before I send it and twenty times after.)
- The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
In this book, the perfect epic fantasy was born. There is literary writing here so brilliantly weaved into the cloth of fantasy that I went through a reading draught afterwards—nothing seemed comparable. Sanderson has a way of building characters, settings, and cultures that seem so natural, the real world becomes disappointing.
- Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
All Ayn Rand books cause at least one person to jump up in anger over her repetitive writing and “virtue of selfishness” philosophy. There is a theme among Rand’s works, however, that is intended for creative types like writers—never to compromise your creative integrity in order to appeal to the majority. In more modern terms, don’t sell out. This was the first book I read that made me truly see exactly what that means and what happens if you aren’t true to yourself.
- Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon
This is the single best romantic comedy book by miles that I’ve ever read. If you like audiobooks, the voice talent, Rosalyn Landor, is such a perfect fit that I wouldn’t even want to read the paperback version for fear that it would be dull without Rosalyn’s inflections and accents. Hilarious and brutal, Fallon’s characters get no slack at all, which led the book to become my favorite of its genre.
- What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund
The writing rule “show don’t tell” made sense to me until I read this book—then and only then did I truly understand the depth of meaning behind the writing advice. I’ve done an in-depth YouTube video on this topic, but Mendelsund’s book is what first opened my eyes all the way. I can safely say my writing improved beyond measure after reading it.
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
I absolutely love reading world literature. In fact, World Lit courses were my favorite in college. There are so many books I would recommend for great cultural reading, but Achebe’s book is one that always comes to mind. This is not just a fascinating study of culture, it teaches the value of differences, the reaction to the loss of what defines both individuals and peoples, and the importance of seeing from other perspectives.
Favorite Dessert: Anything with chocolate. Ice cream, brownies, double chocolate chip cookies—if it has chocolate, it’s my favorite.
Reading Drink of Choice: TEA! For some reason, tea screams reading and writing to me (although almost anything screams writing to me). Some of my favorites are Oolong, Kukicha, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, and English Breakfast.
Christie Stratos is an award-winning writer who holds a degree in English Literature. She is the author of Anatomy of a Darkened Heart and Locke and Keye, the first two books in the Dark Victoriana Collection. Christie has had short stories and poetry published in Ginosko Literary Journal, Andromedae Review, 99Fiction, and various anthologies. An avid reader of all genres and world literature, Christie reads everything from bestsellers to classics to indies.