It's pretty easy to be energized by other sci-fi and fantasy books, but I've also drawn huge inspirations from the realm of non-fiction. Here are some of my favorites:
Deep Survival and Everyday Survival
I've lost track of how many times I've read these books! I love stories of survival, and the way Gonzales analyzes them with both a scientific and emotional view is fantastic. The knowledge I've gained from both works has been invaluable in helping create believable characters who respond realistically to life-threatening situations.
The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time
Every sci-fi author should have a good grasp of science, right? In addition to what I learned in school, I've been through all of Stephen Hawking's books. While I can't say I understand the universe the way a cosmologist or astrophysicist does, I do think Hawking's books have given me good insight and inspiration for the science aspects of my fiction. I'm not a hard sci-fi writer, so I don't aim for complete scientific accuracy, but I do like knowing my fictional tech doesn't violate every law of physics. 🙂
Into the Wild
(and several other Jon Krakauer books)
While Krakauer's books are peripherally stories of survival, they delve into the experiences and motivations of humans in a way I find very insightful. Much like Deep Survival, I think Krakauer's writing has inspired character creation and helped them be more believable. His details of fantastic locations on Earth has also inspired me think of better ways to write descriptions of amazing places elsewhere in the universe.
I could continue on with other non-fiction books I've read over the years, but these are some of my favorites. 🙂 Oh, and if you missed my last newsletter, about how music inspires me as an author, you should check it out.