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11 Books All Aspiring Writers Should Read, Because Spending Time With These Titles is Like a Mini-Workshop

Whether you've already got your sights set on an illustrious education at The Iowa Writers Workshop or you're determined to take the literary world by storm all on your own terms, there's only one way to make it as a writer — and that's by reading. I

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, winner of the the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Listen at

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson (247 p.) - Quite good. Not an edge-of-your-seat page turner but good in the way of listening to the rain hit a tin roof, very calming. I found a lot of wisdom in this book.

An incredibly good novel, subtle in overtones, written with sensitivity and artistic consideration. Folded back more pages than I'll be able to quote anywhere.

Subtlely compelling. A dying preacher writes a letter to his young son telling of his life and reflecting on family, love and faith.

Gilead is one of those books that on the surface looks pretty boring. But the author makes the story so rich, I couldn't help but sigh at the end--the kind of happy sigh that comes from reading something so beautifully done, you're happy to be a part of it.

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