Books that taught me what great writing looks like and how to say more with less:
Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth & Misinterpreter of Maladies
Mary Karr Cherry & The Liars Club
Zadie Smith, White Teeth & On Beauty
Naguib Mafouz, Midaq Alley
Monica Ali's Brick Lane
Stephen King's On Writing
Isabelle Allende's The Stories of Eva Luna
Books that taught me the most about action and plot:
Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth and everything he ever wrote...he knows how not get bogged down in chatting and exposition and backstory...
What are your favorites and why?
The why is the most important to a writer because great writing teaches you something you don't yet know how to do and when you realize what you don't know how to do, that's when you start becoming a great writer....