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Hey Greg! I think you adviced people that wanted to become writters to read great literature and the classics.
Beyond Shakespeare (who is a must read :) ) What kind of literature would you recomend for this purpose?
Homer, for sure.
The list of authors are probably endless. Personally, I'm a big fan of mysteries/detective stories, and my favorite author in that genre is Ross Macdonald, who I believe transcends the genre. I also like James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Michael Connelly and Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö, to name a few.
I'd scarf up myths and legends. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse, Arthurian, etc., etc., etc. And I wouldn't just limit myself to Western Culture. Chow down on the stories of the far east, of the mid-east, of aboriginal peoples everywhere...
History books. Biographies. Some are deadly dull, but others are fascinating.
Anyway, that should keep you busy for awhile.