Reading History: S.G. Browne

Authors share five books that have, in one way or another, influenced their lives and writing.


S.G. Browne, author of Fated – about an immortal who falls in love with a human, ultimately breaking cosmic rule no. 1 (don’t get involved!) which results in major catastrophe – shares five books that have had the largest influence on him, ultimately inspiring him to become a writer.



Lord of the Flies, William Golding (1981)

When I read Lord of the Flies thirty years ago, I didn’t realize it would become my favorite novel of all time, but I can still recall how much I enjoyed the writing and the story and the characters.  It was the first time I developed a true love for the written word.  So many of the characters and events of that book have stayed with me throughout the years.  I’ve got the conch!


The Talisman, Stephen King & Peter Straub (1985)

The Talisman is the book that made me want to become a writer.  While not my favorite novel by either King or Straub, I became so caught up in the adventure unfolding within the pages and so engrossed in the story and the characters that the world outside of the book ceased to exist.  And I thought: “I want to make people feel this way.”


Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut (1996)

Although I’d read Cat’s Cradle years before in high school, I didn’t appreciate the humor in it and the social satire until I read it again in my early 30’s.  It made me realize how important humor was in writing and how humor could be used to make social commentary rather than simply being for laughs.  It showed me a different layer to comedy.


Lullaby, Chuck Palahniuk (2002)

If The Talisman is the novel that made me want to become a writer, Lullaby is the novel that made me realize what was possible for me to do as a writer.  Prior to reading Palahniuk’s dark comedy and social satire about an African culling song, the only satire I’d read had been Vonnegut.  But the added element of the supernatural in Lullaby spoke to me in a voice I’d never heard before.  It’s the novel that inspired me to turn my two-thousand-word short story “A Zombie’s Lament” into Breathers, which became my first published novel.


The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler (2010)

Chandler published this, his first novel, at the age of 51 and I was immediately struck by the richness and quality of the prose.  Arguably the father of the modern detective story, Chandler’s humor and descriptive style and his characterization of his iconic detective influenced my third novel, Lucky Bastard*, which contains elements of mystery and noir.

*Lucky Bastard has not yet been published – something to definitely look forward to!
5 Responses to “Reading History: S.G. Browne”
  1. Erin says:

    A really interesting list! I love hearing what books have influenced authors. I haven’t read any but Lord of the Flies, but I think I’d like Cat’s Cradle as well.

    • Pauline says:

      I haven’t read a single one myself.*hides in shame* Well, I did try reading Lord of the Flies once earlier this year – didn’t get past a couple pages. And I’m struggling with Kurt Vonnegut’s writing (sort of). S.G. Browne’s list just pressured me to try again, haha.

  2. Hey there…I saw you were new on BookCrossing as well…just thought I’d say hi and if you want to read my blog it’s there…I went through depression as well and I know there’s comfort in numbers 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    Have been looking for the S.G. Browne book in National Bookstore in my city, to no avail. And whoever picked up the book I released almost a month ago either (a) couldn’t figure out what BookCrossing is all about, or (b) decided to keep the book for him/herself. Sigh. Maybe I will do controlled release this time. Will be releasing a couple of Charlaine Harris books – all were picked up in the sale bin of NBS. 😀

    • Pauline says:

      I got mine via my aunt in the US – I’ll ask PowerBooks/NBS/Fully Booked if they’ll carry the title soon. 🙂

      I haven’t had a wild release yet, because I’ve been such a hermit lately and only got out of the house for Christmas Mass, haha. I’m planning to wild release a bunch of books after Christmas – hopefully the lucky people who pick up our releases would journal them. 😛

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