Writers should be reading all the time in our opinion, for pleasure, for education, for escapism and everything in between. But there are always going to be a handful of books that offer writers incredible insight into the world of writing itself. We\u2019ve picked three of our favourites, have you read them?\r\n1. In A Strange Room \u2013 Damon Galgut\r\nFor its structure and clever unreliable narration. The novel captures three journeys that a South African man, Damon embarks upon. These journeys to Greece, India and Africa are split into three parts according to what role Damon plays: The Follower, The Lover and The Guardian, with each part changing his life. Another example of rule-breaking, Galgut has cleverly chosen to switch between both first person and third person:\r\nHe becomes aware of another figure far away. It could be male or female, it could be any age, it could be travelling in either direction, towards him or away\u2026 Now they are watching each other, while pretending they are not\u2026 When the draw even they stop. The figure is a man about his own age, dressed entirely in black\u2026 What the first man is wearing I don\u2019t know, I forget.\u201d\r\nThe Man Booker finalist, 'In a Strange Room' by Damon Galgut.\r\n\r\nGalgut suddenly places the narrator as the first man by switching the point of view. Not only this, but this main character then introduces himself as Damon, adding another layer of intrigue to the text. There is Damon Galgut the author, writing the story of a present character, Damon who is narrating the story of a past Damon\u2026 As convoluted as it sounds, Galgut manages to pull it off, leaving the reader in awe of his character-driven ideas of inception, as well as his poignant questions regarding human memory.\r\n2. The Road \u2013 Cormac McCarthy\r\nIf you haven\u2019t read this one, it\u2019s a must. The novel follows a father and his young son as they journey to the coast across a horrific, post-apocalyptic United States. As poignant, beautiful and compassionate as The Road is, we suggest it to you for its rule-breaking.\r\n\r\nWith its paragraph-long sentences and lack of quotation marks, McCarthy knows all the rules and shatters them, pulling the whole thing off masterfully. This work is the perfect example of a writer who knows the craft and makes it his own. Why does it work? McCarthy breaks down the conventional rules of writing so that his stylistic and grammatical choices reflect the very essence of the novel. The lack of quotation marks takes down an inorganic barrier between the reader and the characters \u2013 we don\u2019t have the author saying \u2018This is dialogue now.\u2019 Instead, the dialogue is presented naturally, and doesn\u2019t pull us away from the story, we absorb it as though we are standing right in the middle of it all.\r\nJust remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that.\r\nYou forget some things, don't you?\r\nYes. You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.\u201d\r\nThis novel is also a beautiful example of an author\u2019s control over language. Certainly minimalist in his style, McCarthy proves that less is more.\r\nNo lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.\u201d\r\n\r\n3. The Virgin Suicides \u2013 Jeffrey Eugenides\r\nWe\u2019ve suggested this book for its unique point of view; told in first person, plural. Written from the perspective of a group of anonymous boys from the same neighbourhood, the novel revolves around the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters. The boy or boys who narrate it are outsiders who speculate the reasoning behind each of the sisters\u2019 deaths, over the course of two decades.\r\nWe knew that Cecilia had killed herself because she was a misfit, because the beyond called to her, and we knew that her sisters, once abandoned, felt her calling from that place, too.\u201d\r\nInfatuated with the sisters, the unknown outsiders rely on interviews, overheard snippets and the declining state of the Lisbon house. As a result, the reader feels like they too, are part of the outsider gang, and the intrigue as to what exactly happened inside the Lisbon house builds and builds:\u00a0"In the end we had the pieces of the puzzle, but no matter how we put them together, gaps remained, oddly shaped emptinesses mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn't name.\u201d\r\n\r\nThis unreliable form of narration succeeds wonderfully in creating an obsession within the reader, and makes an ideal study for a unique point of view, one that every writer should read.\r\n***\r\nWhat these three books have in common is the fact that they break traditional narrative and grammatical conventions to mirror the core concepts of each story. Each of these novels can teach a writer something new about the craft of writing, prompt them to experiment with their own style and encourage them to present their narrative ideas in a new way. Not to mention the fact that The Virgin Suicides, The Road and In a Strange Room are all phenomenal, standalone reads.