They say to be a good writer, you need to be an avid reader. One translates into the other and develops your writing skills. Of course, most writers (I think) read the genre they write (e.g. a sci-fi author reads sci-fi novels), though not necessarily exclusively.
What do I read? Mostly, historical novels, preferably Holocaust memoirs. Capturing the worst and the best of humanity, they highlight the drama, courage and condition of the era. My favorite book is The Beautiful Days of My Youth by Ana Novac. Ms. Novac was a teenager when she was sent to Auschwitz, where despite the impossibility of the situation, she kept a journal that she would later publish as this book. I loved the book Fatherland by Robert Harris. Though it’s not a memoir, it was based on this time period and asked the question: what if Hitler had won the war? I am currently reading Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer, which tells about the life and legacy of Irena Sendler, a young Polish woman who helped rescue 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto.
Truly, they are amazing stories. How these books will translate into what I write, I don’t know, but my reserve is quite full and I am privileged to read and share such tales.