The 20+ Books George R. R. Martin Recommends Reading

George Raymond Richard Martin (born George Raymond Martin; September 20, 1948), also known as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasyhorror, and science fiction genres, screenwriter, and television producer.

Martin is the bestselling author of several novels, including the acclaimed series “A Game of Thrones” which in 2013 alone sold 1 million copies. His book series was adapted into a TV series on HBO and the first episode aired in 2011. Millions of people tune in to watch the hit show and some episodes have even been viewed by over 18 million people.

Author George R.R. Martin.

Author George R.R. Martin.

A few of Martin’s bestselling books.

A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.
— George R.R. Martin

I was curious to learn which books Martin enjoyed throughout his life, so I did some research to find out which books the famous author recommends. Here is the list of the 20+ books George R.R. Martin recommends reading.

Martin's favorite books (regardless of genre) in order:

  • “Ivanhoe” by Walter Scott

    Martin’s review:

    • A Song of Ice and Fire draws as much on the traditions of historical fiction as it does on those of fantasy, and there are many great historical novelists, past and present, whose work helped inspire my own. Sir Walter Scott is hard going for many modern readers, I realize, but there’s still great stuff to be found in Ivanhoe and his other novels.

  • “Angles of Attack (Frontlines Book 3)” by Marko Kloos

    Martin’s review:

    • Since I know there are a lot of fans of military [science fiction] out there, I’d say that Angles of Attack might actually have an outside chance at earning a genuine Hugo nod solely on its merits… In any case, Kloos is a writer to watch.

  • “The White Company” by Arthur Conan Doyle

    Martin’s review:

    • Fantasies are not the only books I recommend to my readers, however. It has always been my belief that epic fantasy and historical fiction are sisters under the skin, as I have said in many an interview… there’s still great stuff to be found… in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The White Company (he [wrote] more than just Sherlock Holmes).

  • “The Beautiful Cigar Girl” by Daniel Stashower

    Martin’s review:

    • I’ve also really enjoyed a nonfiction title from a couple of years ago called The Beautiful Cigar Girl by Daniel Stashower, which is simultaneously a bio of Edgar Allan Poe and a ‘true crime’ account of a sensational NYC murder case that inspired him to write The Mystery of Marie Rogêt. Call this one history or biography if you must, but it reads like a novel… and I especially loved the stuff about the New York City press, one of my obsessions.

  • “The Iron King” by Maurice Druon

    Martin’s review:

    • Whether you want something else to occupy your time while waiting for The Winds of Winter, or you’re just looking for a good read… you won’t go wrong with Maurice Druon, France’s best historical novelist since Dumas Pere.

  • “Joyland” by Stephen King

    Martin’s review:

    • Stephen King was big for me in 2013. I really liked Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining... but I actually liked Joyland even more. Set in a dying amusement park in the south, Joyland features a ghost and a serial killer, but the real heart of the novel is a coming of age story, one that took me vividly back to my own youth, working the rides at Uncle Milty's in Bayonne.

There was part of me that wanted to see the world and travel to distant places, but I could only do it in my imagination, so I read ferociously and imagined things.
— George R.R. Martin

If there’s a book on this list that you think is a must-read, let me know in the comments below! -Alex W.

You may also want to check out these book recommendations from:

This article was based on several articles. The sources can be found here, here and here.

*The links throughout this site are Amazon affiliate links. Amazon pays me a small fee from each purchase which helps keep this website up and running ad-free. It does not affect the price of your purchase in any way.*