Writers are not just writers: they need to be readers, too, both of material in their genre and out of it. Actually, everyone should be a reader, but that is a topic for another day.
Amazon has a list of 100 mysteries and thrillers to read in a lifetime – or, rather, at this point in any given lifetime, since of course it cannot list books yet to come that may be must-reads. I looked over the list and just as a guess, I’ve probably read half of these at least. As with any list like this one, people will disagree with inclusions or exclusions, but how about we just make it a goal to read as widely as possible, across all types of work, as is humanly possible? There are tons of books out there, so if you don’t like a book on a list like this or any other, or can’t get into it – Sue Grafton is a raging success with her alphabet series, but I just cannot get into them, for instance, having tried A-D – swap it out for something else that entices you.