Reading lists have started cropping up in the blogosphere and I thought I would share an 'origin of the species' list and a newly posted list that shifted my imagination into overdrive
From The AD&D 1e Dungeon Master Guide:
DMG APPENDIX N:
Anderson, Poul. THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE
Bellairs, John. THE FACE IN THE FROST
Burroughs, Edgar Rice. "Pellucidar" Series; Mars Series; Venus Series
Carter, Lin. "World's End'' Series
de Camp, L. Sprague. LEST DARKNESS FALL; FALLIBLE FIEND; etal.
de Camp & Pratt. "Harold Shea" Series; CARNELIAN CUBE
Farmer, P. J. "The World of the Tiers" Series; etal.
Fox, Gardner. "Kothar" Series; "Kyrik" Series; et of.
Howard, R. E. "Conan" Series
Lanier, Sterling. HIEROS JOURNEY
Leiber, Fritz. "Fafhrd &Gray Mouser" Series; et of.
Lovecraft, H. P.
Merritt, A. CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE
Moorcock, Michael. STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; "Hawkmoon"
Offutt, Andrew J., editor SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS Ill.
Pratt, Fletcher, BLUE STAR; etaf.
Saberhagen, Fred. CHANGELING EARTH; etal.
St. Clair, Margaret. THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT; "Ring Trilogy"
Vance, Jack. THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et 01.
Wellman, Manly Wade.
Zelazny, Roger. JACK OF SHADOWS; "Amber" Series; et of.
MIRAGE; et of.
Series (esp. the first three books)
The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp &
Pratt, Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H.P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.
And from a recent post at Quickly, Quietly, Carefully
In the original Appendix N, and in personal appendixes N from various OSR blogs, contemporary and modern fantastic literature dominates the reading list. Given the selection you'll find in a bookstore's fantasy section, that's not surprising, but I wonder what an Appendix N would include if limited to pre-1900 literature?
* Arabian Nights
* Voltaire's Candide
* Chaucer's Canterbury Tales
* Cervantes' Don Quixote
* Stoker's Dracula
* Grimm's Fairy Tales
* Spenser's Faerie Queen
* Goethe's Faust
* Machen's The Great God Pan
* Swift's Gulliver's Travels
* Homer's Iliad
* Dante's Inferno
* Ovid's Metamorphoses
* Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur
* Homer's Odyssey
* Edgar Allan Poe's short stories
* Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen
* The Song of Roland
* Stevenson's Treasure Island
A D&D campaign drawn from this Appendix N would have a distinctive flavor, although you could find a basis for many of the traditional D&D tropes in those pages.
These two lists provide a wealth of material for mining and insight into the hobby and in the ways that you can make your game worlds unique.
And most of the second list are free downloads from Project Gutenberg :)
(My own list would be heavily influenced by Tolkien, Burroughs and Moorcock with a lot of mythological and historical material added, especially Roman, Viking and Celt culture.)