Histories were my favorites. I absorbed maps and dreamed of the places I might go. A set of biographies of famous men as boys let me be someone else.
In junior high I read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, imagining myself in Victorian England. Instead of just plowing through I absorbed the Dickens novels assigned for English.
I edged into more fiction after college – thrillers and mysteries, but forced myself to read something “substantial” occasionally. I actually loved War & Peace. Of Human Bondage was great too.
In my 20’s I dated a very cultured woman, so I started scribbling to impress her. It didn’t work. She broke up with me, but she got me started.