Read the “Ten Rules of Writing” by Amitava Kumar. Pay special attention to number six:
A bookshelf of your own. Choose one book, or five, but no more than ten, to guide you, not with research necessarily, but with the critical matter of method or style. Another way to think about this is to ask yourself who are the writers, or scholars, or artists that you are in conversation with. I use this question to help arrive at my own subject matter, but it also helps with voice.
That is a fantastic idea. I think it’s worth reflecting on this and then coming up with my own list. Off the top of my head, Williams James and CS Lewis would be way up there for tone and rhetoric. But I need to think much longer on it, if we’re talking about 10 books (and I won’t be cheeky and say the 10 books of Plato’s Republic or something, though that can totally count).