4 must-read books
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
We've gathered four of our favorite books for writers. Put them on your "to be read" list today.
Writers are readers. We all know that.
But aside from pleasure reading, did you realize how important it is to read books about the craft of writing? These books can give you insight into the life of a writer, can give you practical advice on how to succeed, and can teach you how to become a better wordsmith.
These are our favorites:
Stephen King's On Writing
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
Stephen King is known for his horror and suspense novels, but his memoir on writing is a classic in and of itself. It's an invaluable resource for writers.
From its original book description: "Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told."
Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by bestselling novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott, is an enlightening look into the craft of writing. Often called the "the bible of writing guides," this wry, honest, down-to-earth book was first published in the 1990s. Her personal experiences are written in Lamott's characteristically lyrical style and provides helpful advice for aspiring and successful writers alike.
Strunk and White's Elements of Style
"Omit Needless Words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”
William Stunk and E.B White's book is a classic resource for writers. From Amazon's description: "The Elements of Style' is widely considered America's most beloved grammar book. This is the most trusted writer's guide to English-this is the book that generations of writers have relied upon for timeless advice on grammar, diction, syntax, sentence construction, and other writing essentials. Strunk begins with the basic rules of usage, offering accessible explanations of correct punctuation and grammar. The Elements of Style is some kind of examples' collection of all kinds of styles of writing very different works. The greatest book of its kind, this volume is a must for any student, teacher and writer."
Annie Dillard's The Writing Life
Annie Dillard is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist whose collection of essays that "illuminates the dedication, absurdity, and daring that characterize the existence of a writer. A moving account of Dillard’s own experience,The Writing Life offers deep insight into one of the most mysterious professions" (Harper Collins website).