12 Writing Books I Want to Read

Reading writing books is one of the best ways I have found that helps me improve my writing. My problem is that my list keeps growing and I don’t find (or more honestly, make) the time to read any. So I’ve compiled a list and set myself a goal of reading one every month.

The list:

Cover image of Bird by Bird1. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott has been recommended by too many people for me to pass this one by. I’ve already bought it, and will read it in October. Supposedly, it’s a great book for anyone who writes. Will it live up to what I’ve been told?

2. Write Away by Elizabeth George, as one reviewer put it, is more of a “this is how I write” rather than a simple “how-to” kind of book. Still, I’ve managed to glean much from this kind of book in the past. I’m the kind of learner who needs to see lots of examples of how to do something well to get it.

3. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card explains many of the basics of science fiction writing, such as world building and key story elements. This one intrigues me, as I’m thinking of writing science fiction. Which is why I also want to read…

4. The Craft of Writing Science Fiction that Sells by Ben Bova, even though the reviews were mixed. Some of the positive reviews stated this book provides details others miss. I’ll find out after I read it.

5. On Writing Well by William Zinsser is considered by many to be a classic work on the writing of non-fiction. I’m interested to see what I could have done better in the book I have published.

6. On Writing by Steven King is another book describing how one wildly successful author approaches the craft.

7. Revising Prose by Richard Landham details the paramedic method of revision, whatever that means. Some of the bloggers I follow swear by it, so I’ll give it a try.

8. Words that Work by Frank Luntz, who I know from his work as a pollster. His book delves into the importance of word choice and how similar phrases can have widely varying impact.

9. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass shows how to take writing to a higher level. Lots of promises on what this book will teach. I’m intrigued and ready to buy. Maybe he read Frank Luntz’s book before writing his sales copy.

10. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron discusses creativity and how to stimulate it.

11. Lapsing into a Comma by Bill Walsh helps writers avoid grammar and other mistakes by showing how to apply the rules to tough situations, such as those involving foreign words.

12. Intent to Sell: Marketing the Genre Novel by Jeffrey Marks provides specific tips for selling novels in defined genres. This is where I need the most help!

I’ll write reviews of each one so you won’t have to waste your time if the book isn’t helpful. We’ll see how well I manage to meet this goal. I’ve been having trouble getting anything done lately, since I’ve been busy trying to get my house ready to sell. Reading and writing have taken a back seat to cleaning, painting and trips to the recyclers. Come back to see if I’ve kept this goal and read and reviewed all these book by this time next year!

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