Friday, October 9, 2020

Poets and Writers New List of "Best Writing Books"--and My Personal Favs

 Around this time of year, maybe because the back-to-school energy has tempted me, I begin to look at buying another writing book or two. I mark them up, use them in classes, and study them all winter during prime writing time (hibernation). This week, I came across the latest list from Poets and Writers, a wonderful resource for all of us. (If the link doesn't work, go to their website and search for "best writing books.")

It's a very comprehensive list, but I thought I'd add a few favorites of my own, books that have been well-thumbed and underlined over the years. You'll have your own favorites too.

It pays every now and then to get what I call a "smart boost" by refreshing your craft skills. Hard to do when you're neck deep in a manuscript, or trying to meet a deadline, but if you can give yourself a couple of hours this week to go back to a favorite craft book or check out a new one.

A few of my favorite writing books:

Writing in General and the Short Story in Particular (Rust Hills)

Ron Carlson Writes a Story (Ron Carlson)

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The Making of a Story (Alice LaPlante)

Burning Down the House (Charles Baxter)

Art and Fear (David Bayles and Ted Orlando)

The Scene Book (Sandra Scofield)

Write Away (Elizabeth George)

There are sooo many others. My office bookshelves overflow, my reading basket as well. Writers are generous with their wisdom and we all benefit.

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