Top 25 Books for Writers and Writing-related Topics

by Meryl Evans | Category: Books, Meryl's Notes Blog, Writing 33 comments

Thank you to all that nominated and voted for the top 25 books for writers on writing. The list is in order beginning with the book that received the most votes. It’s a great list as I’ve read or heard great things about many of the books.

  1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B.White: “Though I’ve read two other great books on writing, this one really got me rolling down my writing journey, so it stands out in my mind. I also give it points for being so concise and as a result not very intimidating. For those starting out on their writing path, this is a good bet. It’s basic and effective.” – Bamboo Forest
  2. On Writing by Stephen King: “Simply the best.” – Craig Cardimon
  3. On Writing Well by William Zinsser: “I’ve re-read William Zinsser’s On Writing Well every year since I first read it in high school. Excellent book.” – Will Sansbury
  4. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott: “Wonderfully sincere, funny and helpful. Just made so much sense to me – loved it!” – Amy Palko
  5. Chicago Manual of Style: “It’s huge, thorough, honest, authoritative, entertaining, and always there to refer to. Knocks Strunk and White into a cocked hat.” – Katy Evans-Bush.
  6. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg: “The one I gift the most to writers.” – Mike Sansone
  7. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron: “For a different kind of direction, certainly. And it is early yet in my focused writing.” – Karen Hohman Almeida
  8. Reading like a Writer by Francine Prose: “It has given me the ability to break down why a piece of writing is good, and there’s no better way to learn.” – MeiLin Miranda
  9. If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit by Brenda Ueland: “Great for inspiration.” – Joanne aka soulsprite
  10. Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
  11. The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
  12. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
  13. Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande: “For inspirational and ‘pull-your-socks-up.'” – Katy Evans-Bush
  14. The Renegade Writer by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell: “…because I’m always one for breaking the rules!” – Mary
  15. The Renegade Writer’s Query Letters that Rock by Linda Formichelli and Diana Burrell
  16. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor) by Gary Provost
  17. Style: Toward Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams
  18. Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass: “One of the best I’ve read.” – Dawn Herring
  19. Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
  20. Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing by David Morrell – “The knowledge that Morrell imparts is educational and constructive.” – Meryl
  21. Between the Lines: The Subtle Elements of Fiction Writing by Jessica Page Morrell
  22. The Well-Fed Writer by Peter Bowerman
  23. The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers by Betsy Lerner
  24. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law by Norm Goldstein
  25. The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall Street Journal Guide by William E. Blundell

I’m going to try to always be reading at least one book on writing at any given time. (I have two or three books I read at a time.) This list will make it easier to decide which one to read next as I own some that I haven’t read.

What books have you read? What did you like most about them or what did you learn?

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