So, I could use some…

So, I could use some help putting together a list of writing books for my class (and probably eventually for the SLF website). I'd ideally like it to be an signed, annotated list, by which I mean something that looks like this:

  • Stephen King, On Writing

    • "This is a great book for the beginning writer, and entertaining and insightful enough that the intermediate and advanced writer will enjoy it too. King combines some beautiful memoir work with practical advice on how to turn competent writing into good writing, addressing everything from vocabulary and grammar to writing spaces to setting writing goals for yourself. Along the way, the reader gets an intimate look at King's attitudes and character, making this book a pure pleasure to read." (Mary Anne Mohanraj)

    • "Fun read, quite funny, but very few practical tips. Don't come to this to learn anything. King fans will get a lot out of it." (Joe Schmoe)

  • Charles Baxter, The Business of Memory

    • "Baxter has collected several essays from skilled and noted memoirists, addressing many of the primary concerns of those writing creative nonfiction. This collection engages such issues as: the slippery nature of memory itself; the blurry line between fiction and nonfiction; the question of how much to reveal of oneself; the ethics of writing other people's stories. An essential book for anyone interested in exploring memoir writing." (Mary Anne Mohanraj)

    • "A boring, tedious book that repeats itself endlessly. Learned nothing useful -- big waste of my time." (Joe Schmoe)

I'm not interested in listing bad books, but I'd like to list lots of good writing books, along with multiple comments, to help people figure out which ones they're really interested in. Want to throw some in? I need to write up comments for Bird by Bird and Steering the Craft myself...

3 thoughts on “So, I could use some…”

  1. I’m a huge fan of anything by Natlie Goldberg on writing (haven’t read her fiction). Especially “Writing Down the Bones” which I return to year after year to reread, get reinspired and do a few of her exercises. Her books are essentially “writing Zen” and are about the ‘practice’ of writing more than being about anything technical, grammar etc. As such “Writing Down the Bones” is also one of the few books I have bought over and over again to give as gifts.

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