I spent some time last night plugging in the books I wish to read into my library accounts wish list.  I stumbled across a list of 50 books that will make you a better writer (http://extragoodshit.phlap.net/).   Actually, my husband found it – but he was kind enough to share it with me.  Thanks dear!  You have only yourself to blame now <insert evil laughter>.  In any event, I stopped off at my local library and picked up the first book on my list.  I decided to start with “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White.  I thoroughly enjoyed just reading the introduction and first chapter.  Professor William Strunk, Jr., had apparently been E. B. White’s instructor back in his college days.  Later on in Mr. White’s career, he was employed to revise Professor Strunk’s book for the general public.  E. B. White states that “Will felt that the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, a man floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get his man up on dry ground, or at least throw him a rope. ”  How can one not be just a little excited to read a book introduced in such a manner?  I think it will be a wonderful kick off to my summer reading, and I can’t wait to share the fruits of my learning with you.

This is not to say that I probably won’t throw in a tawdry romance novel here and there, especially between some of my more intense reading.  I might even be talked into a few other interesting reads (especially if they are suggested to me… hint, hint).  However, the following is my list from the library so you see can the type of books we will be looking at in more detail.  I would love it, though, if you would share with me your list or at least the books you would like to read or recommend.  I am more than happy to take a small break and read something suggested by others.  Although I have a short goal of getting through these in the next 3 months, I am practical enough to realize it may take longer and one should just enjoy reading what they can.  Oh.. and this isn’t the entire 50 as my library system apparently doesn’t carry all of the ones I am seeking.  Don’t worry I will track them down though!  Lastly, I should mention that some of these I have read before – but I am willing to read again looking at them from a new light.  Please share your list too!

  • Line by line : how to edit your own writing / Claire Kehrwald Cook.
  • On writing well : the classic guide to writing nonfiction / William Zinsser.
  • The hero with a thousand faces / by Joseph Campbell.
  • A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations : Chicago style for students and researchers / Kate L. Turabian; revised by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams, and University of Chicago Press editorial staff.
  • The freelance writer’s handbook / Gary Provost.
  • MLA handbook for writers of research papers.
  • Bird by bird : some instructions on writing and life / Anne Lamott.
  • The Chicago manual of style.
  • Publication manual of the American Psychological Association.
  • Mythology / Edith Hamilton.
  • Grammar Girl’s quick and dirty tips for better writing / Mignon Fogarty.
  • Casual lex : an informal assemblage of why we say what we say / Webb Garrison.
  • A dash of style : the art and mastery of punctuation / Noah Lukeman.
  • Writing tools : 50 essential strategies for every writer / Roy Peter Clark.
  • Sin and syntax : how to craft wickedly effective prose / Constance Hale ; foreword by Karen Elizabeth Gordon.
  • How to write a sentence : and how to read one / Stanley Fish.
  • Words fail me : what everyone who writes should know about writing / Patricia T. O’Connor.
  • Writing screenplays that sell / Michael Hauge.
  • You can do a graphic novel / Barbara Slate.
  • How to write science fiction & fantasy / Orson Scott Card.
  • Characters and viewpoint / by Orson Scott Card.
  • The copywriter’s handbook : a step-by-step guide to writing copy that sells / Robert W. Bly.
  • Spider, spin me a web : Lawrence Block on writing fiction.
  • How not to write a novel : 200 classic mistakes and how to avoid them–a misstep-by-misstep guide / Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman.
  • Telling true stories : a nonfiction writers’ guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University / edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call.
  • Naked, drunk, and writing : shed your inhibitions and craft a compelling memoir or personal essay / Adair Lara.
  • Self-editing for fiction writers / Renni Browne and Dave King ; illustrations by George Booth.
  • How to read and why / Harold Bloom.
  • Stories and poems for extremely intelligent children of all ages / selected by Harold Bloom.
  • The New feminist criticism : essays on women, literature, and theory / edited by Elaine Showalter.
  • Understanding comics : the invisible art / [Scott McCloud].
  • Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them / Francine Prose.
  • Poetics / Aristotle ; translated with an introduction and notes by Malcolm Heath.
  • Communist manifesto; Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels : Translation by Samuel Moore. Edited by Joseph Katz.
  • A general introduction to psycho-analysis; a course of twenty-eight lectures delivered at the University of Vienna, by Prof. Sigmund Freud, authorized English translation of the revised edition by Joan Riviere; with a preface by Ernest Jones and G. Stanley Hall.
  • Man and his symbols / [edited by] Carl G. Jung and M.-L. von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Jolande Jacobi, Aniela Jaffé.
  • On writing : a memoir of the craft / by Stephen King.
  • Zen in the art of writing / Ray Bradbury.
  • I know why the caged bird sings / Maya Angelou.
  • A moveable feast : the restored edition / Ernest Hemingway ; foreword by Patrick Hemingway ; edited with an introduction by Seán Hemingway.
  • The writing life / Annie Dillard.
  • Aspects of the novel.
  • On becoming a novelist / John Gardner ; foreword by Raymond Carver.
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