Catalog Search

The Point with Mindy Todd, Books on Writing

This morning Mindy, Melanie, and I talked about books about writing. This will be an extra long list of books because I want to include a list of what have become classics, which we really didn’t talk about (other than Strunk & White) and include the list of books for which we didn’t have time. We are always amazed at how quickly a half hour goes by, and that was without any of you calling in! If you’d like to add a book to this list, just e-mail , and I can add your favorite book for writers!
I’m also going to recommend a web site (but if you are trying not to procrastinate, stay away), which is called Brain Pickings (http://www.brainpickings.org). This is where I first read the Charles Bukowski poem “so you want to be a writer?”, and also where there is a link to the poem being read aloud.

Jill’s Picks
Self-Help: stories by Lorrie Moore includes the story “How to Become a Writer”.
Sifting Through the Madness for the word, the line, the way: new poems by Charles Bukowski includes the poem “so you want to be a writer?”.
Plotto: the master book of all plots by William Wallace Cook.
Learning a Trade: a craftsman’s notebooks, 1955-1997 by Reynolds Price.
The Poet’s Companion: a guide to the pleasures of writing poetry by Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux.
The Elements of Style by Willilam Strunk Jr., and E. B. White, illustrated by Maira Kalman
Book of Poisons: a guide for writers by Serita Stevens and Anne Bannon (part of the Howdunit Series)
Forensics: a guide for writers by D. P. Lyle, M.D. (part of the Howdunit Series)

The Art of Series published by Graywolf Press.
The Art of Subtext: beyond plot by Charles Baxter
The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again by Sven Birkerts
The Art of the Ending by Amy Bloom (forthcoming)
The Art of Description by Mark Doty
The Art of the Poetic Line by James Longenbach
The Art of Attention: a poet’s eye by Donald Revell
The Art of Time in Fiction: as long as it takes</em> by Joan Silber
The Art of Syntax: rhythm of thought, rhythm of song by Ellen Bryant Voigt
The Art of Recklessness by Dean Young
The Art of the Voice by Z.Z. Packer (forthcoming)

No Time For

Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg
Reading Like a Writer: a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them by Francine Prose (Particularly her list in the back of the book called “Books to be Read Immediately”).
The Making of a Story: a Norton Guide to Creative Writing by Alice LaPlante
Unlocking the Poem by Ottone M. Riccio and Ellen Beth Siegel
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: the complete guide to writing creative nonfiction from memoir to literary journalism and everything in between by Lee Gutkind

Classics (not mentioned this morning and in no particular order):
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones: freeing the writer within by Natalie Goldberg
Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
The Art of Fiction: notes on craft for young writers by John Gardner
Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande

Melanie’s Picks

The Everything Guide to Writing Children’s Books by Luke Wallin and Eva Sage Gordon (foreword by Peter Abrahams)

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Spunk & Bite by Arthur Plotnik

How to Blog a Book by Nina Amir

The Memoir Project: A Thoroughly Non-Standardized Text for Writing & Life by Marion Roach Smith

Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance by Rosanne Bane

Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind by Kelly L. Stone


Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing by Elmore Leonard

Writing to Win: The Legal Writer by Steven D. Stark

Great reading before writing:

Winter Journal by Paul Auster

Everything They Had: Sportswriting from David Halberstam

Category: | Permalink


This post has no comments.

Leave a Comment


Email: (required but will never be displayed)

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below: