Doing some last minute shopping for writers on your list (or to put on your wish list)? Perhaps a great book? As promised here are some books I recommend–a few classics and some new books, too.
Classic Books about Writing and Style
Stephen King’s On Writing: King breaks the rules by combining a memoir and how-to book on writing. The result is a compelling read and great, simple tips for writing well.
Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style: A classic for developing your writing style and it’s a quick read, to boot. My friend and mentor Teri Scheinzeit gave me a copy of the fiftieth anniversary edition, which is particularly elegant.
Books about Writing and Creativity
Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: A witty and comforting book that explores the highs and lows and gives some solid advice along the way.
SARK’s A Creative Companion: Or anything by SARK. Her books are wonderful for tapping into playfulness and creativity.
Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles: Tricia Gilmore recommended this great book in my Bring Your Book to Life Program and I absolutely loved it. If you’re procrastinating or stuck, read this book and break through.
Books Recommended by Our Write Your Book Community
From Nora Hall: “I am in the process of reading Patience, The Art of Peaceful Living by Allan Lokos and am finding it extraordinarily helpful in learning to be patient and at peace with the process of building a platform for my book. In fact, I will post a review of it on Dec 28th and an interview with Allan on January 11th. The release day for the book is January 5th.” You can read Nora’s post on the book here.
Let’s hear from you. What great book do you recommend for writers (or anyone) this season?
Ready to Write a Great Book? This post will tell you how to write a great book and show you the elements needed to get started on the path.
Joshua Home Edwards says
This is such a great idea Lisa and an excellent list. I highly recommend “Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper” by SARK…especially because it’s fun to actually laugh while writing.
And, it goes without saying that “Writing Down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron are invaluable, creative resources (of course, I just had to say it anyway :O)
On another note, a memorable movie about the writing life that still keeps me chuckling is “Wonder Boys” featuring Michael Douglas, Frances McDormand, Robert Downey Jr. and Tobey Maguire. You can get the whole scoop from this link…http://amzn.to/veOCfT
The part that comes up for me in my daily life more than 10 years after I first saw the film is how the characters who are writers in this movie play a game where they devise a random backstory for intriguing people they see whether they’re at a bar or a cafe or the laundromat.
It can be an endless source of fun to do this with a friend or just inside my own mind as I come up with riveting and improvisational histories for people that I’m following in line at the grocery store.
It’s also a humorous exercise to wildly imagine what people are like when they’re at home blogging about their favorite books about how to be more creative ;O)
Paul McLean says
Excellent recommendations. On Writing is the only Steven King I’ve read, and it’s powerful and inspiring. And Strunk and White — I try to reread that front to back every few years. In fact, I’m using “and” too much here — I need to go back and reread it now!
Lisa Tener says
Thanks, Joshua and Paul. I’ll have to get the movie, Joshua. Writing Down the Bones was my favorite for many years and The Artist’s Way opened up some really fun explorations for me–I got an idea for a stand up comedy act, based on a character that came out of one of the exercise in that book–and then I took a stand up comedy class and brought her too life–one of those expansive, surprise-myself moves that was scary at first, but tons of fun.
Great to hear from you Paul–I’ll shoot you an e-mail to see how things are going…
susan rizzo vincent says
I have a question about book titles. If a book title is already being used but you add a subtitle to it that defines your books purpose, can that book title still be used?
Lisa Tener says
Great question, Susan, and one I hear often. Book titles cannot be copyrighted. So you can use a title someone else is using. The challenge is that the books may be confused. You don’t want someone to go onto Amazon and order their book instead of yours, so in general I would stay away from someone else’s title.
However, there are times it does make sense to use the title you want and add a subtitle that differentiates.