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Books on Writing

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

I've got to admit--me and my wife are feeling a little ragged from all this virus lockdown stuff as you can see in the pic. So exercise is the panacea (and lately Vit D, look it up), but then I just want to mindwash with TV and social media (though I was encouraged to delete all apps after watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix). So what I'm saying, after my big hit on my last post (all I had to do was insert the word Trump to get visits from all over the world), my zest, mojo, spark, enthusiasm, creativity et. al, is at a low ebb.


So here's a filler post: a list of books, in no order whatsoever, on writing culled from "best" lists and from my own reading. Many of the books I haven't read, but are repeated on those "best" lists and I want to read them. I've asterisked the ones I've read and found useful. The list is eclectic and includes creativity stimulants, craft, life, and utility of writing, mostly long fiction. Forthcoming lists may appear on writing apps, websites, and best novels, as adjudicated by me. Speaking of adjudicated, watching Barrett sit in the senate and answer questions is fascinating. She'd make a terrific character in a novel. Is she perfect?








  1. *Steering the Craft: Ursula Le Guin

  2. The Anthology of Really Important Modern Poetry, Kathryn and Ross Petras

  3. The Princess Saves Herself in This One. Amanda Lovelace

  4. *The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai: Translated by Robert Alter

  5. Selected Poems: W.H. Auden

  6. *Selected Poems. Selected Prose: T.S. Eliot

  7. How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry: Edward Hirsch

  8. *On Writing: Stephen King

  9. Three Act Structure: https://blog.reedsy.com/three-act-structure/

  10. The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life: Ann Patchett

  11. The Writer’s Journey: Christopher Vogler

  12. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: Renni Browne and Dave King

  13. The War of Art: Steven Pressfield

  14. *Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them: Francine Prose

  15. *The Elements of Style: William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

  16. *If You Want to Write: Brenda Ueland

  17. *Writing Fiction, Barnaby Conrad and the staff of Santa Barbara’s Writing Conference

  18. *Outlining Your Novel: Map Your Way to Success and Structuring Writing Your Novel: K.M. Weiland

  19. The Portable MFA in Creative Writing: New York Writers Workshop

  20. *The Art and Craft of Writing: Oakley Hall

  21. *Opening Up: J.W. Pennebaker

  22. *Screenplay: Syd Field

  23. *The Writing Life: Annie Dillard

  24. *Naked, Drunk, and Writing: Adair Lara

  25. *Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything was Different: Chuck Palahniuk.

  26. The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller: John Truby


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