QE’s Last 20 Books (About Writing)

click bait.jpgThis is going to be clickbait-tastic post, but a necessary one.  I wrote a post a while back about the importance of eating your greens.  Since then, I’ve got a couple emails about what I’m reading.  If I get two emails asking the same question, I make a post.  So here goes.

If I’ve written a book blurb, made a quote collage about the book, or have used it as fodder to teach a point, you can find it here today.  I’m also going to toss in a photo gallery of the book collages I’ve made.  Clicking any of these links will bounce you to a new window.  Also, all the books I list have been linked to Amazon (where I buy books online) and goodreads (where I prefer to read reviews). 

Lastly, these are in no particular order.  While I blog about writing and love the craft, I’m not a big fan of trying to rank books (I leave that to all of you awesome review blogonauts).  If I read a book and it changes the way I think, even if it’s just by an iota, then it’s a five star book in my eyes.  Even a bad book teaches me a lesson (what not to do).  With that being said, if you want my two cents on a certain book shoot me a comment and I’ll give you them.

Let’s do this thing…

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For me, these are the most fun to read.  I love call-to-action books.  Even when I’m not in the dumps with my writing, reading them always gets my writing furnace burning and the creative whirlpool spinning.

On Writing – Stephen King [Amazon] [goodreads]

Writing Past Dark – Bonnie Friedman [Amazon] [goodreads]

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield [Amazon] [goodreads]

Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott [Amazon] [goodreads]

Still Writing – Dani Shapiro [Amazon] [goodreads]

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As a writer and an editor, these represent my area of weakness.  Regardless, the best way I know of improving is by reading, learning, and applying knowledge.  These books are a step in the right direction.

The Grammar Bible – Michael Strumpf & Auriel Douglas [Amazon] [goodreads]

Grammatically Correct – Anne Stilman [Amazon] [goodreads]

A Dash of Style – Noah Lukeman [Amazon] [goodreads]

The best punctuation book, period. – June Casagrande [Amazon] [goodreads]

Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Lynne Truss [Amazon] [goodreads]

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These are the meat and potatoes of what I read.  Books that not only make me a better writer, but impart tools and techniques I can share with friends, clients, and my fellow blogonauts.

The Writer’s Journey – Christopher Vogler [Amazon] [goodreads]

The Hero with a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell [Amazon] [goodreads]

Stein on Writing – Sol Stein [Amazon] [goodreads]

How to Write Dazzling Dialogue – James Scott Bell [Amazon] [goodreads]

Write to Market – Chris Fox [Amazon] [goodreads]

Write and Revise for Publication – Jack Smith [Amazon] [goodreads]

The Kick-Ass Writer – Chuck Wendig [Amazon] [goodreads]

A Writer’s Guide to Active Setting – Mary Buckham [Amazon] [goodreads]

Clickbait Girl.jpgOn Writing Well – William Zinsser [Amazon] [goodreads]

Writing Tools – Roy Peter Clark [Amazon] [goodreads]

The 3 A.M. Epiphany – Brian Kiteley [Amazon] [goodreads]

Conflict & Suspense – James Scott Bell [Amazon] [goodreads]

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers – Renni Browne & Dave King [Amazon] [goodreads]

Writing Monsters – Philip Athans [Amazon] [goodreads]

Revision and Self-Editing for Publication – James Scott Bell [Amazon] [goodreads]

All right, enough with the bloody list.  Now for some eye candy!  Here are the collages I’ve made up to this point.  If you use my search bar you can find these on the site or you can click my Flickr widget and see where I keep them in high-resolution.  These, like everything else I make, are free to share and use.  I always appreciate a link-back, but it’s not a requirement at all.

question markThat’s a wrap!  Like I said earlier if you have a question about a specific book drop me a comment and I’ll give you my opinion.  There are a few books I’ve read missing from the list, but twenty was too sexy a number to not use in the headline.  I’ll make another one of these once I finish the next twenty books and include the missing few.  Speaking of this, what have you read that I’m missing out on?  I get suggestions every now and then and I always write them down and snag them to add to my toolbox.

Thanks for reading today!  I encourage you to never stop learning.  Read books in your genre, but never let a day go by where you don’t pick up a new tip or trick about the actual craft of writing.  Whether that is from non-fiction, like I’m talking about today, or it’s you analyzing a scene from your favorite book and figuring out why it works so well.  Until tomorrow, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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26 responses

    • Thanks for the kind words! I’m really glad the post was easy to navigate. I’m not a big fan of list posts (at least not ones this long) so I tried to break it up. Happy reading 😀


  1. I started the one by Stephen King but alas, I never finished it. I also need to get some of the others you mentioned. Keep up the good work, informing us with what we need to become better at our craft. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I enjoyed his memoir (the first half of the book), but that’s probably because I really enjoy his books and was naturally curious about him. I think this book gets some bad reviews because they think the whole thing is going to be a “how-to” book.

      The later portions do talk about the writing half and how he approaches it and there were some gems in there for certain. One of the reasons I so diligently read and share what I find on here is because of words he wrote in that book. It forced me to examine if this pursuit was just going to be a hobby or if I was going to treat it like a profession.

      Also the way he writes his first draft really changed the way I was writing mine. At first I was pretty open with what I was writing and would seek out feedback, but realized quickly I was losing sight of my project and beginning to write for others. His guidance on this really helped cemented me into a more proactive (for me) style of writing.

      I’m being long-winded here. I liked the book! I hope you get a chance to finish it up, you’ll likely find some good advice.

      Glad the post was helpful, thanks for stopping in to read it. Happy browsing and reading 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • Stephen King’s book never worked for me either, despite some good stuff in there. Maybe it’s because he seems like a hard-core pantser? I’m an outliner–even if my outlines wiggle around a lot. (I’m not sorry I read it, though.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • There’s also the whole period of his life where he wrote some of his best work while totally blasted on drugs and alcohol. I was like, thanks for sharing…but this doesn’t help me.

        When it comes to outlines, I’m in the middle. If I’m dragging, I’ll break out the gigantic sketch pad I have and work on outlines (everything is easier for me on giant pieces of paper). But if I can free flow, I’ll go as far as my fingers will take me.

        I have some friends who swear by the book. I just like it. I prefer the madness of Chuck Wendig (who is my spirit animal/writer) or the rally cry of Steven Pressfield when it comes down to it. Regardless, like you, I definitely wasn’t unhappy to read it and did pull a large amount of decent information from it. I think I wrote a post about it somewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

    • My wife got it for me because I keep a dream journal. We were both surprised to find out it has nothing to do with dream journaling.

      Regardless, there are some fun exercises in there. I kind of cherry-picked my way through it skipping sections that didn’t appeal to me.

      I’m pretty sure this is one I did a post on too. Hah! It’s getting hard to keep track. If there is a collage I wrote a post.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t expect folks to be able to comment and view everyday so no worries. Really, I have no expectation of you all – I just enjoy our time shared.

      Good luck with the busy schedule…don’t forget to relax and breathe every now and then.

      Liked by 2 people

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