If you’re interested in browsing my entire book collection, it is all catalogued in the online database LibraryThing.
Please tell me about you. What are you currently reading or what books have you read and particularly enjoyed? Leave a comment below. Thanks!
A Few Favorites on Writing, Language, Style, and Usage
The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition (2017). I was introduced to CMOS during my formal copyediting training. It is the bible of copyeditors and writers, and the mother of all style guides. A massive tome (1,000+ pages), CMOS covers everything from A-to-Z pertaining to writing, editing, and publishing. For me, it is the default style guide for all copyediting projects.
Garner’s Modern English Usage, 4th edition, by Bryan A. Garner (2016). Another heavyweight in terms of pages (again, 1000+), GMEU is a book I could and do pore over for hours on end. It is the latest—and easily greatest—in a long line of usage guides, headed by H.W. Fowler’s 1926 classic Dictionary of Modern English Usage.
The Elements of Style, 4th edition, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White. (2000, 2009). In contrast to the above books, TEOS is a lightweight, with just over 100 pages. But it is a classic in its own right and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a basic, clearly written style and usage guide. There is now a more recent updated (2011) version available for Kindle.
The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need, by Susan Thurman (2002). A brief (184-page) but adequately thorough book on grammar. There are even a couple of handy chapters on the writing process that students will find helpful.
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser (1976, 2006). One of the great classics on writing. Zinsser says that “Good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading from one paragraph to the next, and it’s not a question of gimmicks . . . it’s a question of using the English language in a way that will achieve the greatest clarity and strength” (p. 5). This is one of my all-time favorites.
Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch: Let Verbs Power Your Writing, by Constance Hale (2012). Do you know all about verb tense, mood, and voice? How well do you understand participles, gerunds, irregular verbs, and phrasal verbs? Do you know why these things matter (and they do matter) and how mastering them will help your writing shine brighter? Hale’s book provides the answers. The author includes many examples from real life and literature to illuminate the concepts, along with plenty of endnotes and an extensive bibliography to warm the hearts of readers who care to dig deeper. I highly recommend this book to writers, wannabe writers, copyeditors, and students (high school and college age).