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A Few Good Books

Recommended Reading

Good books about writing, or about reading, or generally about this whole wordsmithing thing. Links to things you should check out, or that might tweak your mind. That sort of thing.

A Reader's Manifesto: an attack on the growing pretentiousness of American literary prose, by B.R. Myers. Like him or hate him, wholeheartedly agree or rip your hair out in fury. This sucker's worth reading. If only for the hilarious excerpts and his quite readable tone - and the fact that this essay, when first published, sparked waves of righteous retribution from the American literary establishment. We found it published by Melville House, in Hoboken, NJ, in 2002.

On Writing, by Stephen King. A lot of really commonsense thinking in this book about writing, how it happens, why it happens, and what you can do to make it happen. And a lot of straightforward serious talk about King's past, his problems, and how he's dealt with them. True, not all of us can manage to write a book while too stoned and drunk to remember writing it. But even if you aren't the scary talent King is, this book is a great read.

Zen and the Art of Writing. By Ray Bradbury. An ebullient collection of essays on writing, which really conveys the need for involvement and excitement and gusto - in life as well as art - if it's going to mean anything. Gets your adrenaline going.