My Favorite Books About Writing Nonfiction

There are some good books here. The Artists Way and Bird by Bird are both books that have been continually recommended over many years and I now dip in and out of.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

41lhhayQO9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I always love reading about writing. I caution students about spending so much time reading about it that they never actually do it, but these books in particular have been invaluable in shaping my own approaches to writing. Some of them focus on nonfiction specifically, while many are great for any kind of writing:

The Artful Edit, by Susan Bell: I use this every time I do a self-edit on a manuscript. It’s also a fun book to read straight through. She uses the editing process for The Great Gatsby — detailed in letters between Fitzgerald and his editor — to show how editing makes everything better.

The New New Journalism, by Robert Boynton: Interviews with all the rock stars of current creative nonfiction — Ted Conover, Erik Larson, Susan Orlean. This is like a fan magazine for nerds like me.

The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: 

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Don’t let me loose in a bookstore

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A gift voucher is a great way to get me in the bookstore with a carefree attitude.
I couldn’t find most of the books on my need-to-buy-for-uni list, but managed to gather some others to fill the void.
Luckily for our bank account my arms can only hold so much!

Reading different genres

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Some books from the Sweet Valley High series – teenage romance

Do you avoid certain genres when you are looking for a good read? I do.

I am generally a wide, across-all-genre reader and in fact that is one of the things I have loved about being in a book club: reading books I would never consider picking up, and then thoroughly enjoying them. The one that sticks in my mind most is Joan Richmond: The Remarkable, Previously Untold Story from Melbourne to Monte Carlo and Beyond.

Are you an ereader or paper reader?

I know we are meant to be embracing this wonderful new technology, but I am struggling.

A friend has lent me her ereader so I can read the next book on the list for our book club and she thinks it would be good for me to give a try with the idea that I may get one as well.  I’m the last one in my book club to move onto the new technology and I am at least ten years younger than the rest. In fact, I am meant to the age that is embracing new technology. As it turns out, the half generation above me is.

I am surprised how difficult I am finding it and I don’t know if it is just because I spend most of my working/studying time staring at a screen.