Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

What are some of your favorite writing, reading, and language books?

Most of us who play with words, whether for a living or for fun, love books about words, about writing, and about language. From the grammar books we grew up with, to the histories of language tha pique our interests, we are, indeed, “people of the book,” although the “book” in question may vary.

When it comes to writing, my go-to book is The Chicago Manual of Style, followed closely by Lawrence Block’s books on writing, by the Writers’ Digest series of writing books, and by almost any book that explores how English developed.  I also love books about journal-keeping (whether online or on paper).

Since I have read most of the books *I* have found on the subject, I am asking my readers to let me know what some of their favorites are, so that I can hit the library (my favorite resource of all) and expand my knowledge base. I know that a lot of the books we lean on for our grammar depend on what was being taught as we were growing up, and I also know that grammar has changed since I was a young’un.  Therefore, I am primarily interested in seeing what books are being taken as grammar gospel by those whose schooling was after mine (I graduated high school in 1970).

What books are your touchstones when it comes to grammar, language, writing and reading? What books would you recommend to someone trying to learn more about English and how it developed? What is your favorite reference resource?

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2 thoughts on “What are some of your favorite writing, reading, and language books?

  1. For general stylistic advice, Strunk and White. For academic work, footnotes , bibliography format, etc., it’s Turabian. For sheer entertainment as well as craft, Stephen King’s On Writing. I’d have to roam around work to scare up some new titles, nothing else is coming up at the moment.

    • Thanks, Joanne! Knew I could count on you for some good ones. Haven’t read the King yet, but will seek it out.And would love to see what titles your office would provide.

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