Books to Read Over Winter Break
Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
This book has made the rounds in the last year, and for good reason. If you’ve spent time on Twitter, you’re probably familiar with him. Dreyer is Random House’s copy chief, and he approaches grammar and writing with his signature wit and playfulness. This is not your mother’s grammar book, and is an enjoyable, dare we say fun, book about writing and grammar to have on your shelf.
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Nonfiction by William Zinsser
This is a classic for good reason. If you’re interested in writing nonfiction, this is the book to read. Travel, science, tech, sports, memoir – it’s all in here, as well as the fundamentals of writing and the constructs of writing. Zinsser gets to the point and explains everything thoroughly, and provides sound advice with examples. You’ll be returning to this one again and again.
Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer by Roy Peter Clark
Whether you’re looking for help with academic writing, or you write fiction, or you’re nonfiction all the way, Clark has something for you. Separated into four sections: nuts and bolts, special effects, blueprints, and useful habits. Looking at language, pacing, imaging, voice, structure – it’s all in here.
The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
For those of you who love fiction, why not dive into this Pulitzer Prize winner? Like trees with their concentric rings that tell time and stories, this book unfolds in layers, with nature at its core, over years and years and years. The way Powers uses story and language, along with character development and structure, are marvelous to read and note, and even if you don’t think this one’s for you, give it a shot – you might be surprised.
There There by Tommy Orange
This national bestseller won several awards, including an American Book Award and a PEN/Hemingway award, among others. This novel follows a dozen people in the Native community, all of whom are connected – even if they don’t know it yet. Orange’s writing is unflinching, and this is a book that bears witness to an American community that everyone should read.
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