A classic book offers classic advice on Writing with Style. John Trimble’s clear explanations backed up with carefully selected examples make it a useful and delightful read. The short chapter on diction is solid gold.
Bruce Ross-Larson’s Edit Yourself is like a little diet manual for writing. Ross-Larson shows you how to trim off all the fats in your writing and to focus on the core message. It’s a book to keep within reach when editing your writing. I’ll use it as a reference for my eating habit as well.
In Grammar for the Soul, Lawrence Weinstein proves that improving your grammar can enhance the quality of your life. Like yoga, mediation and exercise, he believes “Grammar can become a place to get in spiritual shape.” Learning grammar is my goal for personal growth this year; therefore, I find Weinstein’s take on inspirational grammar motivating.
With Grammar Moves, Weinstein and Thomas Finn turn Grammar for the Soul into a textbook that students would be interested in learning about grammar. What makes this book intriguing is that each grammatical element gets a personal trait. For instance, the colon is associated with being assertive and commas are associated with being organized. These connections help figuring out how each punctuation works.
Both books are worth rereading when you have a couple of hours to waste, like flying in a plane.
Ms. Baranick makes grammar not only easy to grasp but also fun to read. She uses pop-culture references and witty analogies to keep the subject engaging. It’s a concise book that could be knocked off in a few hours, and you’ll be convinced: “Writing stimulates our brains to penetrate language, conjugate verbs, and insert punctuation.”
I have finally read a Stephen King book—ironically not a novel, but a nonfiction on writing. In the first half he shares a vivid memoir of how he became a writer. Some of his childhood details are hilarious. In the second half he writes about the craft, the process, and the language. The book is a fascinating read, but in short, King’ Prime Rule to writing is “read a lot, write a lot.” Not revelation but reassuring advice coming from the King himself.
A big, beautiful coffee table book on Erik Spiekermann, an eminent type and graphic designer. Although his body of work is inspiring to flip through, it would be more insightful to read about his process, like Yves Peter’s “The Making of FF Meta Serif.” I was expecting something along the line of Adrian Frutiger Typefaces.
Read this book the first time to learn various punctuations from a variety of sources including AP, APA, Chicago, MLA, and a panel of expert in the field. Knowing the different conventions will help you punctuate with confidence. Read it the second time to learn June Casageande’s clear, concise, and comprehensible writing style. Keep it closed by your desk for punctuation reference.
From two-bit word to long-short combo to three-part paragraph, Stephen Wilbers offers clear, insightful techniques for improving your writing skills. As someone who is still struggling to learn English, I find his advice to be helpful. I read through the entire book, but skipped the exercises and further thoughts. As recommended by the author, I’ll definitely reread it again slowly and go through everything in the book.
The second edition of Peter Gasston’s The Book of CSS3 is worth a reread. Because CSS has been evolving in the last four years, he revised and updated many new features. If you want to catch up on the latest CSS properties, this book is for you. I intended to use it for my Advanced Web Design class.