Rebecca Elliott: Painless Grammar

As the title suggests, this book is not only painless, but also pleasurable to read. Elliott’s clear explanations and excellent examples make learning the rules of grammar and punctuation approachable. Her advice on “Cleaning Up Messy Writing” is invaluable to read and practice. The latest fourth edition is worth an update for reference.

Bryan A. Garner: HBR Guide to Better Business Writing

A brief, compelling guide to improve business communication. From business letters, reports, to emails, Garner helps make your case clear, concise, and engaging through the process of the MACJ:

  • The Madman gathers material and generates ideas.
  • The Architect organizes information by drawing up an outline, however simple.
  • The Carpenter puts your thoughts into words, laying out sentences and paragraphs by following the Architect’s plan.
  • The Judge is your quality-control character, polish the expression throughout—everything from tightening language to correcting grammar and punctuation.

This little book, recommended to me by a business-grammar instructor, has just what I need to communicate in my day-to-day job.

Greg Tate: Flyboy 2

Here what I wrote about Greg Tate’s first book: “Never mind the ill-designed cover (horrendous use of typography and colors), Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America is packed with Greg Tate’s ingenious criticisms ranging from music (jazz, funk, punk-rock and hip-hop) to book to film.” Typeset in Chaparral Pro, designed by Carol Twombly, Flyboy 2 is a huge improvement. If you’re fan of Tate’s insightful writing and thought-provoking criticism, Flyboy 2, a collection of his influential, critical essays in the past thirty years, is a delightful treat. Many topics he wrote, people he interviewed, and works he analyzed in this book I have never heard of; therefore, I will be re-reading it again and again in the future.