One of the best ways to become a better writer is to read. In addition to reading well-written novels and short stories, many writers benefit from reading books about writing.
Several Bucks County writers told us the books about writing that impacted them most. If you need a little inspiration or just a thoughtful reflection on the craft of writing, borrow one of these titles.
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Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
This recommendation comes from Claire D. “It was an assigned text in a college creative writing course, and I loved it.”
Bird by Bird is essential reading for writers at every stage. Anne Lamott’s writing is earnest, down-to-earth, and witty. In Bird by Bird, she offers her hard-earned wisdom about improving as a writer and living a creative life.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Several library users recommend this title, for good reason! This popular memoir/craft book is written by one of today’s most prolific and beloved writers. While this book is particularly useful for aspiring writers, everyone can draw inspiration and advice.
A Swim in the Pond in the Rain by George Saunders
A must-read for writers and readers alike! Library staff member Emily W. chose this book in which one of America’s best fiction writers recommends using your own taste and judgment in revision. It’s also a great book if you’d like a friendly, not-at-all intimidating introduction to some giants of Russian literature, including Chekhov and Tolstoy.
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
Deborah B. told us this book “has to be one of my all-time favorite reads.” Annie Dillard is known for the clear and beautiful prose in numerous books like Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and The Abundance. In The Writing Life, she offers her approach to writing using her own life as a blueprint. Whether you write or just find artists fascinating, it’s a warm and stimulating book of wisdom.
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Library staff member Brian W. chose this book. In it, Natalie Goldberg demonstrates how writing works alongside Zen-based meditation, and how writers can “write deep” to uncover hidden truths and ideas.
Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark
Sam R. picked this title, which condenses decades of writing experience into short essays that tackle different aspects of writing. It’s packed with examples from journalism and literature, and the advice is designed to help writers improve both on the page and in their creative routines.