The lists are:
Basic Writer’s Bookshelf
I think these books should be on every writer’s bookshelf.
Stephen King is a master of the craft of writing, and his “memoir of the craft” will teach you a lot about turning ideas into words, writing well, revising, and finishing your work.
If you want one book that can help you improve your writing for books and blog posts, and also for proposals and reports, grab a copy of Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.
William Zinsser was the writing coach all of us writing coaches want to become. If you’re serious about your writing, you should read his book, On Writing Well, over and over.
Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause by Becky Robinson keeps the promise in the subtitle. If you want to expand your audience and create a lasting impact, this book is a must-read
Writing a book is hard work spread over a year or more. It can become a slog. That’s why many writers turned to books like the ones below to help them maintain their motivation and momentum.
There is no best book here. There are only books that work for you and books that don’t. Find the ones that work for you. Return to them as needed.
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
Mastering the Craft
“Mastering” may be too optimistic a word. No one ever truly “masters” writing. No matter how much experience you have or how good you are, there’s always more to learn.
Mastery is like the horizon; you never reach it because it keeps moving ahead of you. These books will help you master your next step on the way to mastery.
Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd
The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall Street Journal Guide by William E. Blundell
Working by Robert A. Caro
Human beings have used stories to share important information and emotion since we crawled out of caves. If you want to become a good author, you must become a good storyteller.
My clients are mostly mid-career businesspeople. Most of them show up with lots of knowledge, plenty of facts, and piles of logic. Stories are often an afterthought. They are pleasantly surprised when stories, especially personal stories make their book easier to read and learn from.
Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers’ Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call
The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human by Jonathan Gottschall
The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know by Shawn Coyne