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The Best Books on Writing Series

Updated on September 8, 2013

Try these books about writers and by writers on the craft of writing

I've been a reader and collector of books on writing for at least 25 years. While many writers buy them, few read them all the way through and even fewer do the exercises or try out the content. I enjoy reading books on writing whether it's on the art, the craft, or the business. For me it's like entering into a conversation with another writer where we go deep into a subject. You mention the topic, genre, or writer and I probably have a book on it.

For years I've answered questions about best books on writing or suggesting titles. So this year I decided to go through my collection and pull out the various books I tend to recommend and write about them. This lensography page captures those pages as they're written and adds them to the growing list. So if you keep this handy, you'll always be able to see what's been added.

Read about writers and their work - Paris Reviews collection of interviews with writers

If you enjoy writing, you probably are interested in learning about other writers: their lives, their work, their processes. Writers are often a curious lot so the interviews can be fun reading, too.

Scroll down for more anthologies that feature writers.

Writers at Work 03 (Paris Review)
Writers at Work 03 (Paris Review)

The Paris Reviews have always had great interviews with writers.


Have You Read Your Writing Books? - Share your experience with books on writing

Do you read the books on writing and/or publlshing or do they sit on your bookshelves?

I do. Like you I read them and try out the exercises, etc.

I do. Like you I read them and try out the exercises, etc.

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    • yayas 5 years ago

      No, I don't read 'em. I devour 'em. I bask in their very essence. I completely immerse myself in 'em an' try to absorb every ounce of knowledge that is hidden in plain sight on every page.

    No. I have good intentions but never to seem to have the time or other things get in the way.

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      • TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

        I've thought about reading a book like that but so far haven't gotten around to it.

      • ChaunyWrites 6 years ago

        I usually skim through them, and then they sit on my bookshelves.

      Writing Books - Name Your Poison - Favorite types of books about the craft and the business

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      writing books

      Which type of writing books do you tend to buy?

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      The Paris Review celebrates 50 years

      The Paris Review Book: of Heartbreak, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, the Art of Writing, and Everything Else in the World Since 1953

      Well, I'm not sure how you can go wrong with a title like this one. This anthology commemorates the 50th anniversary of the great Paris Review series. The Paris Review has been read by writers for years and remains highly regarded. Here are a few of the writers included in this volume:

      Jack Kerouac

      Norman Mailer

      Louise Erdrich

      Jonathan Franzen

      Gabriel García Márquez

      William Burroughs

      Denis Johnson

      David Foster Wallace

      Raymond Carver

      Italo Calvino

      Grace Paley

      Women Writers at Work anthology by George Plimpton
      Women Writers at Work anthology by George Plimpton

      Women Writers at Work by George Plimpton

      Editor, George Plimpton and introduction by Margaret Atwood

      Gain insight from sixteen women writers who talk about their work, their writing processes, their fellow writers, and their lives. The interviews are culled from the famous Paris Review anthologies.

      Writers include Margaret Atwood, Marianne Moore, Katherine Anne Porter, Rebecca West, Dorothy Parker, P.L. Travers, Simone de Beauvoir, Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary McCarthy, Nadine Gordimer, Maya Angelou, Anne Sexton, Toni Morrison, Susan Sontag, Joan Didion and Joyce Carol Oates.

      More Writing Resources

      Tell me what you think and share your thoughts about writing - I love to hear from my readers

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          TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

          I definitely want to study how to get stories published.

        • yayas profile image

          yayas 5 years ago

          I cannot recall a time in my life when I did not wanna' write. My mama instilled such love in my heart for telling a story that I have never wavered from that goal. Now that I am retired an' can actually do whatever I wanna' do, I find that writing is even more important to me than it was during those first years. From the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night, my constant focus is how to be a better writer. Books are my friends in that quest an' I sink my proverbial teeth into any book that can help me improve an' move closer to my dream.

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