Author Topic: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions  (Read 6622 times)


  • Guest
Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« on: March 11, 2006, 10:11:32 AM »
Chicago Manual of Style

Oxford Fowler's Modern English Usage

If you can POSSIBLY get hold of a first (or at least an early) edition of Fowler, then it's well worth the trouble.  Fowler was highly opinionated, and his original work is fun to read (if you're interested in the English language ... but then I'm guessing that most people here are!)  The latest version is editied by Sir Ernest Gowers (he of the Complete Plain Words--see below--).  It's still good, but a lot of Fowler's original fire has been edited out.

The Complete Plain Words

Strunk and White: The Elements of Style

Ritter: The Oxford Style Manual

Last but not least:
John Humphrys (from Radio 4's Today programme) Lost for Words: The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language

I guess I ought to put these on my website's book page, so I get the commission, but I haven't done so yet ... just to prove that I like them anyway!

And, of course, there's always Wikipedia.  For instance, how many of you know what a Pilcrow is?  I didn't, until I looked up Punctuation on Wikipedia, just for fun (yes, I know, I must get out more).  It's that funny backwards P that denotes the end of a paragraph, and which, on a button in Word, allows you to see all the hidden Word stuff.

Want to know more? ...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2006, 07:10:57 PM by admin »


  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2006, 10:24:15 AM »
Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss - the section on commas is most useful.

Good Punctuation by Graham King, published by Collins.  Whilst this book is not as humorous a read as Lynn Truss's book, it is a good, no-nonsense guide to correct punctuation.

Offline JamesH

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • Emotional Freedom
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2006, 02:03:44 AM »
Elsewhere someone recommended the Little Brown Book, and McKee's "Story", with links to Canadian Amazon.

If you're in the UK, they're available here:


Brown Book:

Best wishes,

James Hardiman


  • Guest
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 04:04:59 AM »
Read Stephen King's book entitled "On Writing".  Found it enormously entertaining and helpful.  If you  haven't read it, you must.  Even if you aren't a'll love it.


  • Guest
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2006, 01:23:51 PM »
Books on Grammar: Picked this one up the other day in Borders. A small, compact book to take with you or just have beside your desk when you haven't got room or the strength for the weightier tomes above.

'Really Simple English Grammar' by Carolyn Humphries. Priced at 5.99. Part of the 'Essentials' series of books.

Books on Writing: 'How to Write Damn Good Fiction' by James N. Frey. Down-to-earth, clear with a logical sequence of ideas to follow.


  • Guest
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 01:28:55 PM »

Posts: 15

Reply #14 on: Today at 17:39:04      

Here are some of my favorites:

Novelist's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes - Raymond Obstfeld - ISBN 0-89879-973-2

Fiction First Aid - Raymond Obstfeld - ISBN - 1-58297-050-5

Building Believable Characters - Marc McCutcheon - ISBN - 0-897879-683-0

Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay"  (practical advice for the grammatically challenged) - Richard Lederer & Richard Dowis ISBN - 0-312-20363-2   *and that's no lie

Grammatically Correct -Anne Stilman ISBN - 0-89879-776-4

The Describer's Dictionary - David Grambs - ISBN - 0-393-03399-6

Flip Dictionary - Barbara Ann Kipfer, PH.D. - ISBN - 0-89879-976-7

Descriptionary (a thematic dictionary) - Marc McCutcheon - ISBN - 0-965-08753-0

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy - E. D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, & James Trefil - ISBN - 0-965-76643-8

Creating Character Emotions - Ann Hood - ISBN - 1-884910-33-5

QPB Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins - Robert Hendrickson - ISBN - 0-965-47860-2

I write romantic suspense, so if anyone is interested I have books like Murder One, Deadly Doses, Writer's Complete Crime Reference, etc. that I can give you the necessary info.


Offline Writers Block

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 671
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2006, 10:49:06 AM »
My sentence construction has always been prone to errors, I am over fond of commas, this book has helped me overcome this.

Smudge and Chewpen Sentence Book

unfortunately it seems to be out of print, however there are probably some copies out there somewhere.

I tend to critique in a harsh manner. Please remember it is not personal, but how I prefer anyone critiqueing me to be. It is far more useful IMO.


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Offline "lorraineofkeli"

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 318
  • The World Is Yours!
Re: Books on Writing and Grammar - Member Contributions
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2006, 03:26:00 PM »
I have to agree with Lin about Stephen King's "On Writing". If I were to recommend a book about writing, it would be that one. I found it very entertaining and helpful, especially coming from a writer I so admire.