“Steering the Craft” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Subtitle: A 21st-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story

Recommended to me by: Justine Larbalestier

A writing manual about the tools of the writing trade: punctuation, grammar, voice, point of view. This compact book is carefully detailed, wryly kind, deeply knowledgeable. It arose out of writing workshops that Le Guin offered, and has […]

“Dreyer’s English” by Benjamin Dreyer

Subtitle: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

Recommended to me by: Jesse-the-K’s rave review

This book is both a useful guide to writing well in English, and an entertaining quick read that includes the occasional jab at the current occupant of the White House. Benjamin Dreyer is persnickety and opinionated, as befits […]

“Conversations on Writing” by Ursula K. Le Guin with David Naimon

Recommended to me by: sturgeonslawyer

I read this because I will read anything by Ursula K. Le Guin, and alas there won’t be more wise words from her to read. I feel her loss as an emptiness in the world where her steadiness and integrity used to be.

The book is an edited transcription […]

“EPUB Straight to the Point” by Elizabeth Castro

Subtitle: Creating ebooks for the Apple iPad and other ereaders

Recommended to me by: Finding it at the library

Creating an epub ebook from an InDesign print book file involves a whole lot of hidden settings and mysterious outcomes. I read a lot of blog posts, and this book was also helpful in getting […]

“The Non-Designer’s InDesign Book” by Robin Williams

Subtitle: Essential design techniques for print projects

Recommended to me by: Finding it at the library

I’m formatting my book with Adobe InDesign. While it does work to do a web search to find out how to do things like add more pages to the book, or move a title farther down the page, […]

“High Tide in Tucson” by Barbara Kingsolver

Subtitle: Essays from Now or Never

Recommended to me by: Donna Smith

When I first read this book of essays years ago, I became so absorbed that I missed my transit stop. I continued reading on a high, windy platform as I waited to catch a train returning in the other direction. I picked […]

“Indie Publishing” edited by Ellen Lupton

Subtitle: How to Design and Produce Your Own Book

Recommended to me by: Found on the library shelf in the self-publishing section, and renewed several times.

This is a quirky book with practical, detailed advice about self-publishing and designing books. I appreciate the information on choosing a page layout and some good typographical options. […]

“Let’s Take the Long Way Home” by Gail Caldwell

Subtitle: a memoir of friendship

Recommended to me by: Courtney on the Feministing blog

I loved this book. I cried at the beginning, smiled in the middle, and sighed at the end.

Gail Caldwell describes first her grief at her best friend Caroline Knapp’s death, and then their daily joys together while she was […]

“Writing the Other” by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward

Subtitle: A Practical Approach

Recommended to me by: reading Nisi Shawl’s other book “Filter House”

I felt so warmed and included by Nisi Shawl’s writing in “Filter House” that I was eager to read “Writing the Other.” I wanted both to learn how to write inclusively, and to experience more of that included feeling.

This […]

“Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott

Subtitle: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Anne Lamott’s writing process seems reassuringly similar to my own, and seems to include just as much struggle. She advises us to write everything that comes to mind, and then later refine it into clarity and grace. A lot of the book is devoted to all the […]