I just returned from having coffee with fellow authorette, Bonnie Hardy. She’s got a great mystery series going, and if there’s one thing I love, it’s to talk shop. Although I’m sure I babbled like an excited second-grader at Disneyland, the bigger mystery for her was why I couldn’t speak coherently about books I’ve read and loved.
There are too many. They are one big sparkly blur. This is why I make lists.
When I first began my list of favorite books, I wrote this post. The Bottomless Bookshelf debuted in 2016, was updated in 2020, and now resides as a loooong list of “books I’ve read” on Goodreads, here.
That list is ordered by date, so I thought I’d pull together some titles by theme for better reference. If you’re a writer, these “sweet sixteen” books are for you. You might already have a few on your shelf or in your Kindle, but there’s always room for more, amiright?
These are books that were recommended to me in writing classes, in seminars, during webinars, by friends. They’ve encouraged, inspired, and generally kicked my butt into gear. I hope they do the same for you. Some are general, some are specific, and I’ve spread out the selection over a gamut of professional authory names. If you like what you see when you click and maybe *buy* one, I will get a nickel. Not that it changes anything on your end. You will still get a super fun reading experience or maybe end up writing your pages at two in the morning, but neither of those is my fault.
I just work here.
- On Writing, Stephen King
- Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
- Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
- STORY: Substance, Style, Robert McKee
- The War of Art, Steven Pressfield
- How I Write, Janet Evanovich
- Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert
- Let’s Get Digital, David Gaughran
- Successful Self-Publishing, Joanna Penn
- Make Art, Make Money, Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
- Letters to a Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke
- Writing the Breakout Novel, Donald Maass
- Save the Cat Writes a Novel, Jessica Brody
- The Business of Being a Writer, Jane Friedman
- Manuscript Makeover, Elizabeth Lyon
- HOWDUNIT: A Masterclass in Crime Writing, Martin Edwards
If you’ve recommended any of the above books, or discovered one that needs to be on this list, drop your comment below and have your name entered in a drawing to win my personal much-loved hardcover copy of Natalie Goldberg’s Thunder and Lightning. Must have a USA mailing address to qualify. Drawing ends next week at midnight, March 16th. Winner announced in the March 17th newsletter.
Thanks for the highly caffeinated inspiration, Bonnie!