Monday, March 17, 2008

Nonfiction Monday: Books that Invite Me to Sit Down and Talk With Them

In one of my workshops this past weekend at the CNU Writers Conference, I talked about being part of the Eternal Conversation, which is carried on, regardless of the span of years that divide them, between writers and readers. Here's a short list of nonfiction books about writing---books which, when I read them, always fill me with the urge to join the conversation. Read with a pen and notebook handy!

Books that Invite me to Sit Down and Talk with Them

A Sense of Wonder: On Reading and Writing Books for Children (Katherine Paterson)

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (Anne Lamott)

Characters and Viewpoint (Elements of Fiction Writing) (Orson Scott Card)

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom (Leonard S. Marcus)

Dreams And Wishes: Essays on Writing for Children (Susan Cooper)

Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction (Thaisa Frank)

Take Joy: The Writers Guide To Loving The Craft (Jane Yolen)

The Art Spirit (Robert Henri)

The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear (Ralph Keyes)

The Elements of Style, Illustrated (William Strunk, Jr.)

The Rock That Is Higher: Story As Truth (Madeleine L'Engle)

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art (Madeleine L'Engle)

The Courage to Teach (Parker Palmer)

To Know as We Are Known (Parker Palmer)

How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci (Michael Gelb)

99 Ways to Tell a Story (Matt Madden)


  1. I put the Yolen on hold.

    I keep a copy of Bird by Bird on my desk at all times as well as two copies of The Elements of Style. Sometimes you need the illustrated version, and sometimes you need the battered-up paperback.

  2. Hope your workshops went well! Thanks for sharing this booklist.

  3. I love that Paterson book! And I've got to read Henri's already.

  4. I love this list! You have several of my favorites here and several more I need to look for. Thanks!

  5. Oh, man! My library list has just grown by at least ten! :)

    I also like Stephen King's On Writing, even though I'm not a huge fan of his fiction.


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