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Book Reviews
Book Reviews - March
By Sandra Tibbetts
March, 2005, 13:08

Stack up on only the best in writing resource books and reference tomes.
Tune into IN reviews for the best of How-To books from writing all walks of life and genres -- from high adventure to haiku, from fact to fiction, cookbooks to commentary and much, much more. Always check IN to see what's in. We only publish the best and our rating scale below is based upon the values of the three Es: Ease-of-Read, Educational, and Entertaining.

If you have a how-to write book that you would like us to read and possibly write a review about (we only publish reviews of books that we deem are best of the best) please send it to us. Our snail mail address is located in our 'About' area.

The Elements Of Style
William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
Longman Publishers, 2000
ISBN: 020530902X
IN Rating:

The Elements Of Style first published in 1957 is now in its fourth edition. After 48 years it remains a must-read for every writer, or anyone who writes in their business or daily lives. Packed with eleven elementary rules of usage, and principals of composition, chapters on a few matters of form, words and expressions commonly misused, an approach to style, all wrapped up in a little book of 105 pages.

Easy to read, understand, and emulate. A powerhouse of straightforward pearls of wisdom every school should teach. Often humorous, definitely not a dry read, as textbooks tend to be. How many young adults today have the basic knowledge of the English language they will need to succeed in the work force? Any writer serious about their craft should read, and have this helpful reference book close at hand at all times. I recommend The Elements of Style to the aspiring writer, and for the more seasoned professional to reread when they start to slip back into bad habits, as a quick refresher course.

In keeping with the advice of William Stunk, I have tried to keep this review short, to the point, and my favorite, not to put on airs by drawing attention to my words by using quotation marks. I continue to benefit from this book every time I read it.
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On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft
Stephen King
Pocket Books, 2002
ISBN: 0743455967
IN Rating:

Have you ever sat and listened to someone who can keep you enthralled for hours? It isn't that the individual is telling mesmerizing tales, just shooting the breeze, but also happens to be a natural storyteller. On Writing by Stephen King reminds me of this rarity in today's age. As I sat reading the book, which he tells in a very laid back, humorous, conversational, and at times, self-deprecating tone, it was as if we were having a friendly chatter in my living room. I was captivated from the beginning, where he reminisces about his youth, his struggles and addictions, and onto how he came to be one of the most prolific writers I have ever read. In his early years as a teacher, he claims not to have been very good.

However, if he taught in the same manner in which he educated with this book, I beg to differ. The entire time I was devouring a first-rate story, I was being taught the things he had learned about the craft of writing, not completely realizing how well he'd educated me until I had laid the book down at the end, and started mulling it over. He is truly an amazing craftsman and teacher.

You get everything in this book from a remarkable story to answers to questions you weren't even aware you needed to know, instructions, tips, exercises, and even to see how he edits his first draft. I've always admired his writing, but after reading this book, I am now in awe of his knowledge, his creativeness, and his ability to tell it like it is, warts and all. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys an excellent book.
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If you like this review, take a look at 'Our Members Library Of Recommended Reading' for books that have made a significant difference in our members' writing careers.
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Sandra Tibbetts is a freelance editor and writer. Currently an editor with Whiskey Creek Press, www.whiskeycreekpress.com and reviewer/editor/publisher for Romance Junkies Reviews,  www.romancejunkies.com When she has a free minute, she spends it writing, reading and gardening at her home in beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada. Favorite quote: "It's never crowded along the extra mile." - Wayne Dyer


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