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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Required Reading for Writers

Back when I worked for The Bank, there was a stupid rule that we had to read this bohemoth of a policies and procedures book every year before December 31st. Every year, I'd put it off until the very last week, hoping I could somehow get out of it. And every year, my boss would swish past my desk, wearing a look on her face like she'd just swallowed a toad, and I'd know my plan had been foiled. Again.

I don't rightly recall why I had such an aversion to reading the policies and procedures handbook, except to say that half the stuff was either outdated or outlandish or both. But I do remember how it felt to come back in the middle of December, after my winter vacation, and see that 5" maroon binder staring me in the face. It's the same feeling I got last week, when I looked at my history final and realized everything I knew about the Civil War came from True Blood.

But as I was tidying up my office, the thought occurred to me that maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to spend what little bit is left of 2010 re-reading some of my favorite writing books.

Here's a short list:


I have others on my shelves that I turn to periodically, but these are the ones I find myself going back to over and over again.

How about you? Which books are your favorites, and which would you deem required reading for writers?

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