Four Books to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of 'The Elements of Style'
Today is the golden anniversary of William Strunk and E.B. White's "The Elements of Style." With 10 million copies in print, it's (its?) far and away (cliche!) the most popular book on writing ever published. ("Do not overstate.")
To commemorate the occasion, Pearson Longman has released a special leather-bound edition of the little book, complete with blurbs from Dorothy Parker, David Remnick and, naturally, Ben Affleck. ("I owe my success to Strunk and White," he claims, ignoring for the moment that hair, those Ken-doll good looks.)
Just to get the conversation rolling, here are four more favorite books about writing. Would love to hear your additions to this list.
"Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life," by Anne Lamott.
Probably her best book, this is full or wise and witty advice. When I was teaching at a tony prep school in St. Louis, I regularly risked censure by reading aloud her marvelous chapter called "Shitty Rough Drafts."
"On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft," by Stephen King.
I realized late -- while reading this -- just what a fine writer King could be. He started "On Writing" before the car accident that almost killed him, and eventually he used that ordeal as a major segment for the book.
"On Moral Fiction," by John Gardner.
I reread this over the summer and was struck, again, by what a powerful, brave work of criticism it is. He would be only more appalled today by the celebration of the bizarre, the disturbing, the amoral.
"American Heritage Book of English Usage: A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English."
Everybody has his (their?) (there?) (they're?) favorite guide, but this is mine. It's clear, well organized and not excessively esoteric.
-- Ron Charles | Twitter roncharles
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: thelittlefluffycat | April 16, 2009 9:26 AM
Posted by: greenink11 | April 16, 2009 10:00 AM
Posted by: lheffelkcrrcom | April 16, 2009 10:37 AM
Posted by: cebeling | April 16, 2009 3:05 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.