From Donna’s Shelf

How to write?  I needed a book to help me.  The first book I bought was, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel.  While there were some good ideas here the main value of this book for me was that I learned that I did not want to write a novel.

Next I purchased a little book called Getting Published.  Although cute and interesting, I was more than a bit ahead of myself with this purchase.  Same was true with Writer’s Market, which I thought every writer should own.

Then there were two books that I would classify as reference, Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, which I already owned and the Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories because one has to know your words in order to write, right.

My List of Books on Writing:

A few of these books have been read cover to cover; most have been browsed with only certain chapters read.

  • General:  These books should prove to be very valuable once I begin to rewrite and edit my memoir.

The Writer’s Little Helper: Everything you need to know to write better and get published,  James V. Smith, Jr. Writers Digest Books, 2006

Keys to Great Writing, Stephen Wilbers. Writers Digest Books, 2000

The Facts on File Guide to Style,  Martin H. Manser. Checkmark Books, 2006

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, 30 Anniversary Ed.,William Zinsser. HarperCollins Publishers, 2006

  • Memoir:  As these books are about my genre they are very useful as well as interesting.  Many have great reading lists as well.

Writing Memoir: From Truth to Art, Judith Barrington. Eighth Mountain Press, 2002

Writing and Selling Your Memoir, Paula Balzer.  Writers Digest Books, 2011

Courage and Craft: Writing Your Life into Story.  Barbara Abercrombie. New World Library, 2007

Turning Memories into Memoirs: A Handbook for Writing Lifestories, Denis Ledoux. Soleil Press, 2006

You Don’t Have to Be Famous: How to Write your Life Story,  Steve Zousmer. Writers Digest Books, 2007

The Memoir Book, Patti Miller. Allen & Unwin, 2007

How to Write Your Life Story, Ann Gawthorpe. McGraw-Hill, 2009

Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature, Bill Roorbach and Kristen Keckler.  Writers Digest Books, 2008

Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir, Natalie Goldberg.  Free Press, 2007

Your Life as Story: Discovering the ‘New Autobiography’ and Writing Memoir as Literature, Tristine Rainer.  Teacher Putnam, 1997

  • Others:  Because I am interested in these related topics.

Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More, Dianne Jacob.  DaCapo Press, 2010

Write Your Travel Memoir:  5 Steps to Transform Your Travel Experiences into Compelling Essays, Sarah E.White.  First Person Productions, 2010

Writing Family Histories and Memoirs, Kirk Polking.  Betterway Books, 1995

Just two weeks ago I found the most relevant book of all more about that in my next post.


About Donna Strobridge Ianni

RPCV Philippines '67-'69
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