The best 16 Writing books

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

The Hero with a Thousand Faces

Joseph Campbell
Understanding the Hero’s Journey Through Psychology and Mythology
4.5 (372 ratings)

What's The Hero with a Thousand Faces about?

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1948) is a seminal work of comparative mythology. It reveals that foundational myths from around the world share similar structures and themes, which trace back to some of our earliest stories and continue to hold a strong power over us today. 

Who should read The Hero with a Thousand Faces?

  • Anyone interested in storytelling
  • Fans of myths and fables
  • Writers looking for inspiration

How to Take Smart Notes

How to Take Smart Notes

Sönke Ahrens
One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers
4.4 (647 ratings)

What's How to Take Smart Notes about?

How to Take Smart Notes (2017) is exactly that – an explanation of how and why to take smart notes. It explains how this simple, little-known, and often misunderstood technique can aid your thinking, writing, and learning. With the help of smart notes, you may never face the horror of a blank page again.

Who should read How to Take Smart Notes?

  • Students and professors with papers to write
  • Budding nonfiction writers
  • Notetakers hoping to up their game

Communicate with Mastery

Communicate with Mastery

J. D. Schramm with Kara Levy
Speak With Conviction and Write for Impact
4.5 (149 ratings)

What's Communicate with Mastery about?

Communicate with Mastery (2020) is a practical guide for senior leaders wishing to improve their communication skills. It provides actionable advice and useful strategies to become an influential speaker and a compelling writer.

Who should read Communicate with Mastery?

  • Business leaders
  • Entrepreneurs
  • People who want to improve their communication skills

On Writing Well

On Writing Well

William Zinsser
The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
4.4 (280 ratings)

What's On Writing Well about?

On Writing Well (1976) by William Zinsser is an indispensable guide to the art and craft of nonfiction writing. Adapted from Zinsser’s writing course at Yale University, this handbook introduces the principles of good writing in a warm, accessible way. What’s more, it’s packed with tips, tricks, and tools for polishing prose to perfection.

Who should read On Writing Well?

  • Beginner writers who feel intimidated by the blank page
  • Storytellers who want to tame their sentences and sharpen their skills
  • Professionals who know that writing well is non-negotiable

Bird by Bird

Bird by Bird

Anne Lamott
Some Instructions on Writing and Life
4.5 (105 ratings)

What's Bird by Bird about?

Told from the personal perspective of author Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird is a guide toward becoming a better writer and improving your life along the way. Lamott’s distinctive approach, honesty and personal anecdotes make this book a must for writers or anyone who wants to become one.

Who should read Bird by Bird?

  • Aspiring and professional writers
  • Anyone interested in learning about the writer’s life
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to establish a creative routine

Wired for Story

Wired for Story

Lisa Cron
The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence
4.4 (107 ratings)

What's Wired for Story about?

Wired for Story (2012) takes findings from modern brain science to explain why exactly certain stories suck us in, while others leave us bored and disengaged. By using some fundamental techniques drawn from understanding what makes us tick, writers can craft more compelling stories.

Who should read Wired for Story?

  • Anyone interested in writing
  • Anyone interested in brain science
  • Anyone interested in storytelling

Persuasive Copywriting

Persuasive Copywriting

Andy Maslen
Cut Through the Noise and Communicate With Impact
4.3 (161 ratings)

What's Persuasive Copywriting about?

Persuasive Copywriting (2019) is a valuable guide to the world of copywriting, with tips on how to get the attention and keep the interest of customers, as well as generate those all-important sales for your client. Author Andy Maslen takes time-tested techniques that have proven reliable for generations and shows how these are being successfully applied in an online world that’s increasingly focused on content marketing.

Who should read Persuasive Copywriting?

  • New and experienced copywriters
  • Marketing and sales professionals
  • Writers eager to engage readers

Reading Like a Writer

Reading Like a Writer

Francine Prose
A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them
4.3 (89 ratings)

What's Reading Like a Writer about?

Reading Like a Writer (2006) shows us how to read literary masterpieces with open eyes. These blinks explain the patterns of writing that make fiction memorable, powerful and authentic, helping us slow down our reading and find more enjoyable experiences in every book.

Who should read Reading Like a Writer?

  • Avid readers who want to get more out of their fiction-reading experience
  • Writers and those dreaming of becoming one
  • Anyone who promised themselves they’d read the classics, but hasn’t managed to yet

Write It Down, Make It Happen

Write It Down, Make It Happen

Henriette Anne Klauser
Knowing What You Want – and Getting It!
4.5 (101 ratings)

What's Write It Down, Make It Happen about?

Write it Down, Make it Happen (2001) offers useful and practical advice for your personal, professional or romantic life. The advice is centered around writing down your goals and visualizing both your fears and aspirations as a way to overcome your perceived limitations and make your dreams reality.

Who should read Write It Down, Make It Happen?

  • Aspiring novelists, poets and writers
  • Readers launching an exciting new project or hoping to revive an old one
  • People who lack the confidence or motivation to make their dreams come true

The Sense of Style

The Sense of Style

Steven Pinker
The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
4.2 (73 ratings)

What's The Sense of Style about?

The Sense of Style (2014) offers a refreshing and relevant guide to writing potent, readable texts of all kinds. Instead of extolling the same confusing and sometimes counter-intuitive rules found in traditional style guides, The Sense of Style offers simple tricks and heuristics guaranteed to improve your writing.

Who should read The Sense of Style?

  • Lovers of the English language
  • Professional or amateur writers
  • People interested in linguistics

Writing That Works

Writing That Works

Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson
How To Communicate Effectively In Business
4.0 (57 ratings)

What's Writing That Works about?

Writing That Works (1981) is the definitive guide to business writing. These blinks are full of advice on how to write clear, compelling and succinct business communications, covering everything from quarterly reports to presentations, emails and even resumes.

Who should read Writing That Works?

  • Marketers and advertisers at all levels
  • Students of business, marketing and advertising
  • Entrepreneurs looking for tips on effective business writing

Written in History

Written in History

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Letters that Changed the World
3.8 (89 ratings)

What's Written in History about?

Written in History (2018) takes a look at some of the world’s most important letters. From love letters revealing the intimate sides of Mozart and Stalin to political statements which altered the course of history, these blinks guide you through the personal thoughts of many renowned figures of the past. As you’ll see, letters give us insight into historical events as well as remind us what it means to be human.

Who should read Written in History?

  • History buffs
  • Students of political science or communications
  • Readers interested in the private thoughts of powerful people

Everybody Writes

Everybody Writes

Ann Handley
Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
3.8 (123 ratings)

What's Everybody Writes about?

Everybody Writes (2014) gives you invaluable advice on how to create great content, from using correct grammar to crafting engaging posts, tweets and emails. With just a handful of simple rules, these blinks will help you gain a better understanding of how to use the right words to keep customers coming back for more.

Who should read Everybody Writes?

  • Business executives who need to improve their written communication
  • Marketing professionals responsible for content generation
  • Project managers coordinating web design and content

Sex, Lies, and Handwriting

Sex, Lies, and Handwriting

Michelle Dresbold
A Top Expert Reveals the Secrets Hidden in Your Handwriting
3.6 (44 ratings)

What's Sex, Lies, and Handwriting about?

Sex, Lies, and Handwriting (2006) is an informative guide to spotting the clues in a person’s handwriting that reveal their true nature. Filled with real-world examples, these blinks offer fascinating insights into the world of handwriting analysis and what we reveal about ourselves every time we put pen to paper. With this information, you’ll never look at a signature the same way again!

Who should read Sex, Lies, and Handwriting?

  • Amateur detectives
  • Psychology students
  • Readers who want to spot a lie

Write Your Book in a Flash

Write Your Book in a Flash

Dan Janal
The Paint-by-Numbers System to Write the Book of Your Dreams—FAST!
4.7 (74 ratings)

What's Write Your Book in a Flash about?

Write Your Book in a Flash (2018) provides a comprehensive roadmap to writing non-fiction business books. By following its clear system, you can create a quality book quickly and effectively, to showcase that you’re a leader in your field.

Who should read Write Your Book in a Flash?

  • Thought leaders wanting to share their knowledge
  • Business executives seeking to build their personal brand
  • Non-fiction writers struggling with procrastination

Do I Make Myself Clear?

Do I Make Myself Clear?

Harold Evans
Why Writing Well Matters
4.1 (54 ratings)

What's Do I Make Myself Clear? about?

Do I Make Myself Clear? (2017) offers a much-needed look at why clear and concise messages are, now more than ever, so important. There is an overwhelming abundance of content these days, and yet finding the truth has never been more difficult. Politicians and marketing executives use deliberately misleading words that obscure the truth and leave us confused and distrustful. Other times, bad writing simply leaves us scratching our heads. If we hope to better understand the facts, we need more people who can deliver clear and meaningful writing.

Who should read Do I Make Myself Clear??

  • Aspiring writers
  • Students hoping to craft better papers
  • Readers tired of bad writing

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