Tips and Teasers

This used to be just my jumpstarts page – a place where you could find ideas to jumpstart your brain when you’re blocked. But I thought that wasn’t enough. So, I’m changing it. From here on, it will be a place of tips, teasers, and other things dealing with the writing life. Hopefully you’ll find something you like.

Today, I’m going to talk about grammar books.

I can hear the groans now.

But… So many of us need them. Here are five that are on my shelves and are heavily used by me. A couple are here because they are very informative, a couple, just because they’re fun – and yes, even grammar can be fun.

Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style” – this is the gold standard of writing books. Every writer should have a copy of this book. It’s small, easy to read, not expensive, but packs a lot of information into it’s miniature size.

“The Chicago Manual of Style” – whether you put out the big bucks for the book, or use it online, this is THE source for all things grammar.

The Writer’s Digest “Grammar Desk Reference” – although the print in it is small, this book is easy to read, easy to use, and easy to understand. An essential part of any writing library.

Now for the fun ones:

“The Elephants of Style” by Bill Walsh – according to the book, it is “a trunkload of tips on the big issues and gray areas of contemporary American English” – and it is. It contains a lot of great information that is presented in an easy to read, fun way.

“Eats Shoots and Leaves”  by Lynne Truss – although this is British English, it’s still fun to read. But don’t use it as a reference if you’re American!

“The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the eager and the doomed” by Karen Elizabeth Gordon – this one  is just plain fun – yes, it tells you about grammar, but with gargoyles and imps and bats and more.

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