Review: The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White

Title: The Elements of Style
Author: William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
Series: N/A
Pages: 105 pages
Publisher: Longman; 4th edition (August 2, 1999)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)

The writer’s reference book, The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White provides writers a handy resource for editorial advice.

True to its description of “manual,” The Elements of Style gave practical editorial advice on writing style and grammar. Everything was definitely good advice and was a good writing book as many reviews said, but I can’t say I was very interested since informational non-fiction isn’t my favorite genre.

However I did like the fact that this reference book was thin and only included good advice, so it was a much more feasible reference book read than The Chicago Manual of Style. I’d recommend The Elements of Style to anyone who wants to become better at writing or editing. In addition to The Elements of Style, I’d also recommend On Writing by Stephen King and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott to anyone interested in writing.


Review: On Writing by Stephen King

TitleOn Writing
Author: Stephen King
Series: N/A
Pages: 288
Publisher: Scribner; 10 Anv edition (July 6, 2010)
Rating: 4 stars (Read It!-Choose It!)


The part memoir, On Writing by Stephen King delivers advice hand in hand humor stories to aspiring and experienced writers alike.

Two of my favorite sections in this captivating part memoir and part writing book were:

  • C.V.–The hilarious memoir section.
  • On Writing–The instructional and helpful part on writing, as the title suggests.

On Writing, written in first person, is a funny, yet informational read filled with useful pointers for all writers. Throughout the book, King includes personal experiences and how they shaped him as a writer.

Along with Bird by Bird by Anne Lammott, How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card, and The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, On Writing is one of the best books on writing I’ve read.

Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

The book, Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott gives you useful, honest advice on writing and the occupational hazards of being a writer.

Like with The Giver, I read this book because of the reviews. There were three parts, which focused on: craft (Part 1), the writer’s life(Part 2), support(Part 3), publication(Part 4), and Anne Lamott’s writing class teaching experiences (Part 5). Through the book, Lamott intertwined honesty and humor while still sharing advice on writing and life. Lamott’s honesty and humor made Bird by Bird an exciting book to read. For all writers, regardless of genre, Bird by Bird is a great writing book.

Some of my favorite chapters were: Sh*tty First Drafts (p.g. 21), Jealousy (p.g. 122), Writer’s Block (p.g. 176), and Finding Your Voice (p.g. 195)

Rating: Read It!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments forum. Are there any similar books you would recommend?

Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

The YA novel, Afterworlds, by Scott Westerfield, intertwines the stories of Darcy and Lizzie.

Darcy is a senior in high school. Next year, she should be going to college. Instead, she’ll move to New York and work on her debut novel, Afterworlds, and the sequel: Untitled Patel. In New York, she meets famous authors and attempts to manage her finances with a failing budget.

Lizzie–the protagonist of Darcy’s novel, Afterworlds–is waiting for her flight back home at night when terrorists strike. As people fall around her, Lizzie calls 911. The operator promises help and suggests LIzzie play dead. It turns out Lizzie plays dead too well. As a result, Lizzie thinks her way into the Afterworld. In the Afterworld, she meets a psychopomp (a soul guide) named Yamaraj. Through him she learns that because she thought her way into the Afterworld she is now a psychopomp. As a psychopomp she will gain special powers and responsibilities.

Afterworlds had an entertaining plot, however I disliked the strong language. In my opinion, I could’ve read the novel without the bad language and be perfectly fine. While the characters evoked empathy, I disliked Darcy’s character. She seemed rather naive and was terrible at keeping a budget. Ironically, I found Lizzie’s perspective more interesting (the book within a book) and enjoyed reading her story more.

Rating: Choose It!

Review: How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy by Orson Scott Card

The book, How To Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, by Orson Scott Card (well-known as the author of Ender’s Game) is an informational read for anyone who has ever wanted to write science fiction or fantasy.

Card’s book talks about the boundaries between the two similar genres and why clearly defining your genre is important. He also has a useful chapter for aspiring writers on how to get into the business of writing science fiction or fantasy.

This book was a very useful and information-packed read with a clear and easy to follow writing style. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys writing.

Rating: Read It!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments section. Are there any similar books you would recommend?