What Writing Books are on your Shelf?

I’m taking a basic editing course with my wife and some of the material got me wondering about what writing books I have on my shelves.  So I had to go look and have listed them below:

The Chicago Manual of Style—14th Edition

The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing

The Writer’s Handbook—2002

Literature and the Writing Process—6th Edition

A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature—4th Edition

DeScriptionary: A Thematic Dictionary—3rd Edition

Rewrite Right: How to Revise Your Way to Better Writing

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Grammar

The Elements of Editing

The Random House Guide to Good Writing

The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing

The Creative Writer’s Style Guide

How to Get Happily Published—4th Edition

Writing for Dollars: 75 Tips for the Freelance Writer

Fighting Words: Words on Writing from 21 of the Heart of Dixie’s Best Contemporary Authors

The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile

Write is a Verb by Bill O’Hanlon

On Writing by Stephen King

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

The New York Times Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, & Mispronounced Words


Of course, I’m not listing the dictionaries, thesaurus, and baby name books; or the texts on proper documentation of literary papers; or even all the reference books on different interesting topics.

You would think I had nothing left to learn about writing.  If only.  Unfortunately, you can read every guidebook out there and never become a decent writer.  Practice, practice, practice, and a good group of friends that won’t spare your feelings when they read your work is the recipe.  Also, I have found that critiquing other writers helps you to recognize some of your own flaws.

There is some good wisdom in these books too, but you don’t want to be known for having book-learning with not a lot of smarts.  At least I heard that somewhere before.