A Journalist’s Bookshelf

When I talk to community groups, college journalism classes or wanna-be journalists about writing, I always hand out this list of books that I’ve read and read again. A few are even dog-eared, with tiny yellow Post-Its and ink underlines highlighting some gem I’ve found.

And in these books, gems are many. May you find a few, too.


“Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose,’’ Constance Hale

The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life,’’ Dinty W. Moore

Writers On Writing,’’ edited by Robert Pack and Jay Parini

“On Writing,” Stephen King

“The Invisible City: A New York Sketchbook,’’ Pete Hamill

“The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative,’’ Vivian Gornick

“Writing Tools: 50 Essential Strategies For Every Writer,’’ Roy Peter Clark

“Somebody Told Me: The Newspaper Stories of Rick Bragg,’’ Rick Bragg

Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life,’’ Dani Shapiro

“The Sound On The Page,’’ Ben Yagoda

“A Writer’s Coach: The Complete Guide To Writing Strategies That Work,’’ Jack Hart

“The Art of Fiction,’’ John Gardner

“Writing For Story: Craft Secrets of Dramatic Nonfiction by Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winner,’’ Jon Franklin

Writing Down The Bones,” Natalie Goldberg

“Bird by Bird,’’ Annie Lamott