Books on writing you should have even if you are not a writer.

The 30 Dollar Writing School by Michael Dean

It offers a bit of everything but most important?  It gives you clear basic grammar and punctuation guides to those things that we screw up .  If you are a Native English speaker or you aren’t one, this book can really help.   It’s not dry or boring.  His tone is light and fun so you might end up reading it to the  end.

It also will change your view on the books you read and give you a new set of standards for your favorite writers to live up to.

Find out which grammar rules not worry about because the rules are changing or generally accepted.  For example Who in place of Whom.   Whom may be the correct way but Who is generally the standard.

Currently I am reading plotting but what I am gaining from plotting is not just plotting as in a novel.  I am reading about Clarity of Subject,   Organization and Basic Outlining.   A must if you are in business and are required to write.

And he makes it all fast, fun and simple.   I don’t have the CD but the CD with the software it offers would be outdated anyway.   The world has gone a bit beyond the 2004 version of Word.    So if you can find a copy anywhere, grab it and don’t worry about the CD.

The Chicago Manual of Style

I will be the first to admit this thing makes great bedtime reading for insomniacs.    It’s dry.  It’s boring.  But heaven’s help us,  It’s got everything you ever need to know or want to know or don’t want to know but have to know on Grammar, Punctuation, Names and Terms, Numbers,  Documentation, Indexes,  Books and the Publishing Process.     It would be a great way to punish your teen.  Make ’em read so many pages and then show you what they learned.

But it is the first thing you are going to grab when you aren’t sure what you should be doing with the written language.

It will tell you more than you want to know or need to know about the subject you pick.

For example


When an entire independent sentence is enclosed in parentheses or square brackets, the period belongs inside the closing parenthesis or bracket. When matter in parentheses or brackets, even a grammatically complete sentence, is included within another sentence, the period belongs outside (but see also 6.96). Avoid enclosing more than one complete sentence within another sentence. For the location of a period with quotation marks, see 6.9.

Fiorelli insisted on rewriting the paragraph. (His newfound ability to type was both a blessing and a curse.)

Farnsworth had left an angry message for Isadora on the mantel (she noticed it while glancing in the mirror).

“All the evidence pointed to the second location [the Lászlós’ studio].”

SOMEONE SAVE ME….   [Note the 4 periods.   The Period that ends the sentence and the  … ellipsis.  Thank you Chicago Manual of Style.  You always include the ending period in the group at the end of a sentence.]

You see the blanking 2426 pages in my PDF reader has its uses.   This book is not cheap.  The however is you can buy it when your kid enters high school and they can use it well into their college years and beyond.   Language styles change slowly.  Unless they are in the book editing business and need the newest version, an older edition will serve them well.