9 Good Books to Write Essays On: Improve Your Writing Skills
The Books that Every Writer Needs
Consider this: not only are you looking for good books to write essays on because you have an urgent assignment, but you could also use some writing tips because you aren’t a very skilled writer. And, very soon – within an hour even – you will know what the best books or tutorials on how to write well are, and you will embark on a great transformation, provided you are happy to commit time to improving your writing skills.
The books listed below are all good books to write essays on and have the potential to make a big difference. You can download any of them from Kindle for not more than $10.00 each, so start downloading and get started.
Books about Language Mechanics
William Zinsser’s “On How to Write Well: A Classic Guide to Nonfiction Writing”
This book is the best one available on language and its mechanics.
In their quest to find good books to write essays on, a lot of people consider themselves fortunate to have found Zinsser’s book, especially when working on the first important article, and they realize that editors and grammar experts, etc., cannot help them significantly improve their writing. Journalists have found that “On Writing Well” has the potential to change the course of a career and elevated them from mediocre writers to professionals capable of competing at international level.
Originally published in 1976, the tips in Zinsser’s book on structure, mechanics, and ways of thinking have withstood the test of time for generations of all types of writers. The principles in this book apply equally well to fiction and non-fiction writers, blog writers, and digital publishers of the modern age.
Categories covered: Mostly writing mechanics but also cover structure and thinking.
How it benefits bloggers: If you are not interested in finding good books to write a book report on but, instead, want to read just one good book on how to improve language mechanics and structure, choose “On Writing Well.” As an additional benefit, the conversational and easy voice the author uses teaches a lot that bloggers can use in their own blogs. Available for purchase from Amazon.com
Books about Mindset and Structure
Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat”
Another favorite, this book is the best in the way it deals with structure.
Essentially, this book focuses on screenplays and their structure. It bears some similarity to another book mentioned below i.e. “Story Engineering” is a comprehensive and intense book with the ability to elevate your status as a writer to a more professional plane, provided you read it and apply the book’s concepts consistently.
For example, the reader will learn how an effective screenplay should be structured, the primary story types, and other subtle methods such as the creation of characters that an audience will almost instantly fall in love with.
After reading this book, you should be able to write a good screenplay if that is your aim.
Categories covered: Mostly formula and structure.
How it benefits bloggers: In most cases, blogs are performances with you acting as the central character. Use this book to learn the art of getting your readers to love you.
Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering: Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing
Successful bloggers and all types of writers are propelled by their ability to write compelling and gripping stories. No matter whether you write e-books, novels, magazine or newspaper articles, or blog posts, you will be more in demand and memorable if you have the skills to tell a great story.
This Brooks book is akin to an advanced class in how to write novels and tell good stories. The author focuses in detail on the six key competencies – or elements – of writing successful stories, novels and screenplays. “Story Engineering” is a comprehensive and intense book with the ability to elevate your status as a writer to a more professional plane provided you read it and apply the book’s concepts consistently.
Categories covered: Deals heavily with structure.
How it benefits bloggers: This useful book has the potential to help you get much better at structuring a story regardless of its topic, length or niche. And you can get any questions you have answered in a single place. This book is definitely worthy of your effort and time.
Adair Lara’s “Naked, Drunk and Writing: Shed Your Inhibitions and Craft a Compelling Memoir or Personal Essay”
The first glimpse at this book could suggest it bears no relation to writing blogs nor that it teaches you how to write a compelling memoir or personal essay, which is what a lot of today’s bloggers find themselves struggling with. Regardless of whether you know it or not, you are pushing forward drunk and naked whenever you go to WordPress and press the “publish” button.
Lara’s book is comprised of roughly one-third writing tips and two-thirds biographical, respectively. “Naked and Drunk” is a combination of the author’s own stories with lessons on structure and the mechanics of language.
You would benefit from reading this book if or when you want a lesson on how to tell a personal story effectively. But it should not be the first thing you read.
It is important you understand all the factors that go into writing a compelling story first if you are to properly appreciate and get any benefit from this book’s lessons. Read books on storytelling first (books like “Save the Cat”) and then read this book.
Categories covered: Mostly structure and part on mechanics.
How it benefits bloggers: You will learn to reach beyond the “blogger” label and write stories that readers can connect to their own lives.
James N Frey’s “How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling”
A bit like “Save the Cat,” this book provides a formula and structure for writing novels, but it does deal extensively with the principles of effective writing and includes some examples of good storytelling.
In case it has not occurred to you yet, structure and the ability to tell stories are essential skills for anyone whose aim is to become even a competent or preferably a successful writer. Learning as much as you can about how to tell any type of story, non-fiction or fiction, is a way of adding as many tools as possible to your box of tricks as a writer.
With countless blogs written and published on a daily basis, as reported by WordPress.com, the ability to tell compelling stories is the best way of making your writing stand out from the rest.
Categories covered: Mostly storytelling and structure.
How it benefits bloggers: “How to Write a Damn Good Novel” can be considered a type of cross-training that takes the writer into the realm of storytelling. Do not rely on guesswork; do not attempt to fabricate it, and do not squander valuable time reinventing wheels. Learn your craft; then consider the best way of making writing work for your purpose.
Drew Eric Whitman’s “CA$HVERTISING: How to Use More than 100 Secrets of Ad-Agency Psychology to Make Big Money Selling Anything to Anyone”
Are you turned off by the title? Does it sound excessively money-oriented for your tastes? Then you would be overlooking this book on copywriting to the detriment of your blogging career.
Be honest: To blog successfully requires you to write persuasively under a different guise. It matters not if the aim of your blog is to earn money or otherwise. It is essential you connect with readers (using stories) to convince them it is worth their while to buy your products or read your message (using copywriting).
We recommend Whitman’s book to bloggers owing to its contemporary approach and effective summary of the main points from most must-read books on copywriting.
Categories covered: Structure plus language mechanics usage.
How it benefits bloggers: Regardless of whether you are a novice or a well-seasoned writer, it is worth knowing what successful blog writers understand about the use of psychology in their writings. At the very least, you should find it quite an eye-opener to see how people respond, virtually unknowingly, to all the persuasive writing that surrounds them.
Books about Life as a Writer
Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”
Another hot favorite, this is one of the best books on what it is like to be writer.
Even if you are not familiar with any of Stephen King’s famous thrillers, this is one book you should read. Then read it again – once per year at least.
Written as the author’s memoir, the book tells stories of King’s childhood as a way of illustrating what has made him the writer he is. As well as reading his memorable stories, you will benefit from tips on structure, mechanics, and the author’s opinion about what is essential to writers and writing. Reading this book gives you a glimpse inside King’s head to understand how he formulates those crazy ideas and develops those not-of-this-world plots. Suddenly seeing the story structure and elements will leave you feeling both inspired and in awe.
Categories covered: Mostly writing about life with insight on structure and frame of mind.
How it benefits bloggers: Uses storytelling to get readers engaged and making them want more (written by the author of over 50 bestsellers all around the world) and describes how you should always be thinking your readers’ thoughts in order to get into minds and evoke extreme feelings in them.
Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life”
This book is quite small and is possibly the most popular for teaching about structure your frame of mind and life as a writer. Lamott invisibly and very adeptly reflects her own experiences and thoughts onto her readers so that they are intimately drawn into her own personal experiences and stories – a long-established and rare skill in storytelling.
“Bird by Bird” is another piece of reading that should be undertaken once every year – at least. These classics are worth copying onto paper by hand as a way of absorbing some of their magic, cadence, and rhythm.
Categories covered: Life as a writer interspersed with approach and mindset.
How it benefits bloggers: This author makes a good idol and role model for any blog writer who wants to draw on their own personal experiences and stories to demonstrate some of life’s most basic truths. Lamott’s stories are so easy to resonate with, the fact she is speaking of herself goes unnoticed.
Available for purchase from Amazon.com
Natalie Goldberg’s “Writing down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within”
This author’s observations are so fresh they will remind you of the curiosity, excited feelings, magic and wonder that first drew you towards the world of writing. Although it has been almost thirty years since Goldberg’s book was published, she would still be very popular today if she wrote blogs and filled them with her inspirational, Zen-informed thoughts on what it is to be a writer, the beauty and wonder of language, how to overcome procrastination, and how you can be both spontaneous and focused all at once.
One person told us about reading from the Goldberg chapter entitled “Man Eats Car” to a creative writing class in an elementary school. Taking inspiration from the author’s example, this person wrote poetry upon request for $1.00 a poem at a festival being run by their church. The children present just stood awestruck and wide-eyed as poems based on their various ideas were written in any pen color they chose – poems about rainy weather, ballet dancing, wrestling and so on.
Categories covered: Life as a writer and mindset.
How it benefits bloggers: This book is a great read for anyone who wants something to gently jolt them out of a stale writing routine and inspire them to view the world afresh.