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The Joy of Writing: A Guide for Writers Disguised as a Literary Memoir
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The Joy of Writing: A Guide for Writers Disguised as a Literary Memoir

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  73 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Drawing on his fifty years as an award-winning journalist and author of some of the finest books on Canadian history, Pierre Berton has written a witty and practical guide for writers. With almost every book a bestseller, clearly this writer knows what it takes to succeed in the publishing world. From the all-important rule of “knowing your audience” and other essential wr ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 16th 2003 by Anchor Canada (first published 2003)
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Debra Komar
May 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
In a few months, I will be living as a WIR at Berton's house, so it seemed appropriate to read his thoughts on writing. He is a master story teller and his advice on capturing people, places and even the weather is rock solid. I particularly loved his account of how a first-time author behaves following the publication of their book - dead on. It was also comforting to learn that media interviewers did not bother to read his books before talking to him - I can attest to the fact they have seldom ...more
Jocelynlt
Mar 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of pierre berton, people wanting to write (especially non-fiction), Canadians
Pierre Berton is a legend in Canadian publishing and writing. He started out as a cub reporter and wound up writing enough books to fill up 6 pages in my goodreads search. This book is part memoir of his writing life, part instructional tome, part encouragement. It's not a traditional how-to, but does come with a convenient compilation of his writing advice in the back.
Well worth the read.
Paul Riches
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Joy Of Writing with Pierre

I met Pierre Berton once. That same day I got a copy a copy of his then newest book, The Joy Of Writing.

Both were fascinating experiences.

Many lifetimes ago in the early 2000’s, I was in attendance at the now-defunct Book Expo Canada and the esteemed author Pierre Berton was one of the multiple writer guests. Handlers from Random House were stationed with Berton, who at over eighty years of age, required the help of a wheelchair to navigate around.

While walking by,
...more
Maryan
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Accomplished journalist, writer and tv personality, Pierre Berton knows how to tell a tale. The book - a guide for writers, disguised as a memoir displays his skill in writing and his ability to communicate in a clear, unpretentious fashion. At times I felt he was talking right to me, sharing his hard earned lessons and enjoying the process thoroughly. As a beginning writer I loved his accounts of what didn't work and his amazement at how it took him so many drafts to get passages right. One of ...more
Barry
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Berton describes the book as "a guide for writers disguised as a literary memoir" but in fact it's more like a literary memoir disguised as a guide for writers. There are some useful tips for beginning writers but much of the advice is for fellow professionals and a lot of the book is shameless self-promotion.
Josh
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
As one would expect, Berton is both entertaining and instructive. The book is true to its subtitle, providing a useful set of rules to guide aspiring writers, supported by an engaging narrative of the author's own experiences. I expect to re-read this one from time to time.
Stephanie
Apr 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
I absolutely loved this book. This is the best guide to writing history I have ever read, a must read for any writer and lover of history!
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Martha
good tips on how to go about non-fiction writing
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From narrative histories and popular culture, to picture and coffee table books to anthologies, to stories for children to readable, historical works for youth, many of his books are now Canadian classics.

Born in 1920 and raised in the Yukon, Pierre Berton worked in Klondike mining camps during his university years. He spent four years in the army, rising from private to captain/instructor at the
...more
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