Best Books For Writers

A list of books whose purpose is to encourage, inspire and help writers. Important Note: Please add only books that have to do with writing that are non-fiction.
1

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4.31 avg rating — 243,190 ratings
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2

by
4.23 avg rating — 769 ratings
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3

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4.14 avg rating — 81,132 ratings
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4

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4.22 avg rating — 86,297 ratings
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5

by
3.91 avg rating — 101,082 ratings
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6

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3.94 avg rating — 81 ratings
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7

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4.20 avg rating — 26,822 ratings
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8

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3.98 avg rating — 5,587 ratings
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9

by
4.20 avg rating — 4,116 ratings
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10

by
4.71 avg rating — 14 ratings
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11

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4.10 avg rating — 1,497 ratings
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11

by
4.67 avg rating — 12 ratings
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13

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4.31 avg rating — 1,411 ratings
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13

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4.10 avg rating — 5,414 ratings
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15

by
3.95 avg rating — 869 ratings
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16

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4.12 avg rating — 1,932 ratings
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17

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4.25 avg rating — 24,131 ratings
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18

by
4.09 avg rating — 16,494 ratings
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19

by
3.97 avg rating — 15,273 ratings
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20

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4.04 avg rating — 31,847 ratings
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20

by
4.02 avg rating — 129,456 ratings
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22

by
4.30 avg rating — 92 ratings
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23

by
4.27 avg rating — 3,934 ratings
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24

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,897 ratings
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25

by
3.91 avg rating — 2,514 ratings
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26

by
4.04 avg rating — 5,851 ratings
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27

by
4.80 avg rating — 10 ratings
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27

by
4.24 avg rating — 29 ratings
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27

by
4.78 avg rating — 9 ratings
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30

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,246 ratings
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31

by
4.15 avg rating — 2,878 ratings
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31

by
4.56 avg rating — 337 ratings
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33

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,012 ratings
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34

by
4.07 avg rating — 3,775 ratings
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35

by
4.04 avg rating — 1,477 ratings
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36

by
3.99 avg rating — 83,410 ratings
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36

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3.76 avg rating — 1,944 ratings
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38

by
3.72 avg rating — 457 ratings
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38

by
4.11 avg rating — 2,949 ratings
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38

by
3.83 avg rating — 6,888 ratings
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41

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 5,609 ratings
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42

by
4.83 avg rating — 6 ratings
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43

by
3.60 avg rating — 77 ratings
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43

by
4.23 avg rating — 6,060 ratings
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45

by
4.14 avg rating — 135 ratings
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45

by
4.12 avg rating — 91 ratings
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47

by
4.20 avg rating — 10 ratings
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48

by
4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
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49

by
3.98 avg rating — 82 ratings
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50

by
4.09 avg rating — 8,775 ratings
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50

by
4.70 avg rating — 43 ratings
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52

by
4.59 avg rating — 81 ratings
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53

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 6 ratings
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54

by
4.03 avg rating — 1,476 ratings
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54

by
3.25 avg rating — 372 ratings
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56

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 8 ratings
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56

by
3.94 avg rating — 225,123 ratings
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58

by
3.94 avg rating — 219 ratings
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59

by
4.26 avg rating — 271 ratings
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60

by
4.24 avg rating — 55 ratings
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61

by
4.17 avg rating — 127 ratings
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62

by
3.93 avg rating — 171,821 ratings
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63

by
3.88 avg rating — 91 ratings
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64

by
4.20 avg rating — 25 ratings
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65

by
3.90 avg rating — 1,785 ratings
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66

by
3.82 avg rating — 327 ratings
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67

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,714 ratings
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68

by
4.16 avg rating — 2,421 ratings
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69

by
4.04 avg rating — 553 ratings
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70

by
4.07 avg rating — 1,382 ratings
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71

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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71

by
3.91 avg rating — 45 ratings
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71

by
4.21 avg rating — 53 ratings
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71

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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71

by
4.28 avg rating — 174 ratings
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71

by
3.78 avg rating — 9 ratings
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71

by
4.57 avg rating — 7 ratings
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71

by
3.59 avg rating — 17 ratings
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71

by
3.67 avg rating — 9 ratings
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71

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
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71

by
4.38 avg rating — 118 ratings
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71

by
4.67 avg rating — 18 ratings
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71

by
4.08 avg rating — 5,030 ratings
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71

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7 ratings
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71

by
4.42 avg rating — 120 ratings
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71

by
4.65 avg rating — 120 ratings
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71

by
4.16 avg rating — 1,247 ratings
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71

by
4.55 avg rating — 299 ratings
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71

by
4.59 avg rating — 46 ratings
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71

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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71

by
3.82 avg rating — 3,953 ratings
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71

by
4.47 avg rating — 17 ratings
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93

by
4.03 avg rating — 4,412 ratings
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93

by
4.14 avg rating — 117 ratings
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93

by
4.02 avg rating — 1,882 ratings
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93

by
3.65 avg rating — 371 ratings
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97

by
3.55 avg rating — 31 ratings
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97

by
4.10 avg rating — 4,135 ratings
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97

by
4.44 avg rating — 36 ratings
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97

by
3.97 avg rating — 39 ratings
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121 books · 112 voters · list created January 7th, 2011 by Eden (votes) .
Tags: best, writing
42 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Eden 1560 books
112 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3263 books
860 friends
Kate 224 books
3142 friends
Mes 426 books
31 friends
Mike 91 books
486 friends
Kathleen 523 books
119 friends
Kathy 42 books
57 friends
Barbara 16 books
0 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sharon (new)

Sharon I see a lot of novels on this list. That doesn't seem to be in keeping with the purpose of the list, which I assumed would be non-fiction books on the writing craft.


message 2: by Alessandra (last edited Jul 15, 2012 10:18AM) (new)

Alessandra The terms of this list are books that "encourage, help, and inspire writers." That doesn't rule out fictional inspiration.

I agree with you that that probably wasn't the original purpose of the list, but the custom here (not sure if it's official terms of service) is that unless the OP comes back and changes or clarifies the terms, generally the list is let alone, or at least treated carefully with much discussion before anything is done.

It's tempting to prune away at lists, which is why people have to be really, really careful when they do. GR doesn't have an "undo" set up for lists at the moment, which makes it even more important to be clear.

Probably the best thing to do is start your own list, being very clear that only nonfiction on the writing craft should be included.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads It's not clear enough to me that the maker of the list meant to exclude fiction for me to remove them. Are you still here, Eden?


message 4: by Sharon (last edited Jul 15, 2012 10:39AM) (new)

Sharon Understood! Maybe I will indeed start my own non-fiction list. I agree that novels can and do help, inspire and encourage writers -- but if I were to add all the novels that have done that for me, there would be no room for great writing books like my own favourite, Becoming a Writer -- a wonderful gem which is at the very bottom of the list!

But thanks for clarifying.


message 5: by Sharon (new)

Sharon Oh! The book is now in place 8! That's a quick leap up. It was at the bottom this morning.


message 6: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra That may be the time lag for lists to refresh. It takes something like five minutes for new votes to get sorted out. Sometimes when I've added new books they first show up right at the bottom, saying "score:0 and 1 person voted." After five or ten minutes they're where they belong.

I note that book says "score:100 and 1 person voted," so I deduce it's first on your list.


message 7: by Sharon (new)

Sharon It's the ONLY one on my list! It helped me so much that all other writing books are really only "also rans"!


message 8: by Eden (new)

Eden Susanna wrote: "It's not clear enough to me that the maker of the list meant to exclude fiction for me to remove them. Are you still here, Eden?"

I'm still here. Sorry, I haven't checked the list in quite a while. The list was meant for only non-fiction books. I did change that in the description now and I see at least one book on the list right now that is fiction and isn't really meant to help writers.
You can remove the fiction books if you like. I'm not sure how to do it, as I haven't done it before.


message 9: by Eden (new)

Eden Susanna wrote: "It's not clear enough to me that the maker of the list meant to exclude fiction for me to remove them. Are you still here, Eden?"

I figured out how to remove books and removed some of the ones I definitely knew were fiction.


message 10: by Alessandra (new)

Alessandra Congratulations. Scary, isn't it, the way they give you that dire warning for every single book.

I see a lot of fiction still on here, but at least we know it's okay to pare it aeay. (I'm on my phone now, whose buttons are not trustworthy enough for such a serious job.)

What about collections of poems? There are a lot here.

I also see Elie Wiesel's Holocaust memoria, "Night," which I suspect is outside the definitions of this list.

It's a collection of marvelous books ... but not nonfiction about writing.


message 11: by Eden (new)

Eden Alessandra wrote: "Congratulations. Scary, isn't it, the way they give you that dire warning for every single book.

I see a lot of fiction still on here, but at least we know it's okay to pare it aeay. (I'm on my..."


I'm going to remove all the books that are fiction. If I miss any, feel free to remove them.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads Removed, for being fiction:

The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban
A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Sonnets from the Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Little Birds, by Anais Nin
The Road Not Taken and Other Poems, by Robert Frost
Love is a Dog from Hell, by Charles Bukowsky
A Spy in the House of Love, by Anais Nin
The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
The Collected Stories, by Colette
Chesapeake, by James A. Michener
Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D.H. Lawrence
The Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham
The House of the Spirits, by Isabelle Allende
Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes


message 13: by Eden (new)

Eden Susanna wrote: "Removed, for being fiction:

The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban
A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitz..."


Thanks for helping remove the fiction books. I appreciate it.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads No problem.

There's some non-fiction on here I suspect isn't really on the subject: the M.F.K. Fisher, for example.


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