I have several favorite books about reading and writing. Here are five that happened to be closest to me while I was searching my unorganized bookshelves for books about reading and writing:
Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg
This brings us back to the difficulty of knowing what your sentences actually say.
The problem most writers face isn't writing.
That includes noticing language.
The fundamental act of revision is literally becoming
conscious of the sentence,
Seeing it for what it is, word for word, as a shape, and
in relation to all the other sentences in the piece.
Old Friend from Far Away: The Practice of Writing Memoir by Natalie Goldberg
What ghosts haunt you? Write for ten minutes.
Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life by Madeleine L'Engle
What the storyteller does is to look at the world with all of its brokenness and all of its problems and write a story. The story is where we look for the truth of a matter. I do not believe that we need to protect our children from language which they already know, from the horrors of the world which they already know.
How to Read a Poem by Tania Runyan
Continuing to use Billy Collins's poem "Introduction to Poetry" as a stanza-by-stanza field guide for reading poetry, we'll now take a look at my personal favorite: sound.
Here is the entire second stanza. Ready?
or press an ear against its hive
I've never pressed my ear to a literal beehive, but I've been close enough to a swarm of bees to feel that unsettling--yet delicious--hum in my bones. Sounds sock us in the gut, but we can't always explain why.
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Perhaps it is true that at base we readers are dissatisfied people, yearning to be elsewhere, to live vicariously through words in a way we cannot live directly through life. Perhaps we are the world's great nomads, if only in our minds.