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Summer Reading for Writers

Here are some suggested books to read for the summer:

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author: Anne Lamont
If you haven't already read Anne Lamott's classic book about writing, put this book on your list for this summer. Funny and astute, Bird by Bird supplies inspiration and advice for beginning and accomplished writers alike. 


Writing Down the Bones: Freeing The Writer Within
Author: Natalie Goldberg
To be honest, I was hard-pressed to choose between Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and Bird by Bird for first place on this list. I came to both books at a time in my writing life when I thought I didn't need books like this anymore -- and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. Both writers are funny and astute, and both take a spiritual approach to their craft. (Goldberg is a Zen Buddhist, and Lamott is Catholic.)

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
Author: Stephen King
Part memoir, part manual on craft, Stephen King's down-to-earth approach makes it seem as though anyone determined enough can be a successful -- or, at least, a prolific -- writer. I also appreciate his reminder not to take writing too seriously, an especially good message for summer.

Reading Like a Writer
Author; Francine Prose
Francine Prose's thoughtful guide offers a new perspective on reading for your time at the beach. After all, long before MFA programs, writers turned to books to learn to write. Prose, a longtime teacher, gives the best instruction on close readings that I've ever seen. Learn how to transform classic novels into your best writing teachers.

52 Projects: Random Acts of Everyday Creativity
Author: Jeffrey Yamaguchi
52 Projects, a book full of prompts and informal exercises for all kinds of creative endeavors, will help you discover new sources of inspiration. The book is all about getting you out of your routine and into a more creative mode of living. If you're still feeling frustrated and stifled despite the warmer weather, this book just might do the trick. 

(Don't be surprised if you pick up this book and see some of the same prompts in the book here!)

The Artist's Way: A Spirtual Path to Higher Creativity 
Author: Julia Cameron
Julia Cameron's classic book The Artist's Way has helped countless writers to achieve a more creative life. Use it this summer to overcome writer's block or to provide structure to your creative work.

Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times
Some 46 writers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Barbara Kingsolver, Scott Turow, Annie Proulx, and Elie Wiesel, offer insights on the craft in this collection of essays commissioned by New York Times journalist John Darnton.

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