book reviews / writers resources / writing

30 Essential Books for Every Writer

Every writer I know has a bookshelf full of books they’ve purchased to help inspire the writing process. In my case, I

have so many, I’ve pretty much lost track of them.

Except for those that I can’t write without. In my office, I have my computer table, an oak rolltop desk close enough my left elbow bumps it when I really get going on the keyboard and behind me, about two feet away, a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf of reference books. Those books are constantly ibn motion. I pull them out by piles, stack them on my desk and riffle through them to augment partikcular parts of my stories. Sometimes, I’m looking for facts on nature, animals, buildings. Other times, I’m working through some prickly syntax. Either way, there are those books I can’t write without.

Here’s my list. Read through it. Tell me what your list looks like:

The links are to book reviews I’ve done. It’ll be a while before I complete the entire list.

I’d love to hear your list.

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and creator of two technology training books for middle school. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman.  She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.comEditorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller that she just finished. Any ideas? Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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9 thoughts on “30 Essential Books for Every Writer

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  4. Thank you for this list. I actually own a couple of these. Self-Editing for Fiction…Elements of style. I would also add Spunk and Bite to the list. It’s a nice modern way to tighten your writing.

    Thanks again,



      • A woman I know through church read my first novel and knew a little bit about my story. She belongs to a number of organizations, one of which meets each week and brings in a different speaker each time. She’s been trying to get me booked in there for a couple of years.

        Thanks for taking the time to go through my blog. I’m glad you had some fun, and I do hope we’ll stay in touch!



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