Saber Taylor's homepage: Some nonfiction books that I've read before 2018


Alphabetical order, section

Autobiography / Biographical (general)

Autobiography / Biographical (tragic)

Brain Training

Communication Skills

Cooking memoirs

Engineering, general interest

Feminism

Investing

Journalism, or Participatory Journalism, or Participatory Adventures (Modern era)

Languages

Literary Theory

Philosophy

Politics

Popular Computing

Popular in Business

Popular Science, contemporary

Productivity

Religion

Science History of Antiquated World

Skill improvement

Sports

The World

"Also ran," manuals on writing, by publication date

Manuals on writing, in rank order

  1. Forster: Aspects of the Novel (1927). Wikipedia: Aspects of the Novel is a book compiled from a series of lectures delivered by E. M. Forster at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1927, in which he discussed the English language novel. By using examples from classic texts, he highlights the seven universal aspects of the novel: story, characters, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm.
  2. Stephen King: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000). Wikipedia: On Writing is divided into five sections, each with a different focus. Although the first section narrates his life, King states that the section is not an autobiography, but more a curriculum vitae, owing to the sporadic nature of his memories. Titled "C.V.", the section discusses events in King's life that contributed to his development as a writer, such as his early exposure to writing, his early attempts to get published, his relationship with his wife, the death of his mother, and his history of drug and alcohol abuse. The second section is titled "What Writing Is". Comparing writing to telepathy, King briefly reintroduces himself and includes an example of literary description. King urges the reader to take writing and his advice seriously. The third section, titled "Toolbox", discusses English mechanics and the importance of vocabulary, grammar, and style in writing. The fourth section, "On Writing", details King's advice on writing. The fifth and final section, "On Living: A Postscript", discusses the accident in 1999 in which King was struck by a van while walking down Maine State Route 5.
  3. Stephen Pinker: The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century (2014). Wikipedia: An English style guide written by cognitive scientist, linguist, and best-selling popular science author Steven Pinker. Building upon earlier guides, such as Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, it applies science to the process of writing, and explains its prescriptions by citing studies in related fields - e.g., grammatical phenomena, mental dynamics, and memory load - as well as history and criticism, to "distinguish the rules that enhance clarity, grace, and emotional resonance from those that are based on myths and misunderstandings".