Books

10 Books Every Writer Should Have on Their Summer Reading List

Summer is coming. And with summer, comes more reading time!

For writers, reading is like an inhale; while writing is the exhale. You can write without reading all you want, but odds are, you won’t see much improvement.

Which is why we should be so intentional about what we read. Every book, good or bad, has something to teach us.

Every book on this list are books I have read and loved. Plus, I thoroughly believe anyone can improve their writing through reading and studying them!

I’ve split this post into two parts: five nonfiction books, and five fiction books.

Ready? Let’s get reading!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which just means if you buy through my links, I’ll receive a small commission of the list price. You will not pay any extra through my links.

NONFICTION

1. WRITER’S MARKET 2019

Okay, so this technically isn’t the sort of book you’re likely to read all the way through. But for any writer looking for agents or publishers in 2019, this is a must-have.

Buy it on Amazon here!

2. “ON WRITING” BY STEPHEN KING

So many people recommended this to me, from Instagram writers to my own pastor, that I had to see what all the fuss was about. And yes, it lived up to the fuss!

Buy it on Amazon here!

3. “SPILLING INK: A YOUNG WRITER’S HANDBOOK” BY ELLEN POTTER AND ANNE MAZER

Even if you aren’t a young writer, this book is full of some really solid tips.

Buy it on Amazon here!

4. “PLOT AND STRUCTURE” BY JAMES SCOTT BELL

This is an AMAZING resource for writers struggling with plot, or learning more about the craft. It’s informative without being overwhelming.

Buy it on Amazon here!

5. “WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL” BY DONALD MAASS

This is the best all-around craft book I’ve read. It covers everything from plot, to characters, to stakes, and more, and Maass’s writing tone is seriously engaging.

Buy it on Amazon here!

FICTION

6. “HARRY POTTER” BY J.K. ROWLING

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by [Rowling, J.K.]

It’s no secret that the Harry Potter books are remarkably well-done. Even though they’re marked as children’s books, we can learn a lot about writing from these books! From character arcs, to plot, to foreshadowing and more, as well as writing a cohesive series.

Buy the first book on Amazon here!

7. “JANE EYRE” BY CHARLOTTE BRONTË

Jane Eyre is such a well-done example of first-person point of view that while I read, I kept forgetting it wasn’t an autobiography. Never mind that the storyline and characters are absolutely amazing.

Buy it on Amazon here!

8. “THE BOOK THIEF” BY MARKUS ZUSAK

The Book Thief might be the most unique book I’ve read. It’s a superb example of using a narrator separate from your main character, plus unique formatting that breaks all the rules, yet still works.

Buy it on Amazon here!

9. “THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ” BY HEATHER MORRIS

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by [Morris, Heather]

If you’re looking to write a fictionalized true story, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is the book to study. It also has a simple, straightforward writing style that proves “show, don’t tell” isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Buy it on Amazon here!

And, last but certainly not least:

10. “THE HELP” BY KATHRYN STOCKETT

One of my all-time favorites!

The Help is a good book to read if you’re looking to write multi-pov, or about segregation, this is a great example for you.

Buy it on Amazon here!

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