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Mathain
December 15th, 2005, 03:49 AM
As an SFF writer, what books do you think are essentials to having in your writer's library? Talking non-fiction, reference-type books here, not fiction.

Some books I use constantly:

A dictionary. Usually several.

A thesaurus. Usually several.

THE ART OF FICTION by John Gardner.
ON BEING A NOVELIST by John Gardner.
These are the only "on writing" books that I ever refer to. In my mind, they're pretty much the pinnacle of the how-to-write books.

THE STORY OF CIVILIZATION by Will Durant. Absolutely the *best* history text. Ever. Find it, or at least pick up the eleven volumes that make up this massive tome: (1) Our Oriental Heritage; (2) The Life of Greece; (3) Caesar and Christ; (4) The Age of Faith; (5) The Renaissance; (6) The Reformation; (7) The Age of Reason Begins; (8) The Age of Louis XIV; (9) The Age of Voltaire; (10) Rousseau & Revolution; and (11) The Age of Napoleon.

BULFINCH'S MYTHOLOGY series. 'nuff said.

THE CONFIDENT WRITER: A NORTON HANDBOOK, for all those times that I need to look up some grammar rule or other.

And that's about all that I use on a regular basis, at least.

pcarney
December 15th, 2005, 08:32 AM
I agree about Gardner- he wrote some great 'how to write' books. Oddly, I don't keep anything close to hand while I write- the majority of my references are online. These are usually a couple of online dictionaries, and whatever sites I've found with relevent info for my story.

Miriamele
December 15th, 2005, 08:47 AM
You can get Durant's Story of Civilization in a very condensed form in the book Heroes of History, which is an excellent read for those interested in the world's history from a cultural rather than political viewpoint.

Radthorne
December 15th, 2005, 09:48 AM
You can get Durant's Story of Civilization in a very condensed form in the book Heroes of History, which is an excellent read for those interested in the world's history from a cultural rather than political viewpoint.
For those who are space-challenged, you can also get the Durant series all on one CD. I have a disc from World Library Inc. with the entire unabridged collection on it. (Got the books too, just because I like books... :) )