These Three Books Will Make You a Better Writer

This week’s Three to Read brings you books on the craft of writing to help you exercise your creative muscles and reach your writing goals!

Book Culture On Writing Recommendations Three To Read
Gentle Writing Advice by Chuck Wendig, (Don't) Stop Me If You've Heard This Before by Peter Turchi, and Yours Truly by James R. Hagerty in under a snowy Bookstr logo.

If you’re a writer, no doubt you’ve encountered endless writing advice — some good, some bad, and some contradictory. When it comes to writing advice, it can be difficult to know who to trust. But fear not. We’ve got you covered! In honor of creativity month, Bookstr is celebrating the art of writing by recommending three craft books to help you hone your skills. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a published author in the making, read on to learn how this week’s Three to Read picks can bring the creativity out of you and onto the page.


Gentle Writing Advice: How to Be a Writer Without Destroying Yourself by Chuck Wendig

Gentle Writing Advice cover by Chuck Wendig, man with a birdcage for a head and a bird flying away from the cage.


Forget the so-called “writing rules” you’ve been taught. New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig is here to tell you that writing advice is not “one size fits all.” In Gentle Writing Advice, Wendig delivers meaningful writing tips with humor and candidness, helping you better understand yourself as a writer so that you can craft a sustainable writing life that meets your unique needs. Plus, Wendig teaches his most important lesson: how to take care of yourself during the writing process.


As an experienced writer himself, Chuck Wendig understands how daunting it can be to try to conform your habits to the neverending sea of writing advice out there. That’s why his book combines useful writing tips with self-care practices. The first step in creating a healthy, sustainable writing process is knowing yourself, and this book helps you do exactly that. Especially if you struggle to balance your writing life with the daily challenges of being a human being, Gentle Writing Advice is a must-read.


(Don’t) Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before: And Other Essays on Writing Fiction by Peter Turchi

(Don't) Stop Me If You've Heard This Before cover by Peter Turchi, two boys talking through a tin-can phone.


In (Don’t) Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before, author and creative writing instructor Peter Turchi helps writers understand the mechanics of storytelling, from point of view to character and beyond. To illustrate his points, Turchi uses examples from prolific authors of the past and present, including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Toni Morrison, and Colson Whitehead, among others. By meshing analysis of short stories and novels with personal narratives, Turchi unveils the secrets to creating impactful works of fiction.


This book is perfect for writers looking to learn how to get the most out of the stories they read. Whether you want to devour the whole book in order or bounce around between topics, (Don’t) Stop Me If You’ve Heard This Before is an invaluable resource for fiction writers. Not only are Turchi’s essays informative, but they’re also incredibly fun to read! If you write novels, short stories, or any form of fiction, you can’t miss this book.


Yours Truly: An Obituary Writer’s Guide to Telling Your Story by James R. Hagerty

Yours Truly cover by James R. Hagerty, obituary section of a newspaper.


The most important story you’ll ever tell is your own. In Yours Truly, award-winning journalist and longtime obituary writer for The Wall Street Journal James R. Hagerty teaches you how to put your life story on paper, regardless if you’re writing a professional bio or a memoir. Your obituary is the final chapter of your story, so you want it to be thoughtful and unique, not formulaic. Using personal anecdotes and insights, Hagerty helps you review your life story and assess how to make the most of your time while you still have it.


For some of us, writing about ourselves can be a painful process, even if we otherwise enjoy storytelling. Writing your obituary is an especially intimidating task considering this short paragraph will be what many people remember you by. Though the topic may seem morbid, Hagerty approaches obituary writing with sincerity and wit. No matter what kind of story you want to tell, Yours Truly is a useful handbook for writers and non-writers alike.

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Browse these books and more reads handpicked by the Bookstr team on the Three to Read bookshelf on