[Update: See the post 37 Favorite Books on Writing for a list that includes recommendations from readers’ comments.]

I am following with excitement writer Michelle Johnson’s journey toward opening a book store! Yesterday, she posted this announcement:

“I just came back from the City of Virginia Beach offices yesterday, armed with my new business license.

“The store name, ‘Cozy Corner’, is officially mine. Thank goodness! I have spent countless hours designing business cards, store signage and other stationary not even considering that I might not be able to use the name. I also secured the website cozycorneronline (dot) com, which I am working away at designing and hope to have up and running within a week.” Read More

Michelle has asked for ideas for writing reference books to stock in her store, so I am sharing my list, below, and I urge you either to share yours here, as well, or share them on her site.

I limited myself to the first ten that came to mind, so I know I am missing some really good ones, and they are alphabetical, rather than in order of preference (ranking them would be just too hard). Enjoy!

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, by Anne Lamott
Website
Bird by Bird with Annie (PBS profile)

Elements Of Writing Fiction: Characters & Viewpoint, by Orson Scott Card
Website

The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art, by Joyce Carol Oates
Website
Excerpt

The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction, Volume 1: Building Blocks
Website
Excerpt

Page after Page: Discover the confidence & passion you need to start writing & keep writing (no matter what), by Heather Sellers
Website
Excerpt

Publish Your Nonfiction Book, by Sharlene Martin and Anthony Flacco
Website
Excerpt

Snoopy’s Guide to the Writing Life, edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz
Website
Elmore Leonard’s Contribution

Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life, by Terry Brooks
Website
Excerpt

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, by Natalie Goldberg
Website
Excerpt

Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process, by Peter Elbow
Website
Video: “On Writing”

On a separate note, be sure to read Kate Grace’s interview with writer Kelsey Ketch, where Kelsey divulges her favorite curse word (you’ll never guess).