Tag Archives: book lists

Essential Books for Writers


This is the booklist that I wish someone had provided to me forty-five years ago. The authors listed in my “Essential Books for Writers” have been my virtual writing coaches for many years. They gave me solid spiritual and writing foundations, as well as indispensable tools of the craft. They helped me to write and publish many articles, blogs, stories, poems, and essays. They instructed me through my dissertation. And finally, coached me through the publishing of my first non-fiction book, We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What? The booklist is an old, familiar friend. And my virtual mentors will help me complete my novels in progress. I turn to them often for inspiration and instruction. I commend them to you.*

QUESTIONS: Is there a book(s) you would add? What do YOU consider an essential book for believing writers? And do I have your permission to add it/them to my list?

*I do not agree with everything they say or the way that they say it. But as a discerning adult, you can separate the valuable from the worthless, and gather the nuggets that were worth your search.

How Many Books Are You Reading?

by David C Alves

I’m thinking about dissipation and distraction. And what made me think of that? I just updated my current reading list.  In so doing, I noticed that I’m reading too many books at once. I can’t recall when I started doing this. I used to read one book at a time. I’m not sure if everyone does this or just me. What’s behind this?

     Is it that we’re getting older and realizing that time is at a premium? That we might not get to finish all the books that interest us? Or . . . do we have a shorter attention spans?  And need to spread our interests across a wider palette? Sampling here and there? For me, maybe it’s from attending too many covered dish dinners in the past thirty-four years of church ministry–you go down the line and take a little of this and a little of that. Then go back for 2 or 3 helpings of whatever I found to be most appealing.

     In any case, reading 5 or 6 or 7 books at once may be a source for my lack of intellectual focus these days. I seem to be interested in more things than I can read about at once. This produces in me a feeling of being scattered–always feeling that more than one book is demanding my attention. But, I’m going to try to whittle my list down over the next six months. Let’s see if I can do it. I wonder if I can ever get my current reading down to 2!

     Although in my own defense (against my own concerns), usually one book is devotional reading, one is ministry related, and one is personal. In my current list, two are ministry reading and three are personal. I know I can shave several books and limit myself to three. So . . . I’m going to do it! Just like I’m going to follow through with my eating, exercise, weight goal at LoseIt.com

     What about you? What’s your list look like?  Maybe you need to narrow your focus and whittle your list? I wonder if we’ll feel less scattered, dissipated or distracted by setting and keeping a more limited number of books in our current reading stack?

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