Though no two people may agree upon the 10 Books that Every Christian writer should own and have assimilated, I offer these as my 10—The ones I have read and found invaluable. I also recommend others for other reasons, but these are a good start and should make up the foundation of any small library of any serious Christian writer. The Bible is not found in this list simply because I have already assumed that any writer who is a believer has several excellent translations in his library already.
The order I have chosen lays a foundation in its class (esthetics, craft of writing, publishing, enrichment, etc.) and builds upon it. Some of the books have been mentioned already in my “14 Helpful Websites for Christian Writers.” A second mention merely underscores a particular book’s importance.
Each book is available in my “Featured Books” List to the right (for as long as this blog is on my front page, thereafter check my “Essential Books for Believing Writers”). Simply click on the book’s title and you can purchase the book either new or used. So . . here you have it:
Help in Forming A Christian Aesthetic:
- The Christian Imagination, Leland Ryken
- The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers
- Mystery and Manners, Flannery O’Connor
- A Stay Against Confusion: Essays on Faith and Fiction, Ron Hansen
- The Elements of Style, Strunk and White
- The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style, Hudson & Townsend
- Writing for the Soul: Instruction And Advice from an Extraordinary Writing Life, Jerry Jenkins
Publishing and Marketing
- Book Proposals that Sell, Terry Whalin
- Christian Writer’s Market, Susan
- Writing Non-fiction, Dan Poynter
- The Well-ordered Office: How To Create An Efficient And Serene Workspace, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett
Hope you find these helpful. Have a blessed holiday season!
I welcome all serious comments to this community of readers. Please leave comments which would be helpful to any Christian writer. It could have been 10 or 100 Books that every Christian writer should have read, so please add to our list if you know something with the following three qualities: relevant, readable and significant.
Feel free to leave legitimate links that relate to our topic. You may also point us to your blog if it will serve the purposes of this article (Consider that you are in my home, and I am protective of my visiting readers. So I always reserve the right to delete comments or links that are not helpful to the community that visits my site). Consider also your own reputation as you comment. I would like it to continue unsullied.
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.