What’s on your bookshelf?

by Lisa Slater

I honestly think that reading and writing go and hand in hand. You can’t be a great writer if you never read anything other than your own work.

I often get asked for book recommendations and am always happy to share so I decided to compile a short list of some of the books I regularly revisit.

Writing & selling

The Elements of Style""“>The Elements of Style

This is one of the first books I read when I started copywriting. The original version of this writing style guide was written in 1918 and it has been revised several times since then. This is an absolute must-read for anyone who writes for a living or wants to improve their writing style.

The Adweek Copywriting Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America’s Top Copywriters""“>The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

I love this book about writing ad copy. Although the world of advertising has evolved since the advent of the internet and social media, many of the basic sales principles have remained the same. I referred back to this book when I was writing all the content for my Write to Sell course.

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference""“>The Tipping Point

I first read this book whilst backpacking in Indonesia in 2011. It was on the book swap shelf in one of the hostels and I picked it up to flick through whilst I was waiting to use the internet. I couldn’t put it down. I’d never heard of this book before that point but now I seem to see it on every business reading list, which doesn’t surprise me as it’s brilliant.

Free-Range Writing: 75 Forays For The Wild Writer’s Soul

This is a book that I am currently (unfortunately, quite slowly) working my way through. Each chapter gives you a short writing exercise to complete; some are poetry, some fiction, some memoirs and some non-fiction. As a writer, it is important to keep your skills sharp and this helps me practice writing techniques that I don’t get to use as often.

A-Z of Blogging

It’s a bit cheeky to put my own book on the list but it is on my bookshelf and I genuinely believe it is a good read. A lot of research and work went into writing this and making it useful to anyone who wants to blog, no matter what level of experience and knowledge they have.


Reference books

My bookshelf also contains a number of reference books; a dictionary, a thesaurus and various other handy books;


Of course, I am also a fan of fiction books. I have to admit to reading Pride and Prejudice several times and I enjoy re-reading Wuthering Heights, even though I think all the characters are pretty horrible people.

My go-to books for a holiday read are thrillers by authors like James Patterson, Michael Conelly, Tami Hoag, Jeffrey Deaver, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwell and similar.

I’d also like to mention a local author, Alan Reynolds. I had the pleasure of proofreading his most recent novel, SMOKE SCREEN""“>Smoke Screen and a previous novel VALLEY OF THE SERPENT""“>Valley of the Serpent. I’ve also read some of his other novels, which I highly recommend, including the fantastic [(Taskers End)] [By (author) Alan Reynolds] published on (December, 2012)""“>Taskers End.

What’s on your bookshelf?

I hope that you find something on my list that you enjoy. I’m always on the lookout for new books to read so feel free to share your recommendations. Tweet me @lisa_writing and let me know what’s on your bookshelf.

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