Writers I Read

Want to learn to write? Read good writers. Understand how they put words down and create new worlds or explain the difficult concepts. This collection will change over time.


Pink Slipped – current favorite for pithy and succint topical writing.

Serial Baker  – ah, food and writing. ’nuff said!

IowaHawk – political humor. When he’s good, he’s great! (but he’s not consistent, alas)

The Volokh Conspiracy – a group blog, on legal matters, mostly quite readable.

Instapundit – The “blogfather” – when I’m able to summarize this well…

James Taranto – the master of sarcasm. Scroll down and read the headline rewrites.

In print (this is where the Amazon affiliate routine would come in handy but I never set it up):

Robert B Parker – novelist – best for a sense of place in a few words.

Head-First book series from O’Reilly – great technical writing from people who understand quite well how learning works.

Henry Charlton Beck – in addition to being an inspiration for Weird NJ, Rev. Beck was a great writer and storyteller.

Shelby Foote – a novelist-turned-historian, lessons in explaining complex history in readable form.

Tom Vanderbilt – non-fiction generalist; he seizes a topic, researches it, writes a report which leaves no stone unturned… and it’s all entertaining as well.

Margaret Maron – mystery novelist; stick to the Deborah Knott series – vivid descriptions and the dialog is just perfect; it feels like home. Locations are throughout the state but the home ground is Dobbs county and environs.

Simon Wood – a discovery via the Kindle-First program (Amazon lets you get a free ebook each month); superb writer of thrillers with a keen sense of dialog.

3 thoughts on “Writers I Read”

  1. For history buffs, Gordon Wood’s Radicalism of the American Revolution is exceptionally readable; also James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom. The best prose writer of my generation was George F. Kennan, but one probably needs an interest in diplomatic history to appreciate him fully.

  2. With the recent release of the “John Carter” movie from Disney, I was reminded of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series of books, “John Carter of Mars” that I read the summer I spent in the middle of Wyoming visiting my sister when I was 15 years old.

    If you like sci-fi, I remember enjoying the series. It also led me to learn about Frank Frazetta who did the amazing artwork for the series. Check him out too.

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