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photo by Catherine Castle

All writers have books in their libraries that they reference over and over. Here are 10 favorites from my shelves.

1. The Chicago Style Manual – because it’s the style book my editor uses.

2.  The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual – because it’s easier to find stuff in than the Chicago Style Manual

3. Roget’s thesaurus – because the computer’s thesaurus is very limited.

4. 20,000 Names for Babies – for naming my characters.

5. The Merriam Webster Dictionary – because not every word I want to use is in the computer’s dictionary.

6. Personology-The Precision approach to Charting Your Life, Career, and Relationships  by GoldSchneider- a horoscope book that provides personality clues based on birth dates. I find it helpful to give my characters a birthdate, and then chart what their personalities might be.

7. A rhyming dictionary for writing poetry – I have several of these.

8. Poetry form dictionaries – when I want to get creative and try a new poetic form.

9. The McGraw-Hill Handbook of English – from my college years, for looking up punctuation (it’s also easier to maneuver than the Chicago Style Manual.

10. The Romance Writer’s Phrase book by Jean Kent and Candace Shelton – to help spark more interesting phrasing than “He looked at her.”

What are your go-to books?