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leedunning3

Death by Books

Like you (I assume) I like books. I used to read fantasy exclusively, but these days I've branched out to pick up the occasional mystery, YA or steampunk novel. I also love to read about the art of writing and use that to improve my skills in my own work.
It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences - June Casagrande I found this book outstanding. It's full of humor, turning what could be a dry subject, into a highly entertaining read. Many examples are packed into each section, making everything clear. Quite a lot of what passes for grammar is actually style, and Ms. Casagrande points this out on numerous occasions. There is a surprising amount of disagreement on how to use punctuation and grammatical phrases, and she points out which camps follow which "rules". I will definitely be trying her other books.

On a side note, and this has nothing to do with the book, I'm a bit angry after finishing. The only section in the book that rang familiar at all was the chapter on prepositional phrases. What were my teachers doing all of those years? I know most of what was covered in the book, but more on an instinctive level, than on an intellectual level. Aside from reading a great number of dry books (seemingly intended to teach children to hate reading), reading some Shakespeare, and taking numerous spelling tests, I cannot recall much of anything else being taught in my childhood English classes. It's no wonder that so many of the letters and papers I've read by young people are a terrifying mess of sentence fragments, nearly devoid of punctuation.