Tiny Book Summary: “Dreyer’s English” by Benjamin Dreyer

Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer Title: Dreyer’s English Author: Benjamin Dreyer, Random House Copy Chief Genre: Reference, Writing, Style Manual

Publication Date: 1/29/2019 Formats: Print, eBook, and Audiobook Summary: This is an entertaining guide to writing better.  Dreyer has found a way to make reading about grammar and style interesting.  Rather than just state the rules or standards, Dreyer explains why the goal is clear writing and how following (or ignoring) a rule can get you to that goal. Key Takeaways:

  • It’s worthwhile to get the printed book and the audiobook. The print version is a wonderful style manual while the audiobook is far more entertaining.
  • Style manuals are usually as dry as they are boring. “Dreyer’s English” is a welcome exception to that rule.
  • “Dreyer’s English” is a perfect graduation gift.  I also think that it should be required reading at all law schools, but I might be biased.
  • Dreyer supports the series/serial/Oxford comma but isn’t Team Two-Spaces After a Period. Which will make for some pretty interesting Twitter battles among writing enthusiasts.

Review Material Sources: Advance Review Copies provided by NetGalley and Libro.fm

Lea’s Corner: Revisiting Older Books

My relationship with reading has always been an interesting one. Although I loved reading, I hated reading assignments with a deep and burning passion.  Don’t get me wrong: I liked some of the required reading. But, there was something about being forced to read a book that bothered me and I dreaded almost every reading assignment I was given.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when I stumbled across an pre-owned copy of “Catch-22” while doing an inventory of our pre-owned books. When I went through it, I found it to be a funny book and an easy read. It’s possible that my taste has improved over the last 26 years. It’s also possible that having to read case law and statutes for the last 17 years has shown me what truly boring writing is. Or maybe when my grade doesn’t depend on what I think about the book, the journey and experience of reading the book is better. All of this made me start to wonder: What other treasures did I miss while churning through required reading?  

To answer that question, I’m on a mission to revisit old books and classics. And I’m going to start with the ones that I remember hating the most.

Some of the classics I’ll be revisiting:

  • “The Plague” by Albert Camus 
  • “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad 
  • “The Sound and The Fury” by William Faulkner
  • The Complete Works of William Shakespeare 
  • “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Wish me luck!