I recently downloaded “Grammar Sucks: What to Do to Make Your Writing Much More Better” by Joanne Kimes and Gary Roberts. Should you?
This is a book for relative beginners. The authors make that clear.
Kimes is a comedy writer and she knows when to give the audience a break. There’s a lot of prodding and encouragement throughout the chapters, as though grammar really does suck. So, if you need a primer and you do think grammar sucks, this is probably worth the price of a download.
If you’re writing professionally or your job depends on good written communication, you probably know that grammar doesn’t suck, and you’ll have this basic knowledge, so you’ll find the first half of the book unnecessary. It’s just a basic review of the parts of speech.
Stacking it up to other books.
“Grammar Sucks: What to Do to Make Your Writing Much More Better” is the most basic on a list of books that try to make grammar accessible. But that’s OK if that’s what you’re after. For $12 bucks, you can stop writing like a spaz. That’s a pretty good deal.
For a more advanced look at the parts of speech, I recommend “When You Catch an Adjective Kill It” by Ben Yagoda. This is an entire book devoted to parts of speech and just as entertaining. If you’re serious about improving your grammar, this is a good study and Ben’s a funny guy.
For a deeper look at sentence making, you can download “How to Write a Sentence” by Stanly Fish. This is targeted to fiction writers but there are style tips throughout that are universally applicable.
One of the best style guides is still “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. This is a classic because it sings the praises of simplicity and clarity. It’s a calming resource that gets you on track. (On my desk right now.)
And I’ve always liked the charming style of “Eats Shoots & Leaves”. This is well written and funny. My copy is full of highlights and dog-eared pages. I think this is the one that most marketing people should own. A lot of the examples come from our trade.
Online, Grammar Girl has become my trusty go-to site for clear, quick and reliable answers to questions of grammar.
Note that I receive no compensation and have no interest in promoting or not promoting any book.