Every single one of these books changed my writing significantly for the better, each in a different way, and I’ve read some of them several times. That’s saying something by the way, since as a rule I never read a book more than once – there are too many good ones out there.
I should probably caution you to take your time reading these, if you’re planning to go through the list. The best way to do it, I think, would be to work your way down from #1, and as you finish each book spend at least a few months practicing and applying the things you learn. Otherwise you run the risk of taking in too much information and forgetting half of it before you get a chance to internalise it.
- The Elements of Style – Strunk & White
- On Writing – Stephen King
- Stein On Writing – Sol Stein
- On Writing Well – William Zinsser
- The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
- What Good Editors Know – Shaun Coyne
- No One Wants To Read Your Shit – Shaun Coyne
- The :Emotional Craft of Fiction – Donald Maas
- The Hero With a Thousand Faces – Joseph Campbell
- Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury