1.19.2015

Book Review: The Glamour of Grammar


Title: The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to The Magic and Mystery of Practical English

Author: Roy Peter Clark

Publisher/Price: Little, Brown & Company / $13.00 here

Type: Nonfiction

Genre: Writing/Language

Number of pages: 281

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Format: The Glamour of Grammar is divided into 5 parts: Words, Points, Standards, Meaning, and Purpose.  It is further broken down into 50 small chapters.

Overview: Through the entire book, the author's goal is to instruct the writer how to harness the power and beauty of grammar in a way that it will benefit his or her writing and elevate it to new heights.  The book begins with the basics, dealing with words and punctuation, and then moves on to explain how one can use grammar to increase meaning in his or her writing.  Finally, the author explores how to get one's purpose across through grammar.

My thoughts: I loved this book.  For me, it seemed more practical than the other book I read by Roy Peter Clark, Writing Tools, probably just because I know I will use the grammar stuff more than I will the writing tools.

This book is a book about grammar for a wide range of people – from the ones who love grammar (like me) to the ones who are self-proclaimed haters.  I reveled in every bit of it.  There were so many things I learned from it, but the book was also a good refresher for some of the grammar bits I forgot.  I think I enjoyed it more than Writing Tools because it seemed a lot more laid back for some reason.  Some of the chapters seemed more random, which I liked – it was just much more interesting to read.  The Glamour of Grammar helped me see grammar in a much broader way.  It's not just something essential for writing, but is such a key ingredient in being able to get a point across in writing or being able to move someone with your writing.  Grammar, far from being a set of unfeeling rules you had to follow to do well in the SAT, is such a rich part of the English language, and an understanding of its versatility and all around usefulness will make you a better writer.  I was very impressed by The Glamour of Grammar, and I came away from it with a deeper appreciation and respect for grammar and words and a better grasp of its role in good writing.

If you care about language or are looking to boost your writing skills, and even if you hate grammar, I encourage you to try this book out.  It made me laugh, made me happy, and hopefully what I learned from it will make me a better writer.  Oh, and I kind of love the cover.  Here's to using semicolons, respecting the rules of the apostrophe, and not being afraid to write a sentence fragment once in a while!

I will be back on Wednesday to share a new series I've been enjoying.  Thanks for reading!  xo, Ella

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