A good storyteller should always be looking for stories of all kinds. Knowledge is fundamental to the creative process. Whether it is an understanding of process and medium, knowledge of what others are doing in your field, or something completely unrelated to the work in front of you, we bring all of it to bear on the challenge of telling moving stories. Your path to growth runs directly through the work of other artists.

In light of this, I'd like to share my list of 15 books that I think every storyteller and writer should read:


  • The Elements of Story - Francis Flaherty
  • Save the Cat! - Blake Snyder
  • Story - Robert McKee


  • The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
  • Wordsmithy - Doug Wilson

Selected fiction, and a memoir

  • Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
  • East of Eden - John Steinbeck
  • High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
  • The Road - Cormac McCarthy
  • The Harry Potter series - J.K. Rowling
  • The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Little Way of Ruthie Leming – Rod Dreher

On being, and working as, a creative

  • Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon
  • Manage Your Day to Day - 99U
  • Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality - Scott Belsky

Did I leave something off the list? Did I make a terrible choice? Let me know in the comments below.