This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy…

Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction

by Tracy Kidder, Richard Todd

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3282850,284 (3.86)21



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 21 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Good information about writing non-fiction from both an author and an editor standpoint. ( )
  JenniferRobb | Jan 17, 2016 |
This sadly seemed like a story of days gone by, days when publishers would travel town to town asking if anyone had a book in their closet, and some random person would pull out a box with an international blockbuster. In this case, days when writers had a personal relationship with their editor. Days when there actually were editors.

I found it all very interesting. It is a rather intimate look at a friendship and professional relationship. If I were casting it, it would have to be Jimmy Stewart and June Allison (hey! this is my fantasy). No one today would have a glimmer of what Todd and Kidder have lived through. ( )
  kaulsu | Nov 22, 2015 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Kidder and Todd but together a book about writing non-fiction. It goes over several types of non-fiction although I am not sure if the division is needed as some of the advice is capable of being used for any form of non-fiction or even fiction. I've read better. I've read worse. ( )
  melsmarsh | Dec 29, 2013 |
Brief Summary: Two friends, a writer and his editor, talk about what makes good writing, and in doing so they present an intimate view into why writers love what they do.

The Tsundoku Scale: Top of the Pile, 9 out of 10.

The Good:
This is not a book I would have ever chosen without a recommendation, but it is a book I am truly grateful to have read. Good Prose is the first true conversation I have ever seen in book form. It flows, like a conversation between two old friends that begins at one point and slowly climbs the mountain of connected ideas to end at another higher point where one can survey the land that they have climbed, and shake their head in amazement at how they’ve gotten so far. The book begins as a book supposedly on style and grammar, but it ends up being part essay/memoir, using “good prose” to take a deeper look into the writer’s connection to writing. I love the candid, funny stories that sprout throughout the narrative from how Tracy Kidder once spent almost half a year writing one newspaper article because The Atlantic thought it was too terrible to publish, to how Kidder and Richard Todd have a ritual of reading the entire almost complete book as part of their editing process. This is not in anyways a grammar lesson (although you do learn a lot about grammar); this is a memoir on writing and I have never enjoyed more learning how to write, or more exactly (as the book truly seems to be getting at), learning how to see the inner joy in writing.

The Bad:
I absolutely loved this book, and it certainly connected with me, but I am not really sure how much it’s really a book. This is the kind of book one can only write when one’s been established, and all the rules of what kind of book sells goes out the window. Good Prose goes from grammar rules, to essays on writing style, to memoirs without much order that I can see—and while, as I said before, it grows like a conversation (which I enjoyed), it may be difficult or frustrating for some to read. Also, it is often unclear whether it is Kidder or Todd that is speaking at certain points in the book, which makes it harder to truly appreciate each’s own unique character. The one part that I really did not like in the book, however, was that it went to a list of boring grammar rules at the very end. As I said before, this is not by any means a grammar book, and it was annoying, and a little disappointing, to see the authors try to force the book’s flow back to where it started in the end of the book.

Please check out TsundokuReviews.wordpress.com for more great reviews! ( )
  Matt8000 | Jul 8, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received "Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction" as an Early Reviewer book a couple of months ago and I'm sorry to say I forgot to review it until now. I'm usually very prompt, but I wasn't inspired -- I enjoyed the book, but I just didn't have a lot to say about this one that hasn't been said by other reviewers. I really enjoy Tracy Kidder's writing and I was interested to find that he has to work very hard at his craft, rewriting over and over until he satisfies himself and his editor, Richard Todd. I like books on writing, but this one isn't so much a "how to do it" as it is a memoir on Todd and Kidder's relationship over many years and many books. Nice to read their different viewpoints, but it's kind of an odd book to categorize. As biography, it's more about the work than the authors, but as a book on writing, it's mainly about their relationship. I suppose that ultimately it does emphasize how important a good editor can be to a writer, and for that reason alone it's probably a good book for a writer to read. My next book on writing will be Fowler's "Modern English Usage," though. ( )
  mmckay | Apr 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tracy Kidderprimary authorall editionscalculated
Todd, Richardmain authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

"Good Prose" is an inspiring book about writing--about the creation of good prose--and the record of a warm and productive literary friendship.

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Tracy Kidder's book Good Prose was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.86)
2 1
3 7
3.5 5
4 20
4.5 2
5 5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 134,176,474 books! | Top bar: Always visible