With a title like that, I knew both cats needed to be in the picture. He was the pinkest of cats, he was the brownest of cats!
I purchased “It was the Best of Sentences, it was the Worst of Sentences” by June Casagrande a few months ago, but times are crazy and I’ve only just finished it. It’s a small paperback, 207 pages if you include the appendices, and focuses on sentence level editing. It’s $14 in the US, and often sites the Chicago Manual of Style vs the AP Style Book, so if those style books are out of your price range, this could be a handy shortcut.
Despite being all about grammar and sentence construction, it’s not a dry read. Casagrande never criticizes you for having made mistakes in the past, not does she set ironclad rules. Everything is laid out clearly, in simple language, and with explanations that made me say, “Oh, that’s why we do that?” The most mind-blowing chapter for me covered subordination. I’d never heard the term and it made so much sense! This book made me feel more power over how to construct a sentence. I highlighted a ton of it and am keeping this for years to come.
If someone had told me to read this I might have laughed. I know how to write a sentence! Look at how many I’ve already written! But this was a look behind the grammar curtain about the why. How to make a sentence do exactly what you intend. I leveled up because of this book.
Is It Worth It?
It’s a short book, paperback, and reasonable price. It’s a great shortcut to the big style books, and is full of great information. Even if you think your skills are beyond a book about sentences, give it a chance. And have a highlighter ready. This book is absolutely worth it!
Please consider buying from your local bookstore for this or any other book purchase this year. Indie bookstores are struggling, and need your support! Not sure which bookstore is near you? Try websites like Bookshop and IndieBound.
Have you read this book? Did you love it too? Let’s discuss in the comments!