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Well thank you Guy for your opinion. I disagree. I think the Art of Indexing is
very good for any tech writers library. I also learned Java and Perl from the In
a Nutshell series, but then again I already knew I had to learn them, I didn't
need to know when or why. I was recommending them because they are my favorites
in my library.
My comment about CMS, I wouldn't bother. It's difficult to read, and completely
unhelpful when you really need some nugget of information, as a new writer
you're better off with Sun's book, or MS MOS. But what you should really do is
analyze the products you own and their style of documentation for what standards
are. If you're looking for books to teach you how to be a writer, or a better
writer, Tufte isn't going to do that as he is more into the methodology of
creating illustrations and graphics to help you present your information a
certain way. The best bet to becoming a better writer is to write, and possibly
go to grad school where people pick your writing apart. Tufte's books are
visually appealing, but IMO aren't necessary to your library. And at around ~$50
a pop, expensive to boot.
I agree with Guy to get a good dictionary, or do what I do, use www.m-w.com
"Haas, Guy" wrote:
> O'Reilly does make very good books, but Nutshell books are not
> good for learning from -- they are best for consulting after you
> are acquainted with the topic. They are reference books, not
> user guides. They tell you _what_ and _how_, but little about
> _when_ or _why_.
> Also, the original question was:
> > I'm looking to beef up my bookshelf as far as books
> > about general tech writing.
> Michele's recommendations are less about the writing than about
> the technology.
> I'd recommend a large, current unabridged dictionary (I use
> American Heritage, 3rd Edition), and a copy of the Chicago Manual
> of Style, just for basic reference.
> Any of Edward Tufte's books:
> Envisioning Information ISBN: 0961392118
> The Visual Display of Quantitative Information ISBN: 096139210X
> Visual Explanations : Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
> ISBN: 0961392126
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