88 books like Line by Line

By Claire Kehrwald Cook,

Here are 88 books that Line by Line fans have personally recommended if you like Line by Line. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Author Of Every Shot Must Have a Purpose: How GOLF54 Can Make You a Better Player

From my list on improving performance and growth.

Why we are passionate about this?

We have been coaching and learning about peak performance for four decades. To learn from playing golf ourselves, coaching others to play better, and continuously staying curious and learning from others is a mix that we want to keep alive. It’s not only to perform well that matters to us, but that we also grow as a human being. It’s about excellence and wellbeing. What skills, what culture, and what foundation can make that a possibility? Our deepest wish is for all of us to access our own unique possibilities to be good and happy. 

Pia and Lynn's book list on improving performance and growth

Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott Why did Pia and Lynn love this book?

This is the best book we have read about how to practice in the best way possible. So many people practice hard but don’t improve. We always say, “What you practice, you get good at,” … so make sure you practice and train in the smartest way possible.

Spaced-out practice means you need a break and time to recharge, and that is important for retention. Interleaving means that you don’t stay with one segment of a skill until you master it. You interleave several segments, and it makes it a lot harder to do, but retention and mastery improve.

By Peter Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Make It Stick as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights…


Book cover of Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds

Mark William Roche Author Of Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

From my list on books for students about to enter college.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a graduate of Williams College and Princeton University and now a professor and former dean of arts and letters at the University of Notre Dame. As dean, I learned that too many of Notre Dame’s students were majoring in business. Invariably, when I asked them about their rationale, they would confess that their favorite courses were in the arts and sciences. They might have followed their passions, I thought, if they and their parents had a deeper sense of the value of a liberal arts education, so I wrote this book to answer their questions and give them justified confidence in the value of liberal arts courses.  

Mark's book list on books for students about to enter college

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

I wish I could have read this book before I entered college.

Based on in-depth interviews with students at Harvard, Light’s well-written book offers superb academic and personal advice for students entering college and for faculty members who wish to help their students develop.

The book covers the full range of college experience and offers many counter-intuitive insights, including students’ enthusiasm for foreign-language classes, which tend to be small and offer students regular feedback. The anecdotes are, in turn, engaging, surprising, and helpful.

By Richard J. Light,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Making the Most of College as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do some students make the most of college, while others struggle and look back on years of missed deadlines and missed opportunities? What choices can students make, and what can teachers and university leaders do, to improve more students' experiences and help them achieve the most from their time and money? Most important, how is the increasing diversity on campus-cultural, racial, and religious-affecting education? What can students and faculty do to benefit from differences, and even learn from the inevitable moments of misunderstanding and awkwardness?

From his ten years of interviews with Harvard seniors, Richard Light distills encouraging-and surprisingly…


Book cover of The Secret Syllabus: A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of College Success

Mark William Roche Author Of Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

From my list on books for students about to enter college.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a graduate of Williams College and Princeton University and now a professor and former dean of arts and letters at the University of Notre Dame. As dean, I learned that too many of Notre Dame’s students were majoring in business. Invariably, when I asked them about their rationale, they would confess that their favorite courses were in the arts and sciences. They might have followed their passions, I thought, if they and their parents had a deeper sense of the value of a liberal arts education, so I wrote this book to answer their questions and give them justified confidence in the value of liberal arts courses.  

Mark's book list on books for students about to enter college

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

When students come to college, everything is new. This book offers well-seasoned advice on how to make the most of office hours, how to study effectively, why not to worry about your major or career path too early, and at the same time, how to plan ahead.

Lots of nuts and bolts advice, a perfect high school graduation gift.

By Jay Phelan, Terry Burnham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Syllabus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The unwritten rules of success that every student must follow to thrive in college

The Secret Syllabus equips students with the tools they need to succeed, revealing the unwritten rules and cultural norms and expectations not included in the official curriculum. Left to figure out on their own how the academic world works, students frequently stumble, underperform, and miss opportunities. Without mastery of the secret syllabus, too many miss out on the full, rich experience available to them in college.

Jay Phelan and Terry Burnham share the essential lessons they have learned from struggling, unfocused students as well as award-winning…


Book cover of What the Best College Students Do

Mark William Roche Author Of Why Choose the Liberal Arts?

From my list on books for students about to enter college.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a graduate of Williams College and Princeton University and now a professor and former dean of arts and letters at the University of Notre Dame. As dean, I learned that too many of Notre Dame’s students were majoring in business. Invariably, when I asked them about their rationale, they would confess that their favorite courses were in the arts and sciences. They might have followed their passions, I thought, if they and their parents had a deeper sense of the value of a liberal arts education, so I wrote this book to answer their questions and give them justified confidence in the value of liberal arts courses.  

Mark's book list on books for students about to enter college

Mark William Roche Why did Mark love this book?

When I heard Ken Bain give a talk on what the best college teachers do, his arguments so impressed me that I changed my syllabus that night before the start of classes the next day. 

This book follows a similar model of drawing on interviews to search for best practices. In this case, Bain culls his best practices from interviews with successful college students. From a student’s perspective, reading the book is a bit like speed-dialing peer advice.

Bain devotes an entire chapter to working through failure and spends considerable time on deep versus superficial learning.

By Ken Bain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Best College Students Do as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The 'best' students are curious risk-takers who make connections across disciplines. By following those instincts-rather than simply chasing 'success'-the best students achieved it...A wonderful exploration of excellence."-Fortune

"Skillfully weaves together some of the best research about effective learning strategies with moving stories about remarkable life-long learners. Some of them had great teachers. But most of them succeed because of what they did for themselves."-Thomas Luxon, Dartmouth College

"We are always telling students to 'find their passion.' Now we have a book that looks at how that happens...Ken Bain can really tell a story...it is very rare for a book based…


Book cover of Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

Mignon is one of my writing idols, so this is rightfully one of my writing bibles.

No one’s better than Mignon—best known as “Grammar Girl” on her podcasts and in her books—at separating fact from fiction when it comes to grammar. She also has an extremely friendly, supportive style that builds trust right away, like getting advice from your neighbor (who happens to be omniscient about language and word usage).

I felt this myself as one of Mignon’s guests on her very popular podcast. Quick and Dirty Tips is like having Mignon’s skill and insight on call, and that’s an amazing and invaluable resource for any writer. 

By Mignon Fogarty,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar - but she's also determined to make the process as painless as possible. One year ago, she created a weekly pod cast to tackle some of the most common mistakes people make while communicating. The pod casts have now been downloaded more than seven million times, and Mignon has dispensed grammar tips on Oprah and appeared on the pages of "The New York Times", "The Wall Street Journal", and "USA Today".Written with the wit, warmth, and accessibility that the pod casts are known for, "Grammar Girl's Quick and…


Book cover of The Elements of Style

Randall H. Duckett Author Of Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing: 41 How-To Tips for Creators

From my list on learning how to write effectively.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love language and its power to inform, inspire, and influence. As I wrote Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing, I researched what others have said about writing well and honed it down to these resources, which I quote. During my decades as a journalist and marketer, I developed and edited scores of publications, books, and websites. I also co-wrote two travel guides—100 Secrets of the Smokies and 100 Secrets of the Carolina Coast. I’ve written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and AARP: The Magazine. A father of three women, I live in Springfield, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. 

Randall's book list on learning how to write effectively

Randall H. Duckett Why did Randall love this book?

This book is old, like early 1900s. It was first drafted by William Strunk, Jr., who distributed a version to his students at Columbia University in 1919. E.B. White (author of Charlotte’s Web) modernized it in the ’50s. It went on to sell millions of copies and become one of the most influential guides to English. Why the history lesson? Because it’s remarkable how relevant it remains in 2022. It can feel dusty and literary, but it offers nuggets of wisdom like “omit needless words” that influence writers like me today. I shamelessly ripped off the concept of “elements” for my book. The “little book” is short—the fourth edition is 42 pages—but mighty. It deserves a spot on your physical or virtual bookshelf.    

By William Strunk, E.B. White,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Elements of Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You know the authors' names. You recognize the title. You've probably used this book yourself. This is The Elements of Style, the classic style manual, now in a fourth edition. A new Foreword by Roger Angell reminds readers that the advice of Strunk & White is as valuable today as when it was first offered.This book's unique tone, wit and charm have conveyed the principles of English style to millions of readers. Use the fourth edition of "the little book" to make a big impact with writing.


Book cover of A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms

Sam Leith Author Of Words Like Loaded Pistols: The Power of Rhetoric from the Iron Age to the Information Age

From my list on rhetoric and the art of persuasion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a journalist and critic who fell in love with the ancient art of rhetoric through Shakespeare, Chaucer… and Barack Obama. It was when I watched Obama’s consciously and artfully classical oratory as he campaigned for the 2008 election that my undergraduate interest in tricolons, epistrophe, aposiopesis and all that jazz surged back to the front of my mind. I went on to write a 2011 book arguing that not only is this neglected area of study fascinating, but it is the most important tool imaginable to understand politics, language, and human nature itself. Where there is language, there is rhetoric.  

Sam's book list on rhetoric and the art of persuasion

Sam Leith Why did Sam love this book?

Don’t be put off by the dry-sounding title. This book is the authoritative A-Z reference on the “flowers of rhetoric”: all the “figures” and “tropes”, or twists and turns of language that make it beautiful, memorable – and persuasive.

But it’s more than just a geek-heaven cabinet of curiosities: it’s full of history and philosophy, of wisdom and humour. I know of no other scholarly reference book that brings more joy and amusement.  

By Richard A. Lanham,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With a unique combination of alphabetical and descriptive lists, "A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms" provides in one convenient, accessible volume all the rhetorical terms - mostly Greek and Latin - that students of Western literature and rhetoric are likely to come across in their reading or will find useful in their writing. The Second Edition of this widely used work offers new features that will make it even more useful: a completely revised alphabetical listing that defines nearly 1,000 terms used by scholars of formal rhetoric from classical Greece to the present day; a revised system of cross-references between terms;…


Book cover of Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

Randall H. Duckett Author Of Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing: 41 How-To Tips for Creators

From my list on learning how to write effectively.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love language and its power to inform, inspire, and influence. As I wrote Seven Cs: The Elements of Effective Writing, I researched what others have said about writing well and honed it down to these resources, which I quote. During my decades as a journalist and marketer, I developed and edited scores of publications, books, and websites. I also co-wrote two travel guides—100 Secrets of the Smokies and 100 Secrets of the Carolina Coast. I’ve written for such publications as National Geographic Traveler and AARP: The Magazine. A father of three women, I live in Springfield, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, with my wife, daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. 

Randall's book list on learning how to write effectively

Randall H. Duckett Why did Randall love this book?

Just as King is a master of fiction, the late, great John McPhee is a nonfiction master. He gained fame as staff writer for The New Yorker, then authored dozens of books on such diverse subjects as fishing, geology, and transportation. (Trust me: His fascinating novel-like prose is more engaging, enlightening, and enrapturing than those topics imply.) In 1999, he finally won a well-deserved General Nonfiction Pulitzer on his fourth try. In this treatise on writing well, McPhee offers insight into his craft, including diagrams of story structure he shared with journalism students at Princeton. The book appeals to my logical side; in my book I say I see writing as like building with Legos, putting together one colorful block at a time to eventually form a 7,541-piece Millennium Falcon. 

By John McPhee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Draft No. 4 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer's craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades. McPhee offers definitive guidance in the decisions regarding arrangement, diction, and tone that shape non fiction pieces, and he presents extracts from his work, subjecting them to wry scrutiny. In one essay, he considers the delicate art of getting sources to tell you what they might not otherwise reveal. In…


Book cover of The Craft of Revision

Mark Rennella Author Of The One-Idea Rule: An Efficient Way to Improve Your Writing at School and Work

From my list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

Mark Rennella has given students and professionals helpful advice about writing throughout his career, most recently as a writing coach for MBA candidates at Harvard Business School. Mark earned a PhD in American history from Brandeis University and has taught literature and American history at Harvard University, the University of Miami, and the University of Tours (France). Mark's books, articles, business case studies, and collaborative writing endeavors have garnered him critical praise from historians, academicians, and business leaders alike. His concept of the “one-idea rule” was included among HBR.org’s ten favorite management tips for 2022 and was featured more recently in Forbes. He currently works as an editor for Harvard Business Publishing.

Mark's book list on helping you find and assert your voice in writing

Mark Rennella Why did Mark love this book?

This writing instruction book came to my aid as I began to teach writing at Harvard University in the late 1990s, when I was trying to help college students cultivate their own voice as writers.

The title was brilliant, surprising the reader that the subject was revision and not writing, per se. This focused on a fundamental truth, which is that good writing – whether it be fiction or non-fiction, artistic or professional – almost always goes through several revisions. Students often recoil at the idea of revisions because they threaten to burden them with more work.

What Murray underlined (and a point I’ve reiterated) is that revisions provide the opportunity to improve your work. The more that writers are comfortable with making revisions, the easier it will be to cultivate and improve their voices in their written work.

By Donald Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Craft of Revision as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donald M. Murray takes a lively and inspiring approach to writing and revision that does not condescend but invites students into the writer's studio.


Book cover of Writing the Natural Way: Turn the Task of Writing Into the Joy of Writing

G. Elizabeth Kretchmer Author Of Writing Through the Muck: Finding Self and Story for Personal Growth, Healing, and Transcendence

From my list on to get you writing.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a published author with an MFA in Writing, I know how hard writing can be in terms of how to find a muse, employ an elusive craft, and deal with the soul-shaking consequences of digging deep. But as a survivor of life, including multiple moves, broken relationships, alcoholism, illness, and debilitating grief, I've also experienced the transformative power of writing. I took that belief into the community, and developed writing workshops for cancer survivors, women facing domestic violence, and many other people wrestling with trauma and illness, often recommending some of these books in my workshops. And along the way, I’ve witnessed time and again what the written word can do. 

G.'s book list on to get you writing

G. Elizabeth Kretchmer Why did G. love this book?

Writing professor Gabriele Rico knows how to take the fear out of writing, which is why this book became such a powerful best-seller and why I love to read and recommend it. Among the many strategies and techniques she offers in Writing the Natural Way, one of my favorites is her brainstorming strategy called clustering, which gives us permission to wander and bypass the critical censorship we are often hindered by. In turn, this fuels creativity and prompts us to make associations among ideas, memories, and feelings that are otherwise seemingly diverse or disorganized. She also firmly believes that, although writing can be a painful process, it’s not what hurts us that matters but rather it’s how we deal with the pain, and it’s through an honest expression of our truth that we can grow and heal.

By Gabriele Lusser Rico,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Writing the Natural Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shows all writers how effective writing can be as natural as telling a story to a friend, and as easy as daydreaming.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the English language, rhetoric, and grammar?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the English language, rhetoric, and grammar.

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