I found a new table-side reference book. This little baby will sit right on top of my copy of Simon & Schuster Handbook for Writers on the left-hand side of my work desk. It will probably get a lot more use as well. I’ve heard of the aforementioned handbook, and I’ve also heard of (but not yet purchased), the DSM for writers, The Chicago Manual of Style. Strunk & White’s little book is less like a textbook or dictionary/thesaurus type grammar manual as it is a tiny copy of Sun Tzu‘s The Art of War for writers. I read about it while rereading Stephen King‘s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and I’m very grateful for the discovery. It reads with such dry rhythm that it will actually make you laugh while teaching you the difference between participles and gerunds, restrictive vs nonrestrictive modifiers. My favorite nugget of advice is the same as King’s, and I will absorb it and attempt to live it well: Omit needless words.