As an editor, writer, and book lover, I’m always looking for excuses to buy and read new books. I’ll be attending the ACES 2018 editing conference in Chicago this year, so I decided to find out whether any of the people presenting sessions had recently published books. Surprise surprise, they have! Some books are related directly to the presenters’ ACES sessions, and some aren’t. Here are six books by ACES 2018 presenters to add to your to-read list before attending their sessions in April:
1. A World Without “Whom” by Emmy Favilla
Favilla, the global copy chief at Buzzfeed, will read from her new book, A World Without “Whom” and answer questions in a Friday, April 27 session of ACES 2018. This book is a must-read for editors working on online material. In A World Without “Whom,” Favilla explores recent language and punctuation trends that frighten prescriptivists and argues for a more even-handed descriptionist approach to editing today’s social media and digital communications. It’s a fascinating read for anyone trying to understand what new words and punctuation mean and how to edit them.
2. The Perfect English Grammar Workbook: Simple Rules and Quizzes to Master Today’s English by Lisa McLendon
Lisa McLendon is the Bremner Editing Center coordinator at University of Kansas, and she leads two sessions at ACES 2018: “Deep Grammar” on Thursday, April 26 and “Keeping Current Amid Evolving Editing Skills” on Saturday, April 28 with Sue Burzynski Bullard. In “Keeping Current Amid Evolving Editing Trends,” she and Bullard will discuss how today’s editors can keep up with technology, master new skills, and polish old ones; in “Deep Grammar,” she’ll delve into lesser-known aspects of grammar, like the double genitive and fused participles.
If a grammar deep dive sounds fun, then you’ll love her book, The Perfect English Grammar Workbook: Simple Rules and Quizzes to Master Today’s English. It’s perfect for brushing up on your grammar and maybe even learning a new grammar tidbit here and there.
3. The Sky Isn’t Blue by Janice Lee
Janice Lee is a freelance copy editor and the author of several books, the most recent of which is The Sky Isn’t Blue from Civil Coping Mechanisms. Lee will lead a Friday session about copy editing comics. She will speak about the exceptions copy editors can make to standard style rules when it comes to comic text, errors to watch for, and best practices for editing various types of comics.
4. Songs of Love and Grammar by James Harbeck
James Harbeck is a senior medical editor at MediResource Inc. He will lead a Friday ACES session titled, “Why Is English Spelling So Wierd?”, which will explore why English spelling is the way that it is. If that sounds appealing (I know my interest is piqued just by the misspelling in the session title), check out his 2012 book, Songs of Love and Grammar, which is chock-full of poems about grammar and romance. You’ll learn about grammar and you’ll laugh; what more can you ask for in a book?
5. Adulthood for Beginners: All the Life Secrets Nobody Bothered to Tell You by Andy Boyle
Andy Boyle is the director of platform architecture at Axios, and he will lead a Saturday ACES session on Google News Lab Fundamentals. The session will give editors an overview of various Google tools that are helpful for researching, fact-checking, and visualizing data sets on projects. But before you attend this session, pick up a copy of Adulthood for Beginners, Boyle’s 2017 survival guide about learning to be an adult. Highlights include, “Don’t Be Creepy,” “Networking Like a Not Gross Person,” and “Failing Isn’t Failure.”
6. The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English by Lynne Murphy
ACES 2018 keynote speaker and linguist Lynne Murphy will speak about the topic of her most recent book: the differences between British and American English. In The Prodigal Tongue, Murphy explores the political, linguistic, and social forces that have taken the two strains of English in different directions; she also examines the stereotypes and attitudes that the Brits and Americans bring to the linguistic rivalry.
Prodigal Tongue comes out on March 28 in the United Kingdom and on April 10 in the United States—just in time to grab a copy and start reading it before traveling to the ACES conference! You can also purchase a copy of Murphy’s book at ACES 2018.