Why Editors Drink

A snarky look at common, often hilarious, writing blunders

Non-Fiction - Writing/Publishing
72 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2020
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Author Biography

Rob Reinalda is a career journalist and winner of ACES' Robinson Prize for excellence in editing. After 25 years in newspapers, Rob moved into online publishing and quickly became an authoritative voice on writing and editing. His humorous, informative essays on Huffington Post and other popular websites have drawn widespread acclaim, and he has written numerous podcast scripts for Grammar Girl. He has delivered live and online presentations to enthusiastic audiences for about a decade.
Rob and his wife, Teresa (who designed and illustrated "Why Editors Drink"), moved from metro New York to greater Chicago in 2005.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ken Stark for Readers' Favorite

Why Editors Drink is author Rob Reinalda's how-not-to guide for online writers. Citing some of the best (or perhaps worst) examples of bad writing collected through his years as an editor, Reinalda identifies the most common mistakes writers make and shows exactly how to avoid them. The book's main focus is online business articles, but the lessons are the same whether you're penning the next great American novel or replying to the boss's email. No, don't worry, this is no textbook. With its humorous anecdotes and witty narrative, this self-described 'snarky look at common, and often hilarious, writing blunders' is designed to be as entertaining as it is informative, making it a fun read for writers and non-writers alike.

My only issue with Why Editors Drink is its length. At only 64 pages, the book was done before I wanted it to be, so if this was Rob Reinalda leaving me wanting more, he succeeded in spades. That said, those 64 pages were packed with useful information. I always worry about books like this because they so often consist only of rules and regulations laid down centuries ago, so I was pleasantly surprised not just by Reinalda's penchant for snark, but by his acknowledgment that rules are meant to be broken every once in a while. This, from an actual editor. Imagine my shock. Rather than harping on dangled participles and split infinitives, Reinalda instead concentrates on cutting through the clutter, getting rid of bloat, and getting the point across in a clear and concise manner. Great lessons for anyone thinking of stringing words together. More importantly, though, those lessons were a joy to learn. And maybe that was the best lesson of all. Between and around all of those great examples of bad writing, Rob Reinalda practiced what he preached. He always got his point across clearly, concisely, and intelligently, and he managed to keep me entertained the whole way. Five stars for Why Editors Drink, and an extra snifter of the good stuff for Rob Reinalda. Now, I can only hope that I don't see any part of this review in his next book. It might just drive me to drink.