Book review: The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century, by Steven Pinker.
Pinker provides great examples of readable writing, and insights about what styles are easy to read.
But the book is more forgetable than Sense of Structure (which covers similar subjects). Sense of Structure is more valuable because it’s more oriented toward training its readers.
Sense of Structure focuses on how to improve mediocre sentences that I might have been tempted to write. Pinker devotes a bit too much attention to making fun of bad sentences that don’t hold my attention because they don’t look similar enough to mediocre sentences which I might write.
There difference in style between the two books is modest, but modest differences matter for tasks such as this which take a good deal of willpower to master.