The Book Cafe
Published in

The Book Cafe


Grab This Book and Get Ready To Never Forget Those Boring Grammar Rules

You can even find this book addictive at moments… there, I warned you; so be prepared

A man standing and reading from a book

“Possibly the most popular book on grammar ever published.” —

I just completed reading this book called Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide To Better English In Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner.

And don’t ask me if I liked it. Because the answer is No, I loved it! A lot!

I’ve talked about this book in a couple of my previous posts too, like this one and this one, but I found it so good that I decided to write a separate post on this book.

How I Found This Book?

In short, thanks to Medium. I distinctly remember that I was once reading an article on Medium that talked about how to write and format better. And there was a discussion of this book.

It held my attention at the first sight.


Because, first of all, my grammar isn’t that good. You can easily find a couple (or dozen, well it depends, right?) of grammatical errors in my older and (some) recent pieces—well, that’s a progress, I guess. No?

Although, I’d give myself a pat on the back as I know I’ve become a lot better in this area lately, thanks to a lot of writing online, on Medium. Okay, enough of self-appreciation.

Picture of the book “Woe Is I” by Patricia T. O’ConnerE

A grammar book with a difference

I find every grammar book that’s ever been taught in my school syllabus boring. I’m 15, so yes, I’ve still gotta read them.

They all contain the same boring information presented in a boring style to kill the students with boredom.

I hated studying it. But it’s not an option, especially if you love writing and English ain’t your mother tongue.

That’s why, to spice up the boring grammar a little, I bought this book.

And reading it hasn’t disappointed me at all

Overall, it’s a light read. And that’s what I liked about it.

This isn’t some thousand page book that’s purpose is to make you a sophisticated grammarian.

No. It’s practical. Almost all of the rules discussed in the book are simple and straight-forward. It’s jargon-free to a large extent.

And the humurous style that the author has of presenting, even mundane topics, takes it all to a next level.

So, it’s very likely that you’ll never get bored reading this no matter whether you’re a new comer or an expert in the field.

Try not to laugh loud

There has been multiple moments while reading this book that I wasn’t able to hold my laughter. A chuckle kept escaping every now and then.

First up is the amusing way of titling the chapters.

For instance, there’s a chapter on punctuation called “Comma Sutra.” Another chapter, “Verbal Abuse,” was all about verbal grammar, homophones and homonyms, vocabulary in general.

So try not to laugh loud while reading. Shhh!

Final thoughts

Before I finish this post, I want to say one more thing:

You’re not going to find a better, more engaging, more humurous, more sophisticated without being only theoretical, more straight-forward grammar book—and overall a hell of a read—anywhere else.

So go for it.

Visit the book’s page at Penguin Random House here. (not an affiliate link.)

Subscribe here to get best of my Medium posts in your inbox. If you enjoyed reading it, stories of this list, “Books and Self-help,” might pique your interest. Give it a go:

Books & Self-help

10 stories
Picture of my Top 5 read reads of January 2022—2 fiction and 3 non-fiction books



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store