When on a buying spree, I often buy more books than am ever able to read. This is exactly what happened when I last time was in an American bookstore, looking for a book that explains the difference between restrictive and non-restrictive clauses. Here’s what I bought back then in April:

“MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers” by Joseph Garibaldi, sixth edition

To start with, this is not a grammar book. That is, it contains a chapter about punctuation, but mostly reels off on issues of style and formatting. If you’re looking for a standard for formatting of research documents, citing, underlining, quoting, working with different sources, this book is for you. Its writing style is very comprehensible, if not too verbose: the book is written for college students. An entire chapter is devoted to plagiarism and how to avoid it. Read some chapters and some barely skimmed trhough.

“Grammatically CORRECT” by Anne Stilman

This book I liked. It contains a comprehensive guide for punctuation, explains how to avoid spelling errors, and has a very good chapter titled “Grammar” with excellent tips on how to make a complex sentence easy to read. A big deal though is that I not only need to read the book, but also make sure its rules and guidelines are an everyday practice.

“Practical English Usage” by Michael Swan

This is an alphabetically sorted list of all the existing grammar and punctuation rules in English. Should be an excellent replacement for numerous “English as a second language” textbooks I have. Haven’t had a chance to use it extensively so far.