One way we, as writers, can improve our writing is to read and study great writing. Whether that’s a reference book on how to write better or a great novel or memoir that hooks us with great twists and turns that are so addictive that we forget to drink our morning coffee (OK, well, maybe not THAT addictive). I want to build a list of books here that all writers can bookmark and thumb through at any time.
Some mornings I’m about as creative as a thumbtack. I roll out of bed at the same time, eat the same Raisin Bran for breakfast and drive the same route to work. Then I stare blankly at the computer screen for 45 minutes before deciding to sneak down and see if there are any free cookies in the mailroom. To get the burst of creativity to break me out of my funk, I often turn to writing prompts.
Over the past forty years, I’ve translated what seems like every conceivable kind of book, from classics like Anna Karenina to a biography of the Constructivist painter Lyubov Popova, abstruse works of philosophy, and monumental histories—but my focus—with a significant exception for some forays into not-quite-so-contemporary fiction of the past hundred years—has been contemporary Russian fiction.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used). For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".