Skip to main content

The Daily Reader

366 selections of great prose and poetry to inspire a productive and meaningful writing life.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:


The Daily Reader
366 Selections of Great Prose and Poetry to Inspire a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life
By Fred White
Writer's Digest Books, 2009
ISBN 978-1-58297-589-4
$17.99 paperback, 384 pages

Image placeholder title

Buy Now

Read an Excerpt
Read the introduction and two daily reflections from The Daily Reader. Read and reflect on an excerpt from Male and Female: A Study of Sexes in a Changing World by Margaret Mead and “Of Water, as Painted by Turner” from Modern Painters by John Ruskin.

Read a Q&A with Fred White author of The Daily Reader and The Daily Writer.

About the Book
Let great reading fuel your writing! Great writers read—voraciously and across many topics and genres. They read to learn, to research, to study the style of others, and to improve their own work. They read because they love the written word. But becoming well read takes time, dedication, and patience. The thought can be daunting—especially when you’re eager to get to your own writing.

Fred White, author of The Daily Writer, helps you sort through the plethora of reading material available by providing you with 366 engaging excerpts from ancient poetry to modern science, on topics from allegory to food to writer’s block. Each thoughtfully chosen excerpt is followed by a brief reflection and a prompt that allows you to integrate elements from each piece into your own writing.

The Daily Reader makes broad reading accessible, invigorates your thirst for the written word, and equips you to put the power of the pros behind your writing.

About the Author
Fred White is a professor of English at Santa Clara University in Northern California. He is the author of four textbooks on writing, the latest of which, The Well-Crafted Argument, co-authored with Simone Billings, will print its fourth edition in 2010. Other recent books include The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life, LifeWriting: Drawing from Personal Experience to Create Features You Can Publish, Essential Muir: A Selection of John Muir’s Best Writings, and Approaching Emily Dickinson: Critical Currents and Crosscurrents Since 1960.

Topics for Each Month
1. Anthropology and Sociology
2. Art and Architecture
3. Astronomy and Space Exploration
4. Biology and Chemistry
5. Books, Reading, and Education
6. Food and Agriculture
7. Geology, Paleontology, and Archaeology
8. History, Ancient
9. History, Medieval and Renaissance
10. History, Modern
11. Literature, Ancient
12. Literature, Medieval and Renaissance
13. Literature, Late 17th and 18th Centuries
14. Literature, 19th Century
15. Literature, 20th and 21st Centuries
16. Medicine and Health
17. Memoir and Biography
18. Mystery and Thriller Fiction
19. Nature and Environment
20. Philosophy
21. Physics and Mathematics
22. Popular Culture, Politics, and Public Affairs
23. Psychology
24. Recreation and Travel
25. Religion and Mythology
26. Satire and Humor
27. Science Fiction and Fantasy
28. Supernatural and Horror Fiction
29. Technology
30. Theater, Film, and Music
31. Writing

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Alicia Thompson: On Writing Romance in Isolating Times

Writer Alicia Thompson discusses what she learned about herself in writing her new romance novel, Love in the Time of Serial Killers.

Examples of Hooks for Books

60 Examples of Hooks for Books

This post collects 60 examples of hooks for books. Also called elevator pitches, these book hooks show real-life examples in a variety of writing genres for fiction and nonfiction books.

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

How To Turn Artifacts and Research Into a Family Memoir

A century’s old family heirloom acted as a clue to the past for author Cornelia Maude Spelman. Here, she shares how to turn artifacts and research into a family memoir.

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Miriam Parker: On Writing the Book You Want To Read

Author and publisher Miriam Parker discusses her surprise at writing her new novel, Room and Board.

Poetry Prompt

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 622

Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a story poem.

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

7 Tips for Fictionalizing Real Historical Characters

When to retell history, when to imagine new scenarios, and who’s safe to use as a subject—author Gill Paul shares 7 tips for fictionalizing real historical characters.

A Thief in the Market

A Thief in the Market

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, someone is stealing from small business owners.

Auguries and Alchemy Pamona Sparrow

Auguries and Alchemy: Starting a New Publishing Company

Publisher Pamona Sparrow shares what inspired her to start her new publishing company, Auguries and Alchemy, and how to submit to your own magical stories.

Roselle Lim: On Resting in the Writing Process

Roselle Lim: On Resting in the Writing Process

Author Roselle Lim discusses the joys of getting older in her new novel, Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club.