#3 - "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" by Lynne Truss - I majored in English and college and spent a brief, miserable time working for a newspaper as a combination go-fer, assignments-no-one-else-wanted reporter and 8th junior assistant bootlick copy editor. When I worked for MetLife, I usually ended up proofreading most of my co-workers' correspondence to correct spelling and grammar mistakes, especially comma usage. And as Erin can attest, I'm very easily offended by the abuse that the English language takes in the modern world, even though I've committed more than my fair share of offenses over the years. (just because you're passionate doesn't mean you can't also be a hypocrite) In other words, I'm well within the confines of Truss's target audience. But even if you're not a hardline grammar stickler, you may still find something of value in this book. The shaky history of punctuation is surprisingly interesting, and if you're not careful, you just may learn something before it's done.* You might even find yourself inspired to carry a Sharpie at all times, ready to cross out the dreaded "greengrocers' apostrophe" at a moment's notice. Hey, it could happen.**
* Hey, hey, hey!
** If you have as little to do as I do, anyway.