Books to See The Summer Off: The August ’20 Brilliant Reading List (#5 Will Remind You of Long-Forgotten Truths)

Fall is coming, and with it, a potential wave of craziness after a year of already too many unpredictable, crazy events.


Which means that now would be a very good time to (you know what’s coming — wait for it…)

Take up the good ole’ fashioned art of spelunking.

Just in case the World Above gets so insufferable that you decide to hunker underground.

Nah, just kidding.

The actual answer is: read books, of course!

(It’s the answer to every question, after all)

Not just because books can give you a temporary reprieve from the, well, craziness outside, but because they can also PREPARE you to DEAL with craziness in general, inside or outside.


This month, we have:

  • A laugh-out-loud meta-commentary story on the ludicrousness of adventure novels,
  • A couple books about simple concepts with life-changing dynamite power (for the right person, at the right time),
  • A biography of a man famous, in part, for his unassuming modesty (talk about irony, especially in times like these),
  • and more.

Here’s the August Brilliant Writer Reading List:



The One Thing by Gary Keller

The One Thing by Gary Keller

The One Thing by Gary Keller is a good reminder for those of us who feel a bit like the proverbial beheaded chicken.

If you’ve never heard of the ONE THING, the idea is to focus on “ONE THING, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary.”

Sounds wordy, and it is. But every concept in there is important, and the book explains why. In detail.

But not to worry, this book is a quick read and, if you really follow its advice, you might just be able to resurrect your poor decapitated chicken’s head…

(Wow. That really didn’t work. Maybe my One Thing needs to be “sharpening up my analogical abilities” for the foreseeable future…)


The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

The Procrastination Equation by Piers Steel

To be honest, The Procrastination Equation is not the strongest book on this list in terms of consistently excellent style and craft throughout (there’s fat to be trimmed, imho).

But the most valuable part of this book is the idea of the, well, Procrastination Equation.

Yes, it’s an equation. It looks like this:

U = EV / PD

(Can you imagine? The solution to all of your insufferable procrastination problems, contained within a simple equation…? Well, not quite. It’s a teensy bit more complicated than that. But then, you have to read the book to find out why)

And if you really break down, understand, and learn how to properly use each of the elements of the equation, the results you may achieve will certainly be worth more than the time it took for you to read this book, extra fat be darned.


The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle

What does it take to create a group that wins?

Turns out, it’s not an accident. There are parameters you can intentionally set to create a group that succeeds at whatever it does.

The Culture Code teaches leaders, and those who would like to create powerful, effective groups, what exactly those parameters/elements are.

Using examples of famous, influential groups (Bell Labs, Pixar, Navy SEALs), Daniel Coyle extracts the most important lessons for group cohesiveness and effectiveness.

I picked this book up only because I liked the other Daniel Coyle books I read, not thinking that I’d be all that interested in group dynamics, since I lean more toward lone-wolfism myself…but this book was fascinating. 

The examples included, the lessons illuminated…I ended up reading it in just one sitting. Highly recommended.


Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Because every book recommendation list needs a rollicking fun read, I present to you: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin, an author who is one of those “hidden jewel” writers…you know, the kind that produces such consistent quality that you wonder if talent really exists, and isn’t just a construct created by those of the “fixed mindset” persuasion.

Anyway. I digress.

Wonderland Creek is a meta-novel, about a bookworm who ends up stuck in a rural library, in the middle of a murderous family feud, trying to help the local head librarian play dead, while delivering books to the locals on horseback (never mind that she’s never ridden a horse before).

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of snarky commentary on the ludicrousness of fictional worlds, particularly the ones that appear in adventure novels, but the plucky characters, laugh-out-loud plot, and polished writing makes this book a rare treat for fiction lovers!


The Simple Faith of Mr Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth

The Simple Faith of Mr Rogers by Amy Hollingsworth

The older I grow, the more I appreciate the simple wisdom of those who never lose touch with the innocence and brilliance of children.

Mr. Rogers is such a man. The famous friendly TV neighbor who helped teach generations of children what it means to be a healthy, kind, and loving person is memorialized in this biography by a writer who knew Mr. Rogers personally, and testified that he was just as humble and lovely off-screen as he was on it.

The Simple Faith of Mr Rogers reminds us that, sometimes the strongest forces for good in this old world are so quiet, so unassuming, so unnoticeable, that you almost don’t realize until you look back, that all along, you were holding a treasure in your hands.

And that’s the book list for August~

If you’re a part of the Brilliant Writer Family already, you’ve got something extra special coming to your email box. If you’re not yet part of the tribe, use the link below to stay in the loop! 😃

Want to Find More Incredible Books Like This?

I’ve created The Brilliant Writer Reading List to help you avoid wasting time on terrible books and only enjoy reading the good stuff.