Books to Help You Survive the Summer Heat: The July 2020 Brilliant Reading List (#2 Will Tug at Your Heartstrings)

Hi Brilliant Writers!

Ready for your monthly book recommendations?

Okay, okay. But first, a note:

Every month, I send something special to the Brilliant Writers on Brilliant Writer email list (see below), and this month the “something special” is going to be extra special.

And only Brilliant Writers will get it.

If you’re not already in the Merry Band, sorry. (Even if you sign up today, it’s too late*) Maybe there will be something special again next month. But if you’re already in, keep an eye on your email!

That said:

We’re entering the hottest part of summer, so below are some of the hottest books I’ve encountered in recent reading, for your perusing pleasure.

This month we have a brilliant little book on becoming a genius, a behind-the-scenes look at arguably the most controversial political figure in the world right now (by a guy who tailed him for a year as his personal photographer), a heartstrings-tugging memoir by a woman who volunteers with man’s best friend, and more.

Here, take a look…


The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

The Little Book of Talent is exactly what it sounds like. A little book (little in word count and in size) that you can carry with you and use to remind yourself of the brain science and proven strategies that ALL “talented geniuses” use to achieve their “talented genius” status in sports, music, academics, and more.

If you’ve ever wondered why certain people excel and others don’t, this book will reveal some of the most important reasons. (Hint: it has something to do with that white fatty stuff in your brain called myelin). More importantly, it gives practical — as in, you-can-do-this-too-right-now — tips for becoming your own kind of genius in your field, whether that’s playing tennis, learning to sing, or writing novels.

Composed of 52 tips organized into three overarching sections, The Little Book of Talent breaks down the mystery of “talent” and “child prodigies” into easily understandable, bite-sized lessons that anyone can take and apply…yes, even you, if you so choose.

Rescuing Penny Jane by Amy Sutherland

Rescuing Penny Jane by Amy Sutherland

Thanks to the worldwide pandemic, a lot of people have lost the means to care for their pets, which is why, if you are able, now might be a good time to consider acting on that desire to rescue a deserving animal from your local animal shelter.

In Rescuing Penny Jane, volunteer dog walker and rescue pet adopter Amy Sutherland talks about the lives of rescue dogs, the history of no-kill shelters, the effect that kennels and abandonment have on animals that have been abused or left behind, and the love and redemption for both humans and dogs when people take the time to reach out to a rescue pet.

Sutherland also talks about her own experience walking and adopting rescue animals, revealing the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. If you’re a dog lover, a dog person, or thinking of getting a rescue dog yourself, you definitely want to read this book!

Trumpography by Gene Ho

Trumpography by Gene Ho

In this illustrated book by Donald Trump’s former campaign photographer, author Gene Ho talks about his perspective on what President Trump is really behind the scenes, as a person, as well as Ho’s own experiences (good and bad) on the campaign trail.

Gene Ho is not a professional writer (he’s a photographer, after all). But what I found most interesting about Trumpography was Ho’s connection between Trump, his own experiences on the campaign trail, and pretty obscure Bible stories that not everyone knows (unless you’ve actually read the Bible yourself).

I’m not sure I agree with every interpretation by Ho, but this is definitely a thought-provoking book. And if you’re interested in photography, there’s a little in here about that, as well!

Range by David Epstein

Range by David Epstein

In a world that seems to be pushing people to specialize, and to specialize younger and younger, Range is a call for balance, a case for those late-bloomers who look like they are “falling behind.”

The case is that those who have breadth of knowledge may actually be positioned better for long-term life success than those who niche down and pursue depth at the cost of widening their circle of competence.

From stories about firefighters to the tragic artist Van Gogh to the leader of the Girl Scouts, Epstein uses fascinating real-life stories to illustrate his points. This is an encouraging and thought-provoking read for anyone who’s ever felt “left behind” by the “prodigies” and “talented folk” around them.

The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

It’s Dr. Seuss at his best again! Even if you don’t have children to read to, this is a book worth reading. (Or re-reading, if you’ve read it before).

Not only is Dr. Seuss a genius at whimsical rhyme and imaginative stories, he has the genius to share powerful life lessons in the guise of simple children’s stories.

Read The Sneetches and Other Stories just for fun, or do one better and actually study this book with a writer (or illustrator’s) eye to get even more out of it.


And that’s the book list for July~

If you’re a part of the Brilliant Writer Family already, you’ve got something EXTRA special coming to your email box for the very first time this month, July 2020. 

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.

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