Stories That Change Lives: The Brilliant Writer Reading List for August 2019 (#5 Might Offend You)

The summer is coming to an end in a few weeks…but thank goodness, good books never die!

If there’s a theme to this reading list, it would be the power of the imagination to create stories…writing fictional stories that entertain people (recommendation #1), and borrowing from fictional characters to function better in different arenas of life (recommendation #3).

So here are five great books I’ve read recently that you may enjoy, in the categories of nonfiction: writing, psychology/personal development, memoir, marketing, and fiction…

Oh, and I’m serious about the subtitle. If you’re the kind of person that gets easily offended, do not look up or read #5. If you do, in spite of this warning, don’t tell me or say I didn’t warn you.

That said, let’s begin!


Wired for Story by Lisa Cron

This first book on by genius storytelling coach Lisa Cron reveals why human beings are naturally drawn to story. None of us can resist a good story. It’s how we’re wired. But why? Wired for Story has the answer. The first book I ever read by Cron changed my life, so of course I had to give this one a try as well. Using discoveries in neuroscience and anecdotes from her life as a writing teacher, Cron shows readers just how powerful writers can be, and how to write strong stories.

Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque

One of the most important tools for creatives and business people (which is most of us) is the email list. In Newsletter Ninja, Tammi Lacrecque, a novelist and marketer, has collected all her wisdom on the topic into this brief and useful book. Newsletter Ninja is not just about writing newsletters for fiction writers, but the underlying philosophy of email lists. Really useful for anyone who needs help with their email strategy!

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman

Does “fake it til you make it” really work? Perhaps sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that’s not exactly the point of this book. As someone who has been and coached sports and business leaders, Herman’s Alter Ego Effect is not so much pretending to be someone you’re not, but allowing the most effective aspects of yourself to operate in different fields of life. And there’s much more to it than that…check out the book if you want to learn more!

The Good Shufu by Tracy Slater

Lately, I’ve been discovering the fascination of memoirs. I’ve also been picking up some Japanese, so when I spotted The Good Shufu in my e-library, of course I decided to give it a try. And it did not disappoint. This memoir by an American woman from a liberal Jewish upper middle class Bostonian family about meeting and marrying a Japanese man from a far more conservative culture was intriguing and poignant. Recommended for memoir fans.

Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey

Okay, first let me say this is a heavy book. It’s not an easy read, and I almost didn’t recommend it because it’ll only appeal to some. Love Thy Body will offend quite a few, and yet we need to be risk being offended because it’s the only way to figure out the truth. For me, the most important thing I learned is to respect, not abuse my body because it’s not just a “meat machine” carrying a brain. There’s a lot more I could say, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

And that’s all, folks: my top 5 recommendations for the month. I also chose a sixth book (series) that was particularly impactful on my thoughts and life as a writer.

If you’re a part of the Brilliant Writer Family already, you’ll be getting that one in your inbox. If not, feel free to join — use the link below or shoot me an email, and I’ll send you the Bonus Book blurb! 😄

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