Books to Sharpen Your Mind: The Brilliant Reading List for October (#2 Will Blow Your Mind)

Why do you read?

For fun or personal development? To relax, or to improve your knowledge and mental skills?

Or all of the above?

Whatever your reasons, the following five books will address all of these dimensions of reading, and bring you one step closer to your ultimate goal as a writer, thought leader, and human being:

Get your copy of Save the Cat

Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Do you know what a beat sheet is? Or what it means to “save the cat”? Or how “saving the cat” will make your story more attractive to readers? No? Well, after reading Save the Cat, you will learn all of that, and much more. Blake Snyder, renowned scriptwriter and writing teacher shares some of his best plotting techniques with aspiring story writers. In Save the Cat, you’ll learn to conceptualize your creative project so that you can sell it to gatekeepers and to consumers. Though written for screenwriters/scriptwriters, the tips and strategies Snyder shares in this book are highly useful for fiction (and nonfiction!) writers of all stripes.

Get your copy of How Not to be Wrong

How Not to be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg

Did you know that 89.97% of statistics are made up? Actually, that’s not true. I just made up that number. But THIS is true: many statistics in headlines and even science journals are often interpreted in inaccurate or misleading ways. If you want to learn how to evaluate news, facts, and statistics, you need to read How Not to be Wrong. In it, the author explains how statistics work and how you can avoid being tricked.

Get your copy of The Vanished

The Vanished by Lena Mauger & Stephane Remael

If you’ve ever wanted to disappear after a particularly humiliating or painful life event, you will relate to the people in this book. In The Vanished, writing/photography team Mauger and Remael travel through Japan to find and interview people who have literally disappeared from their “normal lives,” sometimes for decades. This nonfiction look at the self-chosen displaced people of Japan is mysterious, sad, and yet, enlightening.

Get your own copy of You Can Have an Amazing Memory

You Can Have an Amazing Memory by Dominic O’Brien

If you think you’re too old, too dumb, or too distracted to develop an incredible memory, think again. The human brain is incredible, and you never know what you can do with it…just ask Dominic O’Brien, who started out as a terrible student and today is a World Memory Champion several times over. In You Can Have an Amazing Memory, O’Brien shares some of his paradigm-shifting memory techniques that anyone can learn — yes, even you!

Get your copy of My Name is Mahtob

My Name is Mahtob by Mahtob Mahmoody

In the 1980s, 6-year-old Mahtob and her mother were held captive for years in war-torn Iran by her abusive Iranian-American father. After escaping on foot to Turkey and making their way home to America, Mahtob’s mother Betty told her harrowing story, which was eventually made into the hit 1990 drama: “Not Without My Daughter.” But in My Name is Mahtob, the daughter relates what happened AFTER she came home: how she dealt with her traumatic memories, reclaimed her life in spite of death threats and stalking, and learned to forgive her father for his abuse. This eye-opening memoir gives readers a powerful example of one young woman’s journey as she works through her dark past into a healthy future.

And that wraps up the top 5 books for October!

If you’re a part of the Brilliant Writer Family already, you’ll be getting an extra book that has been particularly helpful to me. If you’re not yet part of the tribe, use the link below to not miss out on future recommendations 😃

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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.