Books to Elevate Your Mind: The Brilliant Writer Reading List for September 2019 (#2 Will Teach You How to Negotiate Like an FBI Agent)

Guess: What is the one activity that makes people happier, makes their lives better, makes them become better people in general?

I bet you’re going guess “reading” aren’t ya?

I mean, given the title of this article, that guess would make sense.

But if you guessed that, you’d be Wrong.

The CORRECT answer?


Learning keeps the brain spry, keeps life interesting, keeps people progressing in thought and maturity. And yes, books are a fantastic source of learning, though there are many other ways to learn as well.

The thing about those other ways, though, is that they’re not activities you can do online. If you want to learn outside of books, you have to physically explore and act out your ideas in the real world.

What you CAN do online, is recommend good books that share ideas you can test in the real world. And that’s what I’m going to do here:

Story Genius by Lisa Cron

In Story Genius, storytelling coach Lisa Cron reveals why beginning writers fail to write or finish a decent novel. Using an actual work in progress from one of her students as an example within the book, Cron takes readers step by step through the process of creating a novel, from idea formation to finished product. Cron also introduces her Story Card method of planning out a story so that aspiring writers need never get lost in the “muddle in the middle” again. A must-read for fiction writers!

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

If you want to know how the best FBI negotiators actually convince crazy terrorists to safely give up their hostages, you have to read this book. If you want to learn how to negotiate a better salary, a better deal, a better position, then you need to read this book even more. In Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss, a real-life FBI agent, takes readers behind the scenes of high-stakes negotiations, teaching counterintuitive techniques that work in war zones as well as business situations.


Candle in the Darkness by Lynn Austin

If you’re interested in historical fiction, especially of the American Civil War variety, you need to check out Lynn Austin’s Candle in the Darkness. Main character Caroline Fletcher is a “Southern belle” who believes in abolition. Because of her beliefs, she ends up working against the people she loves most as the Civil War breaks out and her friends and family join the war effort to separate from the Union and keep their slaves.


Letters From a Skeptic by Gregory and Edward Boyd

Of all the philosophical, apologetics books I’ve ever read, Letters From a Skeptic has the most heart. In it, A real-life father and son publish letters written to each other over several years, discussing questions regarding life and death, philosophy and theology, and their own personal tragedies. Although these letters started out as private correspondence, they contain a great deal of wisdom, and even an unfolding story. Most importantly, each letter displays the love between father and son.

The Pixar Touch by David A. Price

Pixar is one of the most miraculous creative companies in the world — nearly every single one of its innovative movies has succeeded wildly in the market. How did such a company come about? What are the stories behind the stories that Pixar produces? If you’re curious, check out The Pixar Touch. If you are a story teller and want to pick up tips for creating your own creative, heart-rending, and memorable stories, this book is also worth a read 😃

…That’s a wrap, everyone: my top 5 recommendations for the month of September.

And if you’re a part of the Brilliant Writer Family already, you’ll be getting the chance to access an extra one-time gift in your inbox. If not, use the link below or shoot me an email to join the family!

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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.