Brilliant Writer TBR Book Reviews for May 2021

Reviewing May 2021 TBR (To Be Read) Results

As part of my plan to study story-creation in the next few months and beyond, I’ve been researching Booktube, specifically: TBR games. (More on that in future articles). Which is what inspired me to start a To-Be-Read project of my own.

For the first couple months of this Project, I’ve been using a simple “spin the wheel” style game to pick books to read each month. (You can watch the videos in the free Brilliant Writer app — see link below to find out how to get it)

But that will be changing in June (as you Brilliant Writers will…

Curated reading recommendations for Brilliant Writers

If you actually want to improve your life, it isn’t enough to think about it.

All success depends on what you DO. And not just what you do, but what you do, repeatedly.

As the famous philosopher Aristotle once said:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

If that’s true, how do you form and maintain healthy habits that will help you in life? The following book recommendations will help you do just that:

Curated reading recommendations for Brilliant Writers

So you want to be a smarter writer, eh?

That’s why you make the time to read — articles, and books, on a variety of topics. You want to fill your mind with fascinating fodder so you can be a brilliant writer and ever-more-interesting person, day by day.

But have you ever cogitated on HOW you learn things, and how you can become more efficient and effective at it?

Metacognition refers to the concept of thinking about thinking. And it’s necessary for everyone who wants to learn and grow to do some metacogitating every once in a while.

In other…

Curated reading recommendations for Brilliant Writers

It’s Middle-Grade March! And that means the theme picked itself for this month’s “5 Best Book Recommendations” for Brilliant Writers ;)

Here’s a secret:

Although Middle-Grade books are technically written for middle-grade readers (ages 11–13, approximately), they are excellent study tools for writers of all ages.


  1. Middle-Grade readers generally have lower reading levels than your average college-educated adult, which means MG writers have to create a story at a literacy level that the vast majority of readers can easily absorb. (Which is also a superb skill to have if you’re writing on the internet)
  2. Also, middle-graders are more easily…

Photo by Nathaniel Shuman on Unsplash

Answering autobiographical questions about books

So you like to read. A lot.

Which is why, when people ask you “what’s your favorite book?” you shrivel a bit inside.

Instead of dealing with such tired old questions, give these interesting A-Z questions a shot, and see what you can learn about yourself and your reading habits.

(Below are my answers. At the end, you’ll get a chance to try them out yourself 😉 )

A — Author you’ve read the most books from

Probably Wendelin Van Draanen, simply because I’ve read all 17 of the books in her Sammy Keyes series.

B — Best sequel ever

Erm. Does Artemis Fowl 3: Eternity Code count? …

Curated reading recommendations for Brilliant Writers

Every once in a while, I like to review books and articles read/written in the past. That’s how I unearthed this old gem:

So for this month, we’ll be spotlighting five standout novels from the above original list of 222+.

The Chronicles of the Kings by Lynn Austin

“Only a coward would send his children to their deaths in order to save his own life.” The Chronicles of the Kings

The Chronicles of the Kings is hands down the best Biblical fiction series I have ever read. …

Curated reading recommendations for Brilliant Writers

It’s a new year, and a new series of recommended book lists for 2021!

This year, instead of rinsing and repeating the old “recommend five random books” idea, I’ve decided to create book recommendations by theme.

Starting with January’s theme: Epistolary novels! Also known as, novels that are written as letters from one character to another.

Sorcery and Cecilia by Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer

“How dreadful…to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.” Sorcery and Cecilia

Sorcery and Cecilia was the first epistolary novel I ever read. Well, the first epistolary novel I ever read that I enjoyed. (Frankenstein doesn’t count…

Photo by Boris Drobnič on Unsplash

The Complete 2020 Book List

Someone once said that books are like water in the Grand Canyon:

You may not always remember every detail of every book you read, but they leave their mark in your life.

That is all well and good, as sayings go, but being the stubborn writer that I am, I prefer to remember more of what I read and learn by being intentional about writing it down.

Hence the Annual Book List.

For the past few years, I’ve been keeping track of the books I read each year, just to keep track of my reading history. …

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Top Nonfiction and Fiction Brilliant Writer Book Picks

In an unstable world, one of the most important skills to learn is HOW to learn — to learn well, and quickly. That is why this year, most of my top nonfiction book recommendations have to do with learning.

But learning isn’t all. Books can also be a relaxation, an escape when life gets too stressful. And an encouraging reminder that what you see isn’t all there is.

Anyway, without further ado: Here are my Top Picks for nonfiction and fiction books in 2020 ~


1. The Talent Code & The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

The Talent Code and The Little Book of Talent are two separate books. But because…

Curated book recommendations for Brilliant Writers

So, 2020 has been…interesting, to say the least. We’ve had global pandemics, violent protests, controversial elections, economic disasters, and more.

But we’ve also had quiet angels among us, who have selflessly helped their neighbors, tended the sick, kept on living and caring and being a light to their communities.

That’s why, to mimic this mix of dark and light, depression and inspiration, I have a hodgepodge of recommendations for you, to see off this challenging year.

From a book that is all about books that screwed up the world, to a book about changing your life using a well-known but…

Sarah Cy

(aka The Scylighter). Writer, musician, reader, daughter. Join our Merry Band, become a Brilliant Writer, and dazzle your readers!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store