Books, Learning, Reviews

Book Review: How to Think Like an Absolute Genius

Title: How to Think Like an Absolute GeniusHow to think like an absolute genius
Author: Philippe Brasseur
Publisher: QEB Publishing (October 16, 2018)
Age Range: 9 – 14 years
Category: Non-fiction

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Book Description:

Be curious! Be imaginative! Be determined! Develop your talents by drawing inspiration from the greatest of geniuses. In a world that changes quickly, the future belongs to those who have an open, flexible mind: like John Lennon, they will imagine the impossible; like Walt Disney, they will work as a team; and like Copernicus, they will be able to think backwards! If you’re worried you might not be up to the job, have no fear! This fascinating book will show you the way. In How to Think Like an Absolutely Awesome Genius, 27 geniuses from different eras and disciplines –  artists, scientists, thinkers or writers – entrust you with their “creative methods”. Packed with facts, games and activity ideas to boost your intelligence, with this book to guide you, you can become absolutely awesome at whatever you put your mind to.

My Thoughts:

This book is absolute genius, like its title. There is information everywhere, and a how to use this book page makes it easy to, well, use the book and get the best out of it! Read on to find out what I loved about the book.

And the 27 geniuses mentioned – one of them is our brain.

What I loved:

  • The concept and the presentation: I love that it is geared towards younger audiences and helping them explore the genius mind. But also love that it works for everybody and I can attest to that as an adult reader. As it states in the book, ‘In this book, ideas bounce around in all directions – just like they do inside our heads!‘. And ideas and information do literally bounce off the page, using images and text all over the page, that make the reading of it more fun.
think like an absolute genius
From the book..
  • Activities: All the suggested activities and tips provided are so totally doable by children, by themselves or with others (be it family, friends, or classmates), making each and every activity a wonderful learning experience. For example: Train your curiosity by asking yourself 10 different questions on the same topic
    • The book includes a Take it Further section at the end which is also full of ideas and activities. A list of included Further Resources to help research deeper on information in the book, and a list of activities to make your days, your weeks extraordinary.
  • The possibilities: The book inspires inspiration, curiosity, take-action steps, and so much more. It enables the reader with information and leads them on a wonderful journey of discovery.
    • The Take it Further section also gives ideas on how to convert your ‘Yes, But’ to a ‘Yes, I Can’ – I loved this!
  • The creative methods themselves: They are classified under curiosity (take notes like da Vinci, make links like Buffon), imagination(think outside the box like Igor Stravinsky) and determination (work methodically like Agatha Christie, persevere like Van Gogh). Each creative method includes:
    • practical and practicable tips for everyday that will soon become habits leading you onto the path to being a genius. Take this simple one for example:

      How to Think like an Absolute Genius
      From the book..
    • quotes from geniuses that are relevant to the method and will inspire you into action, like Edison’s words ‘I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 solutions that didn’t work.’  Another way to tell us to keep trying until we succeed!
    • activities to explore your creativity, over and over again like this one below among others I know I am going to try myself:
      • In the ‘Gymnastics for Writers’ activity, suggestions include 7 challenges, one of them is
        • write 7 sentences with just 7 words to describe the beginning of your day.
    • a snapshot of the featured genius that helps the reader learn more – information about the person and fun facts too. For example: Salvador Dali often gave out blank sheets of paper that he had signed, saying: “Here, do a Dali and get rich!  (That is rich indeed!! Oh, to have met Dali when he was handing out those blank sheets!)
    • other geniuses who also made an impact in their fields, and on the world, by exploring creatively and differently. We learn about other famous as well as not so famous people whose discoveries help us everyday, like Margaret E. Knight who held 87 patents and invented the flat-bottomed paper bag! I certainly did not know that before.
    • a note on how the brain works and what happens when we do different activities, like those mentioned in the book. One example from the book: ‘What we see is the brain’s primary source of information. So much so that our sight often overrides our other senses.’  So the book suggests to try out some daily activities by closing our eyes.

What could have made it way way better:

A couple more woman geniuses highlighted! The book highlights one woman – Agatha Christie. Granted that there are many women included in the book in the ‘Others Who……’ section for each creative method and also granted that the book itself also makes a mention of this (redeeming point for this grievance with the book) -‘So many people mentioned in this book are deceased. You will also find that the majority are male.’ But I would have loved it so much more with at least a couple more women of the women mentioned in the ‘Others..’ highlighted among the 26 (and it would not have hurt to have more than 26 geniuses too!).

In Summary:

A book that would be wonderful in classrooms to use as a learning tool – explore one creative method via one genius a week! And at home to read and discuss as a family – I know I would love going through this book even with my older kids – a teen and a tween. There is so much potential in such books.

So, there you go – another wonderful book to gift. Gift it to yourself or that potential-genius (does that not include everyone?) kid you know who loves reading (or not – this book will encourage reluctant readers to pick it up – it is appealingly genius that way!)

Rating: A-
Reading Level: 8 years and older
Reread Level: 5/5

Disclaimer: Thank You #NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for the advance DRC of this book. The opinions are my own. 

Buy it from Amazon 

Order it from the Book Depository (for readers worldwide)

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Or from Barnes and Noble

Question to You, Dear Reader:

Any other genius books in mind? Would love to hear about them.

Writing this post as a series for the Ultimate Blog Challenge and Write 31 Days.  31 Days, 31 Books! This is for Day Twenty Eight, almost there at the finish line now but catching up still.

For some reason, I seem to be on a note-taking mission on how important it is to take notes. From Akira Kurosawa in my Zen Pencils post to this one today, and my repeated instructions to my kids everyday for the past month somehow:)

Day 0 Day 1  Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5  Day 6  Day 7 Day 8 Day 9  Day 10 Day 11  Day 12 Day 13   Day 14  Day 15  Day 16  Day 17  Day 18  Day 19 Day 20 Day 21 Day 22  Day 23  Day 24  Day 25  Day 26  Day 27

19 thoughts on “Book Review: How to Think Like an Absolute Genius

  1. I was enamored of Da Vinci- his art, his technology, his note-taking. So much so that I kept my lab books in his fashion, writing backwards so only I (or so I thought back then) could read it.
    (I am disappointed, too, that Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, etc.!)
    I will check this tome out for my grandson.

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