Book Review: Think Like A Genius by Todd Siler

The first image I saw in the first chapter of the book intrigued me. It was indeed very creative. A cartoon character was created using the shape of a question mark which was shown as a character curious about a switch. In the next image, the switch was touched by its finger and the question mark turns into an exclamation mark with shivers of electrical current running through it. Such a simple illustration with no use of words was rather the work of a genius mind. A mind that was able to come with an illustration so self-explanatory that it needed no words. I hope you are able to visualize the image I am talking about. If not, try reading the book “Think like a genius” by Todd Siler.

I did not grab this book in any book store but in a second-hand book staff that I often visit. The title itself was intriguing enough for me to pick the book and when I scanned through its content, I was impressed. After buying the book, I started reading it and was not disappointed. Instead, I wondered why I did not get my hands on such a wonderful book earlier. The first impression of the book will be good for any reader who respects creativity but since I am here to present a review, I would try my best to keep the hat of objectivity on while writing this review so you can judge the book yourself.

Before I present the review, let me disclose the structure I follow for reviewing the book. I present the objective or critical evaluation of certain aspects that I feel are important in a book for it to be successful and appreciated by a target reader. These are Language, Storytelling, Visual Appeal, Target audience, Structure, Explanations, Interest, Author Experience, Critical View, and Recommendations.

Language: The language is very simple and can easily be understood by a teenager. Any point little new to the reader is explained with definitions as well as examples. The text follows a smooth rhythm of short, medium-size, and long sentences with small paragraphs. The book is pretty straightforward in presentation and gives you the core right from the beginning without beating around the bush.

Storytelling: The book is pure non-fiction but it does have flashes of many stories used as tools for illustration beginning with “The Goose with the Golden Egg” which put across the point why you should rede the book without stating it directly. In places, the history, significance, and discussions of literature on the subject of creativity and genius,

Visual Appeal: The book is well-formatted with clean text with comfortable margins that ensure that you do not have to push the gutter hard to make the reading of ending words easy. Bold headings and sub-headings on almost every page clearly give you an easy to grab structure and you can pick the right sections. The book is full of creative illustrations that support the text and are hand drawn.

Target Audience: Anyone who is in a creative field or is involved in creative endeavors like designing, writing, branding, marketing, and innovation can be benefited from this book as it opens up a new perspective. Even any working professional who has to deal with problem-solving scenarios would be benefited from the approach.

Structure: The book involves context building and introduction of the metamorphosis model of genius in the first three chapters and thereafter every chapter includes the application of the model for different scenarios. There are 31 metaphor examples illustrated in-depth in the book. Each of these is illustrated using the standard process of six steps – “Connect, Relate, Explore, Analyse, Transform, and Experience”. To give you an idea of how these chapters are structured, let me give you an example of METAPHORM 1 –

An example of a unique creative cartoon presenting sarcasm on human behavior has been presented at the beginning of the chapter and then, the process is applied to the scenario to explain how the creator could have thought of the idea. It basically illustrated how going from personal to universal, a creator can come up with a unique idea or a story.

Explanations: The words are simple and the explanations are expanded with illustrations for easy comprehension. Every chapter uses the same model in explanations making it easier to apply every time a new chapter is read. There is a common connection in the approach in all the chapters and yet, every chapter does present unique problems that require deep explanations that are provided in the book.

Interest: At first, the book sounds very interesting, but as it keeps using the same model in all the chapters, the literature sounds a bit repetitious. However, considering the variety of problems addressed, this repetition is much needed. However, for an advanced learner, this can become boring and for a new learner, this can become confusing and stressful which could result in the loss of interest mid-way through the book.

Author Experience: From the depth of explanations, it is clear that the author of the book carries the immense experience of working on the subject. Todd Siler, the author of this book is the founder-director of an organization that specializes in the development of innovative multimedia learning materials. The model presented in the book was developed by Siler over 20 years of his experience as an artist, writer, inventor, educator, and consultant. The MIT graduate actually holds several patents in the fields of imaging and printing. He has published more books on related subjects such as Breaking the Mind Barrier which was also nominated for Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Education for it created an outstanding impact on the education system.

He has also been a very successful artist with his collections displayed in museums worldwide. His experience is evident in the minute observations and details explanations he has provided in the book.

Critical View: Despite all chapters using the same model, they all look so different that as you read, you keep questioning how could you follow the thinking pattern and you will have to keep reading more. Only after a while, you seem like you are lost in the sea of information and you forget what you have learned by far. So, a word of caution: If you really want to make good use of the book and learn from it, give every chapter enough time to let it seep in your head, or else if you are the person not familiar with creative work, you can easily get lost. Despite understanding the process, you may not find a way to actual application in your life. Another critical point to note in this book is that while the book explains well how the model was used by the genius in specific scenarios, the literature presented on the development of the mindset can sometimes seem insufficient for a person who is relatively new and has not explored creative endeavors much. From this view, the book could be holding only a limited target audience with creative deployments. People in creative fields can get immensely benefitted from the ideas in the book and may find wise explanations.


I recommend this book to everyone who wants to develop one’s creativity as it is one of the rare books that cover the conceptual depth of the subject and can really benefit you. However, you need to be a sincere reader to be able to actually gain from it. A casual read won’t get you anywhere as it is easy to fall behind explanations if you just keep on reading it. This is a must-read book for everyone who wants to become a creative genius as even with a little peek into the book, you will find yourself thinking in new ways. An interesting read and real help for those who are looking for serious learning. If you have never explored creativity in your life, this book can still be a useful reader but you may not be much benefitted unless you press your brain enough to let the creativity spurt, and only after that you will find the book appealing.


If you like the review or have any questions related to it, please drop in comments. Also, if you want me to include a review of a specific book including one, please email me on This could also be a book written by you if you are an author.

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