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I wanted to ask some other of my writerly and readerly friends their opinion, so I shot around an email asking them what has been the most life changing book they’ve read in the past ten or so years? I first read my lovely copy of Walden in 2001 when I was twenty, and I re-read it each year to remind myself of how I want to think. I read The Mask of Motherhood as a shell-shocked new mother, both flailing to hold onto my ebbing sense of self and gripped by a passionate love for my child that was rewarding and terrifying in equal parts. Jo Case is associate editor of Kill Your Darlings and social media coordinator for the Melbourne Writers Festival. I first read The Beauty Myth when I was nineteen years old, a gender studies student eager to soak up the feminist classics. When I was pregnant with my first child in 2002 I found a book in a second hand bookshop in Tasmania, and gave it to my husband to buy for himself.
I’ve realised that, as a reader, I am more interested in books that make me feel like I have come home (albeit with new understanding) than those that take me into completely unfamiliar territory. In my early 20s, books about food production became popular, and like many others I read Not on the label by Felicity Lawrence, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and Globalization and its discontents by Joseph E Stiglitz. Several years later, I considered myself to be an ‘ethical meat eater’, however, I was finding it increasingly hard to ignore how environmentally irresponsible eating meat is. One term I became friendly at gymnastics class with another mum who is also a big reader (how I loved her!). This post was so much fun to put together – thank you to everyone who contributed, I know you are all busy, busy! Hey Damon, if you do get round to reading Revolutionary Road, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.
Heart Breaker returns with more scandal, more secrets, and more deception as everyone is out for one thing: revenge. Over a year later, the time Jayla has spent in jail has done nothing to soften the hatred in her heart. In one world she has love and security with Brandon, and in the other, she has the nastiest, most delicious sex she could ever imagine with Alexander. Follow this epic battle to see which woman is willing to do the most to get what she wants; the best of both worlds. In 2 Sides of a Penny Part two, time never stands still and the world continues to turn in directions that make Jason and Italy face their worst fears sooner than they’d like. Jason must come to grips with losing the people closest to him while struggling to hold on to the last thing he loves. From settling old scores with his one time friend Gooney to establishing new love, Jason continues to prove only the strong survive in a world of vultures. This classic story concludes the drama of two lives with two sides and all the confusion they each face while trying to maintain some kind of focused mind.
Award Winning Publisher Tressa “Azarel” Smallwood and Essence Magazine Best Selling Author, Tiphani Montgomery combined their 15 years of experience in the publishing industry to bring you Make Millions With Ebooks. Azarel and Tiphani share real life start-up strategies that they’ve used to make their success a reality. This is for serious authors, both beginner and advanced, who want to produce eBooks regularly !
Award Winning Publisher Tressa “Azarel” Smallwood and Essence Magazine Best Selling Author, Tiphani Montgomery combined their 15 years of experience in the publishing industry to bring you Write Your Book in 4 Weeks…No MORE FEAR. Azarel and Tiphani share visions, secrets, and personal stories that will inspire you and have you committed to writing daily . This is for serious authors, both beginner and advanced, who want to produce a book this year! Best Selling Author Miss KP is at it again, as she brings you another novel filled with deadly sins, lust, and heart-wrenching betrayal of two wives who are determined to dodge their pasts.
Losing Mesha right before his eyes has Pro on edge but never taking a break from his hustle. Losing both parents to the cold Bay Area streets and a brother to the system, Jason can t help but shake the fear of being taken next.
Partnered with Def, one of G’s cronies and a hired assassin, Tyra’s soft side is revealed when she starts to fall romantically for her partner in crime. Imagine having your innocence stolen at an early age by someone you trust, or struggling financially before even knowing the meaning of the word struggling . Symone Morrow seems to have it all, a skyrocketing career, money to burn, and a sexy fiance, Kenyon Steele, CEO of a multi-million dollar company. There is an attraction to linger on past pleasures (his reference to Freud is interesting), but what of those we have recently experienced?
Not only literary caricatures, but also everyday ones: the masks we make of one another’s psyches. Thoreau’s account of his two self-sufficient years living apart from society in the forest is a meditation on what is really necessary, and a non-too-subtle hint that if I bury myself too far under a mountain of distractions, expectations, and stuff I don’t really need, I might just miss something amazing. At the same time, my formerly equal relationship had somehow slid into a 1950s time-warp, as logic (and biology) dictated that I become a housewife with an allowance. I loved the way Wolf gave words and a political framework to the needling sense of inadequacy I  (and so many young women) felt in relation to my physical appearance; and as I spiralled into disordered eating in the year or two that followed, I would read the book over and over, as a form of emotional and intellectual therapy. For me one of the most transcendent is the way he writes about everyday, domestic experiences with poetic magnetism and vivid visual interest. On this front, a book that literally left me reeling recently was Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road.


I can’t quite see the same balance between love and apocalyptic destruction ever being struck again. This is one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country and is a two-time finalist in the Best Australian Blogs competition.
That’s another for me, not the least because it was the first audio book I bought on Audible which has also changed me as a reader.
I love reading other people’s suggestions, and this list feels incredibly thoughtful for some reason. Alistair (my partner) commented that it’s particularly interesting to read it with the benefits of hindsight, as the book sort of turns on a decision the main character makes about taking on a job marketing computers. After Jasmine's betrayal, it was only a matter of time before Jayla could give her a taste of her own medicine. As new secrets are revealed, Jayla finds herself tangled in a web so twisted that it brings her past full circle. An unexpected betrayal finds him trying to save his brother Savion who has become wanted for being America's nightmarish reality.
With love, betrayal, violence, and corruption this story closes with a newfound honor respect and deep appreciation of life. After making thousands of dollars per month off of every eBook their own publishing empires created and pumped out, these two powerhouses decided to help other authors find their niche, and content to write about. After hearing the many excuses aspiring authors gave them during their sessions in The Best Sellers Project, a school for aspiring writers and publishers, these two powerhouses decided to pen a quick guide that will have soon-to-be authors writing 3,000 words or more per day. In his struggle to stay alive, and keep his brother Savion from being America s nightmare, he must also worry about Gooney s underhanded plans.
When Tyra’s sole provider is brutally murdered, she vows to stay away from the fast life and the money it brings, taking out all drug dealers that cross her path. She finds herself in an entangled weave of drug dealers, secrets and deceit, stumbling across information that will ultimately turn her revenge in a new direction. Ebony Canion has had her share of tumultuous events, yet even she was stunned when a speeding car hit her intentionally, dragging her through the streets with her body folded underneath the vehicle. But very few people know the demons and secrets that lurk inside the walls of Kenyon and Symone’s seemingly happy home. Webs of lies are spun and before Symone knows it, she becomes Charmaine’s new sexual obsession while Kenyon fights off his unknown perpetrators. In this gritty tale of money, sex and mayhem, Chyna Bishop must protect her family empire at all cost, despite the violence launched against her.
The rest of the essay concerns itself with his returning to favourite works of his earlier reading life and how his opinions of these still stand (or don’t). The book didn’t have to be a new release at the time, just one that clanged, that resonated, within.
In the American heiress Maggie Verver, James gives a understated, patient portrait of innocence and its loss. Susan Maushart’s piercingly smart, witty, thoroughly researched book on the dark side of motherhood – the identity loss, the inequality, the shock it can deliver – helped me make sense of it all, and made me realise that motherhood is in many ways the final frontier of contemporary western feminism.
As a professional writer, I also admire the way Wolf took what often feels like a very personal issue and showed how it fit into a much bigger social, historical and cultural picture. I noticed the cover first, the gleam of mischief in Madeleine’s vividly blue eye, the daisy in her hair, the nostalgic texture of the lawn beneath her fanned out hair. I am as fascinated by his laundry as I am by his intelligent theories about evolution and human behaviour. The only one I have ever got all the way through, and in one sitting, is Stephen King’s On Writing. If there are others who’d like to volunteer to answer some questions, do let me know! She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. I’m probably with you on The Road (which I did my thesis on) or Revolutionary Road (which just blew my mind about a year ago).
Meanwhile, Jasmine has her own plans in motion and neither she nor Jayla realize just how dangerously intertwined their lives are. Dakota is so caught up in secrets and lies, that she is blind-sided when Gina, a spiteful vixen from her past, moves back to town. While still running from her abusive ex-boyfriend Donovan to facing the harsh truth from her mother Beth, Italy continues to make bad choices until one day faced with a life changing awakening. Along with the love of his life Sheila, Jason moves heavy weight with the dreams of one day settling down and raising a family.
Struggling to put the pieces of her life back together, she meets G, a rich brother in the loan sharking business, who offers her a lucrative position in his organization.
Does she have what it takes to stay true to her game or will see find herself on a path of deadly events? In a coma for nearly two months, Ebony had no idea her tongue and face had to be sewn back on, or the list of thirty other life-threatening injuries she had sustained. Suffocating in her relationship, Symone searches for something new; that is, until Symone meets Donita “Donnie” Stone, a thuggish lesbian, who sweeps Symone off her feet effortlessly.
As she negotiates her husband’s infidelity, she becomes calculating – but with delicacy, restraint, charm.
I woke my girlfriend to tell her that although I wasn’t great at showing it, I loved her very much.


I re-read it for a Melbourne Writers Festival session last year, and it remains just as resonant ten years on.
It’s something that I aim to do with my own work – and I hope my writing someday helps people the way Wolf’s writing helped me.
He also shows how children develop and explore themselves within the embrace of books, and as a writer and reader, I found this utterly compelling. In one novel, Yates encompasses so much about the nature of long-term relationships: the dynamics we get caught in, our secret agendas and capacity for delusion.
My addition would be The Things They Carried – which gave me a new perspective on the line between fiction and non-fiction. A few blocks over, Italy is abused daily by her crack-addicted mother and longs for the love of her deadbeat father. Her friends try to warn her that Donnie is no good and that her past bears a host of deadly secrets, including a psycho ex-girlfriend, Charmaine, who doesn’t take too kindly to Donnie’s new plaything. Nothing gets in her way…not even Nessa, a sexy outsider who secretly plots her revenge.
I closed the bedroom door and went back to the couch, thinking strange, how life can just flip on you like that. Elegantly, Hall manages to map the trajectory of Madeleine’s initiation into the forces of life and death, and we grieve for Madeleine as she realises that her hard-won selfhood means recognising for the first time her own mortality and the transience of the world around her.
How did I feel about being a part of a chain of food production that made me feel sick to think about, and that was so unhealthy for the planet? In this much-anticipated finale, all is fair in sex and revenge and lives are at stake as everyone fights to control the hands of karma. Not only is she devious, she’s willing to get as ratchet as necessary to get it, and the trickery and foolishness begin with no end in sight.
Right across the pond, newlywed Kennedi a sassy socialite, tries to keep secrets buried from her new husband who suffers from amnesia.
When Joe tells the pair of his idea to take down the perps who robbed him, violated Ty and murdered Mesha, Pro and Bri’s wild lives collide. Finally crossing paths, Jason proves to be a blessing and a curse to Italy, giving her a dose of reality on more than one occasion. When Fred was about six months I pulled it off the shelf and read it for the first time and I have reread it many times since then.
It changed me as a parent, not in a practical sense, but in the way I contemplate my experiences and that is a gift for which I could never thank Brian Hall enough.
Yates also shows astonishing insight into a woman’s lot circa 1950s, when even the most educated were still at the mercy of society’s expectations and, in this case, the whims of her husband’s ego. My commitment to eating ethically was intellectually there, but I just didn’t picture myself as a vegan; it just seemed so radical and hardcore and weird.
With the promise of multiple, mind-blowing orgasms, their erotic adventures push Dakota far outside her box, until she refuses to ever be caged again. Her dark past if revealed, could cost her to lose it all from the only man she’s ever loved. Apprehensive from the start of their Bonnie and Clyde relationship, their deep scars eventually draw them closer…no matter how hard Pro tries to fight it, a romance develops. As Italy s life spirals out of control, she s reminded of Jason s teachings but the boosting and drug dealing lifestyle has her trapped.
Canion delivers a riveting story about overcoming tragedy throughout her childhood, and developing the will to live after numerous attacks on her life. As unsuspecting enemies emerge, murder is eminent, and the last one standing will walk away with millions.
As the two wives’ worlds collide, lives are lost, loyalties are tested, and lessons are learned as Miss KP takes you on another ride filled with twists and turns. Seeking revenge and running from nightmares, a relationship seems impossible to Bri, but the fast, luxurious lifestyle that Pro brings is hard to give up. Reading his book made me realise that the only voice that will ever work for you as a writer is your own.
And as a writer, Revolutionary Road reminded me why the domestic is as powerful a subject for writing as any other. But that meant that my belief system was totally out of whack with my actions; didn’t that make me a hypocrite?
Hold on to your seats for another shocker of a husband’s worst nightmare of ultimate betrayal.
Unfortunate circumstances continue to follow Pro and his queen, but so does deceit, revenge, and death. Her scars tell a story that must be heard and will have you never wanting to complain again. 2 Sides of a Penny is a roller coaster ride through triumph and loss, love and hate, power and revenge, deceit and mutiny to see who will be the last breathing survivor..



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