Thirteen Books That Have Changed My Perspective

These are huge influences on me.
1. The Courage To Change
When I started Al-Anon many years ago, this was their newest daily meditation book. It saved my butt so many times I can’t count them.
2. The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris
I don’t remember how I got my hands on this one, but it changed some of my thinking about human behavior forever. Awesome book!
3. March Of Folly by Barbara Tuchman
Some of my most cherished beliefs in history were smashed by this book. I love it. Also, it breaks down the Vietnam War pretty clearly so I could understand it better.
4. Dune by Frank Herbert
Best. Book. Ever. I went toe to toe with my English teacher my junior year in high school over this book because he believed it was “trash”. Science Fiction was NOT regarded as literature and at that time the book had only been out for nine years. Now, of course, I’m sure it’s considered a classic.
5. Sword Of Shannara by Terry Brooks
Up until I read this book, Tolkien was the established fantasy writer and I HATED Tolkien. Brooks was more palatable for me and I’ve gotten his books for years….in hardback…because I love him.
6. “Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
This changed my mind about a lot of things. Until this book, Agatha Christie was my usual mystery author to read. This book forever pushed me to find books with expansive plots and an underlying romance. I like my romance.
7. Natural Law by Joey Hill
HUGE change from this book. Not only did I discover some truths about my writing, but it opened doors to truths about myself personally. AWESOME book.
8. Stolen Goddess by Tawny Taylor First erotic romance I ever read with BDSM elements. Until I read this one, the strongest sexual content in romance I read was La Nora. This book opened the door to erotic romance for me. I’ve been loving ER ever since.
9. On Writing by Stephen King
Lots of craft books have been recommended and I read a bunch of them. This is the only one that explained the process the way I understood it. Plus, it was so cool to read his perspective on writing.
10. Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Another writing book. This one gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone.
11. Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey Going back to my younger days, this book stuck in my mind because of some of the scenes. It’s one of the most erotic romances with elements of BDSM I’ve ever read that is billed as a historical romance. The subtlety of the eroticism followed me into my own writing career and I’ve kept a copy of this book around since I was thirteen.
12. The Vampire Queen’s Servant By Joey W. Hill
Until this book, I hated vampire stories. For some reason, I’ll read shifter books, magic books, and all kinds of other paranormal, but I didn’t like the vampire stuff. Until Joey Hill wrote this one. The ONLY reason I read it was because it was her. And she didn’t disappoint me. This whole series is awesome, but this is the first book that kicked it off and forever changed my perspective on vampire mythology.
13. Vampire Trinity by Joey W. Hill The book influenced me a lot. I’ve reread it and reread it, delving into the emotional depth of this story. It’s a menage, which I’ve always had mixed feelings about. I never bought the idea that three people could truly have a relationship, that one part of the triangle wouldn’t be excluded. This book changed my outlook. This is a menage where each member of the triad is absolutely necessary and it’s a beautifully written depiction of a difficult romance. It forever influenced my writing and, once again, is a triumph by Hill.

What about you? What book(s) have influenced you?



Filed under Thursday Thirteen

10 responses to “Thirteen Books That Have Changed My Perspective

  1. This is a great idea. I to loved Stephen King’s, On Writing.
    I think I really need to read some Joey W Hill. I keep seeing the name mentioned time and time again.
    Hope you and the kids have a Spooktacular Halloween.

  2. I’ve read On Writing before and it’s awesome! Great list, Jen! Happy Thursday and have a great Halloween!

  3. Another “On Writing” fan here. I re-read it every year because it gets me jazzed up every time.

    Sword of Shannara was another one I enjoyed – it didn’t change my life, but it was a great read.

    Naked Ape was compelling stuff when I read it, and similar documentaries since then have made me think very, very deeply about what conditions human behavior. It’s actually something I’ve found useful in my writing!

    Happy TT!

  4. I hear Dune is now taught in college courses. Sword of Shannara left me cold, but I love Tolkien.

  5. Boy, I can’t think of any books offhand that really changed my perspective. I’ll have to think about that. I need to read “On Writing”. Thanks for the reminder. Happy TT!

  6. I heard of Dune. Not my thing, though. LOL!


    My TT is at

  7. On Writing and Dune, awesome!

    Thanks for the recommends on Joey Hill. I’m glad she turned your view of menage around. 🙂

    Happy T13,

    A Way To A Dragon’s Heart

  8. I’m not a Stephen King fan, but I love his book On Writing, which he wrote while recovering from being hit and nearly killed by a van. If you ever saw Kingdom Hospital (which King wrote) you’ll recall the hero was also hit by a van.


  9. What a great list! I adore Barbara Tuchman.

  10. angel Graham

    I would like to read the two writing books by Anne Lamont and Stephen King. I have Grammar Girl’s book and it’s helping a lot. More right now than the line by line edit book I bought, but maybe that’ll change as I get better at editing.

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