Welcome to The Book That Changed My World - where we ask our favourite Bookworld authors to tell us about the book that changed their world. Maybe it was a book they read as a child? Or a novel that transformed their teenage years? Or perhaps it's a book that inspires their writing. Find out below...

Stephanie Bishop

"I shoplifted this copy of Virginia Woolf's The Waves when I was fifteen years old, way back in 1994 – the year of acquisition is noted in the top corner of the opening page, along with my name. My parents would have happily bought the book for me, had I asked them, but at the time I wasn't speaking to my parents. And I was having a hard time at school. My English teacher had asked us to keep a journal. Every few weeks we handed our journals in and she read and assessed them. I still don't know why we were asked to do this, or what she was looking for. I didn't care: to me the project was wonderful and I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to my journal keeping. I detailed my inner life as I saw it; writing down my dreams, playing around with fables and long prose poems, appropriating the lyrics of dark songs. A few months into the project I was called to the office of the Deputy Principal. My journal was on her desk. ‘Are you taking drugs?’ she asked. ‘Because I don't think you could write like this unless you were taking drugs.’ 

- by Stephanie Bishop, author of The Other Side of the World.




Cambridge, 1963. Charlotte is struggling. With motherhood, with the changes marriage and parenthood bring, with losing the time and the energy to paint. Her husband, Henry, wants things to be as they were and can't face the thought of another English winter. A brochure slipped through the letterbox slot brings him the answer: 'Australia brings out the best in you'. Despite wanting to stay in the place that she knows, Charlotte is too worn out to fight. Before she has a chance to realise what it will mean, she is travelling to the other side of the world. Arriving in Perth, the southern sun shines a harsh light on both Henry and Charlotte and slowly reveals that their new life is not the answer either was hoping for. Charlotte is left wondering if there is anywhere she belongs and how far she'll go to find her way home ...

Mark Webber


"At the time I read it, cancer had affected my family, my grandfather… I think it encapsulated a lot of emotions inside me and I really thought it was a fascinating read. Since then a lot of things have changed, but the book was very powerful to read and it’s a shame how things turned out, but that’s what happened."


- by Mark Webber, Australian Formula 1 driving champion and author of Aussie Grit. 


Aussie Grit


In the exhilarating, high-stakes world of Formula One, only the fastest make it to the top. And no one knows this better than Australian Formula One legend Mark Webber. His career in F1 stretched for an incredible eleven years, seeing him garner thirteen poll positions, earn forty-two podiums and win nine races including the crown jewel of F1, the Monacco Grand prix, twice. But there's more than F1 to the story of the boy from Queanbeyan. In this candid book, Webber divulges the personal struggles that formed his Aussie grit character and reveals for the first time what really went down at Red Bull and the truth behind his rivalry with teammate Sebastian Vettel. From his near career-ending injury in 2008, his breakthrough 'not bad for a number two driver' win in 2009 to the 'Multi 21' controversy of 2011 and his new beginning with Porche and the challenge of Le Mans 2014, Mark Webber pulls no punches in this captivating, personal story.

Tobie Puttock


"The River Cafe Blue Book created an amazing chain of events in my life. I had been living in Italy, I returned home to see my family and my parents gave me the book for Christmas. I didn’t really look at it too much but I did throw it in my snowboard bag when I returned to Europe, this time to Paris to cook. Paris didn’t work out so I jumped on a Eurostar to London to plan my next move. After drowning my sorrows over Paris I woke up with a headache, looked in my bag and there was the book. I was unfamiliar with London restaurants. I looked at the book, loved the food, called them, went for an interview the next day and started working there the day after. A couple of days later I was working next to Jamie Oliver (yet to be famous). Jamie and I got on like a house on fire, he asked me to run the kitchen of the first fifteen restaurant, then Melbourne and so on. If it wasn’t for that book I’m sure my entire life would be quite different today. Cool huh."


- by Tobie Puttock, chef and author of The Chef Gets Healthy.

RRP  $39.99

The Chef Gets Healthy


What happens when an acclaimed Australian chef is asked to ditch his favourite fat-laden ingredients, forgo many of the rich Italian dishes he has spent 20 years perfecting, and remove gluten from his recipes? Well, because it's Georgia, the love of his life who's asking, he puts his heart and soul into changing the way they eat. With advice from fitness and nutrition guru Donna Aston, Georgia helped Tobie identify the changes they needed to make and get healthy. They created 100 recipes free of gluten, refined sugar and highly processed carbs, with a healthy amount of 'good' fats, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and, above all, masses of flavour. From breakfast to lunches, dinners and dessert, this is how they eat now. 'This book is jam-packed with really delicious, honest, healthy food. Embrace it in your weekly routine and I'm sure you'll feel the benefits - I hope you love it as much as I do.' Jamie Oliver

David Walliams