Sydney Morning Herald -
Loved this book. It was all about Sneetches with stars on their bellies, and Sneetches with no stars on their bellies, then along came a guy with a machine that put stars on the plain-bellied Sneetches and took the stars off the star-bellied Sneetches, until everyone got mixed up and it didn't matter whether you had belly-stars or not - clearly a metaphorical plea for an end to South African apartheid.
Down with Skool! - Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle
As a Canadian-Jewish kid, I have no idea why I related to a book about wet, weedy British schoolboys with names like Molesworth and Fotherington-Tomas. I guess I was inspired by the bad grammar, the anti-authoritarian jokes, the scungy illustrations - it was ahead of its time and made me want to be a writer so i cud brake all the writing rools, too. Egads, wot an utter rotter.
I've never read one, but my wife read them every night in bed for two years until 1 o'clock in the morning, so there was never a chance of getting any sex and/or sleep. Those books destroyed my bedroom happiness: I would just lie there, completely awake, thinking of ways to murder Patricia Cornwell without leaving any crime-scene evidence that could point me out as the chief suspect.
Getting Even - Woody Allen
A template for all humour writing. From my teenage years to today, I have read it, reread it, quoted it, pilfered from it, slept with it beside me on my bedside table. When my writing gets drab and crappy, I open a random page and read a passage, hear the rhythms, absorb the nuances, then I feel zesty and refreshed again - it's an Aqua Zumba workout for the comedy ganglia.
The Godfather, page 27 - Mario Puzo
Just page 27. It got passed around my school. No one knows who found it or ripped it out of the book but it was a holy artefact. It described Sonny having sex with a bridesmaid on the afternoon of his own wedding. It was ridiculously raunchy, impossibly smutty, a sexual awakening. Porn mags got tossed aside, dick'n'ball sketches were abandoned, all that mattered was getting a look at page 27.
Danny Katz writes the Modern Guru column in Good Weekend magazine. His first novel for teenagers, S.C.U.M., was a huge success and the follow-up, Mucked Up, is published by Allen & Unwin. He is also the author of Spit the Dummy, Dork Geek Jew and the Little Lunch series for kids.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/books-that-changed-me-danny-katz-20130726-2qnxj.html#ixzz2aMppMfV7