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P.S. Here’s a transcript of the episode for you:
Treasures… [Epic intro] Leonie Dawson Refuses to Be Categorized. The podcast with the most incredible original soundtrack. [More epic intro] look at me with my flash fucking intros and outros. I said I would do it, but you know, I did it. Just kidding. I’m still just fucking around here and I’m loving it. So my loves what a week, this is, I don’t know, I released this a couple of days ago. There’s already been a thousand podcast plays of it, which is just spellbinding but I want to I keep reminding myself that’s not what this is about. I didn’t do it for the numbers and what I did do it for is the fact that I am absolutely having a fucking time of my life and it, this is so fun and that each day I’m just excited to be able to run to my studio and record another podcast. Um, and I also live for little moments like this; one of my best friends, um, who used to be my boss at work and we sat beside each other for seven years.
She admitted to me that she listened to it, because, here’s the thing that you should know about, like my friends, like, especially like my older friends, like they don’t give a fuck about, um, like, my business like that they’re excited for me. Right. But like, honestly, they don’t give a fuck. Like their version of Leonie is the Leonie before this business. Um, and this is like, it’s very just like a person to person kind of thing. And um, they’re not fan girls whatsoever and I love that about them. And anyway, so she was like, kind of grudgingly admitted that she listened to these podcasts and that it just made her really smile and feel really happy because it felt like I was back at work with her and talking shit with her again so that cheered me up. I love you Lil, I love you so much.
Um, and then yesterday I was still jumping in my car in the school car park and another mom kind of like screeched to a halt beside me and she’s like “I LISTEN TO YOUR PODCAST!!!!” and then kind of screeched off again. And it just made me laugh. It’s like I’m an episode of fucking bad moms. I loved that movie by the way. I, because I feel like my life, it’s just about being a bad mom. Um, and then another sweet darling, dear friend of mine, Maddie said it was like the, I get to go like drive in her car with her, but she doesn’t have to talk back. I just talk absolute shit to her. It’s like having your best friend in the car. So that makes me happy. Like that’s the shit that really matters to me. And when I started blogging in 2004, I remember so clearly those little conversations, like there was an assistant at work and she was like, “Leonie! You didn’t blog last night!
What am I going to, what am I going to read this morning? It’s just like this little dose of inspiration in my life.” Um, and that just filled me up with so much gladness. So when a bad mum screeches to a halt and yells at her window that she’s listening to my podcast, that fucking thrills me. And that’s way, way better than any stupid numbers. So there we go. I just want to say I fucking love you guys and thanks for being here today. Today. Today. I was thinking about the fact that I read a lot of books, as you fucking know, and I’ve written my best books list every year since 2012 if you go to https://leoniedawson.com/best-books, there’s the full, um, links to all of those best blog posts. But I thought, you know what, like I should do just an all time, most favorite books I’ve ever read in my lifetime and the ones that I have loved the most and share them with you.
So that’s what we’re going to do today, the best books of all time according to Leonie. So we’ll start off with, we’ll go through business, money, parenting, creativity, soul and personal development, memoirs, romance, intersectional, and graphic memoirs. Uh, and I think there’s about 40 books all up. And if you ask me to pick less than that, I will say, fuck you. Fuck you very much. It’s like choosing between my children. It was hard enough just to weed it down to this, guys. [Laughs]. Okay. Business, my top four business books that I highly recommend is the One Minute Millionaire by a Mark Victor Hansen, I think it is. And Robert G. Allen. That’s right. And that really helped me work out how to build a business model. And it’s a short parable. You know, like some of those books and some of those parable books are fucking Dicky. Like they’re like, Oh, it’s a little bit too much like the prophet, if you know what I mean.
Um, or, [silly voice] “and then this happened, like, wow, I just learned another spiritual lesson.” You’re like, that’s a bit fucking obvious, but this actually has like really good concepts. Um, so One Minute Millionaire; totally loved it. Four Hour Work Week. I would say Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris is the most important business book I’ve ever read. It’s why I have a 10 hour a week business because that’s what I set out to achieve because I read that book and I took it very fucking literally. I do want to say Tim Ferris, I don’t find him like super intersectional and sometimes now he’s, I just find him so fucking steeped in white male privilege and he doesn’t recognize it. Uh, but still the concepts in his book are really fucking sound. All books by Dan Kennedy, even though Dan Kennedy would probably give Donald Trump a blow job or at the very least a circle jerk.
Um, like if he had half a fucking chance, like I’m sure he’s a Republican. He is like got a big old handbar mustache and he seems pretty conservative. However, I still fucking love Dan Kennedy because he speaks so plainly and um, is so fucking honest, bracingly honest about marketing and business and he’s just a fucking guru in that area, I reckon. So he has heaps of books out. He’s immensely productive. Um, now I, I’m kind of like trying to work out whether I should say he is that or was that because like apparently he died last year, right. And he even like published a letter saying I’m dying, blah, blah, blah. Or by the time you read this, I’m dead. But then apparently he didn’t die at that point and I have not been able to find evidence whether the fact that he is still alive or not.
So I hope he’s recovered. I hope he’s writing more books. I hope he writes a book called back from the fucking dead bitches. Um, I would 100% read it and it will be great. Um, anyway, love you Dan Kennedy. Thanks for being you. Even if your hand is tinged with orange suntan lotion because you circle jerked Donald Trump. When I said this podcast would be explicit. I meant it. I was, I’m not here to play around guys. Okay. My last book that I recommend is, um, a little bit of a different energy. Well though a hugely different entity to those other books Align and Attract by Kerry Rowett. Kerry is a friend of mine. Spoiler alert. Um, the nepotism is, is high. No, I’m saying it because it is fucking amazing and I think she totally gets in the mind of women of women entrepreneurs, especially online ones. And it’s like she can fucking mind read us.
It is brilliant. Hands down. Brilliant. Okay. Money in terms of the best money books that I recommend Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield Thomas. Um, I’ve known Denise for years and years now. And here’s the thing, I think she’s one of the best experts in the world about talking women, money and mindset and money blocks. Um, and I’ve seen, because I’ve known her since like 2012, I’ve been like in a lot of contact with her and connection with her and had been in mastermind groups and she stayed in my house for a retreat. Um, this woman walks the fucking talk. This woman has upgraded her own mindset so much. She is just so full of integrity and her, um, her content is fucking brilliant. So Get Rich Lucky Bitch by Denise Duffield Thomas. Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. Scott Pape I think is an angel upon the earth and I know that he’s a human, blah, blah, blah.
But I honestly believe he was sent here to talk, like to teach us about abundance in a way that is sane and grounded and um, responsible and thoughtful and just grounded in the right kind of principles. Barefoot Investor is a book that I read about 15 years ago and it helped me start developing financial literacy and it is still the best money book I have ever read in my life. One that I highly recommend. It has been brought out again and again, it’s a massive, massive, massive bestseller here in Australia. Um, and I still recommend it and I still, I had a friend a couple of days ago go, Oh my God, I just started on Barefoot Investor because you told me two months ago and Oh my God, you’re right. It’s fucking incredible. And I’m like, duh, no shit. Right. One thing I love about Scotty Pape as well is he is very values driven.
So he lost his farm in a bushfire a few years ago and last year decided that yes, of course he’s got very, very successful businesses and um, you know, he is a major broadcaster here in Australia and a newspaper columnist and you know, a massive bestseller, but he needed to do even more as, so he actually went back to school and studied to become a volunteer financial counselor for, um, natural disasters and crisises. And so by the time that the fire season came around, Scott Pape was on the ground helping people with that and he’s even got a new TV show out, I think it’s called Road to Recovery about him going into, um, these communities and volunteering in there to help people create a financial and emotional roadmap going forward through these crisises because he’s been through it himself. And I just think it brings what tears to my eyes to think of that he’s, he’s done this and um, it doesn’t make him any money, but he believes that that’s what he’s needs to be doing in the world.
So bless you. Bless you. Bless you, Scott Pape. Okay. Elsewhere on the money front, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker. This is another kind of money mindset one and really working through and like, where your money fears are because here’s the thing about money, it’s actually not really about money. It’s about all of the fears that you bring to it and the mindset stuff is just critical to work through. So that was a big game changer for me when I read that book… And Retire Young, Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki. Um, good old Bobby Keogh shouldn’t, nobody calls him Bobby Keogh but I will now. He is the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad and is way more well known for that series than Retire Young, Retire Rich, but for me, reading Retire Young, Retire Rich was kind of just a massive inspiration for me.
I think I read it when I was like 25 and I thought, Oh Holy fuck, this is something that is actually doable and something that’s possible. And um, I did it, so hooray! I could be retired if I wanted to, but I kind of like talking still so much. Chris said to me at one point, he said, Oh, you know, like, do you think you’ll ever like retire at one point? And I’m like, no. Uh, because this is my hobby. This is what I love doing. I love being able to talk to you all and create shit and just this is my dream come true. Okay. Onto parenting. There’s Mama Zen by Karen Maisen-Miller, which is brilliant. And um, Glennon Doyle also known as Glennon Doyle Melton has written some absolutely incredible books; Carry On Warrior and Love Warrior. And it’s not just about parenting, it’s about all of the things.
It’s interesting though when I was thinking about parenting because of things I have learned about parenting weren’t necessarily from books. Steve Bidoff has taught me a lot. Carrie Conti has taught me a lot. The Ask Moxie website run by Magda is just brilliant. Um, those are the places where I have learned from, from parenting. Basically. My whole philosophy summed up with parenting is, especially in the young years, is to just stay as close to your kids as you can and try and calm your brain down first, um, and respond to them with love and compassion and empathy. So my kids like actually didn’t really throw tantrums. Um, and like you would probably be like, what the fuck Leonie, they just, they didn’t really, so especially my first, the second one was slightly more agitated, but here’s the thing, as soon as they would go into a meltdown, right?
I didn’t say no to them. I would plop down on the floor next to them and I’d say, Oh, love you seem really frustrated right now. Oh my gosh. Of course. Of course. And they would just crawl into my arms, have a little cry, share whatever was happening for them if they had the words for it. But it would just calm down their nervous system. I mean, all tantrums really are, is just a nervous system being over it. And just like, you know, an autistic person or a person with autism would have you, you don’t look, you can’t calm a person’s nervous system down who’s having an anxiety attack or autistic meltdown by going, no, stop that bad behavior. It’s like tantrums are not bad behavior. It’s their nervous systems just completely losing it because they don’t have the capacity to hold it yet.
So, um, I, I didn’t, I don’t really say that we had tantrums. And when you don’t fight against something, it doesn’t go on for, for that long. Like when they can express it and feel it, um, it can help hugely. So those are the kinds of like mindset I take for it. I probably should like do a whole like workshop sometime just talking about my parenting philosophies, but you know, that’s a whole other topic. Anyway. Mama Zen and Glennon Doyle are fucking brilliant. I should say as well. Glennon Doyle’s books aren’t just about parenting. I think anyone would benefit from Glennon Doyle’s books, including if you’re in recovery, if you have mental health, if you’re struggling to be sober. Um, and if you have intimacy issues, all kinds of stuff, it’s fucking great. I think every woman and man should read Glennon Doyle books. Now in terms of creativity, I love Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Absolutely. Like how she sees creativity and I see creativity is pretty much the same fucking thing. So thanks for writing that book so I didn’t have to Lizzie! The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. If you haven’t heard of Julia Cameron. Wow. You are so lucky to be introduced to this woman’s work. She is the founder of the creative movement in, in so many ways. She has written absolutely gobsmacks of books. Um, but the artist’s way is probably like the biggest culmination of, of those books and it’s like a three month cause for you to really get in touch with your creativity and get over your creative blocks and that kind of stuff and start seeing it is the divine and joyful experience it really is.
Now another book that’s kind of creative, but it’s about personal development and just living a really fucking great life is the work of SARK. That’s S A R K. and if you don’t know who SARK is, like woo, like you are again, you’re so lucky because SARK is better than Leonie. Like honestly, like she is the queen. She like, I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t find SARK books when I was a young woman. She’s written Succulent Wild Woman and Transformation Soup and Eat Mangoes Naked and all kinds of fucking brilliant, glorious books on all kinds of topics. She is phenomenal and I highly, highly, highly recommend getting a SARK book into your life. And lastly, David Whyte, the poet W, H, Y, T, E, and specifically his audiobooks. So he’s got a bunch of audio books and they are phenomenal. One, he’s got an incredible voice and he is such a deep philosopher, eh, on all kinds of things from the heart to creativity to walking in this world and Oh God, I want to cry when I think about David Whyte.
Just stunning. Absolutely fucking stunning. Now let’s talk about soul and personal development. The ones that have made the biggest impact on me is the work of Byron Katie. She has a number of books, including A Thousand Names for Joy, and I Need Your Love, Is That True? Byron Katie’s four questions, um, form a whole deeper part of my spirituality and how I work through difficult stuff. Um, and I think everyone needs to know about the work of Byron Katie. Another one is Untie The Strong Woman by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Now, Dr. E Is much, much better known for Women Who Run with the Wolves. I didn’t get that book. I tried to but I fucking didn’t get it, but Untie the Strong Woman. Whoa. Fuck I did. So I think it’s just like try a Clarissa Estes books because they’re brilliant. Um, and you might have an aversion to one and a deep attraction to another.
Like I did the work of Neil Donald Walsh who wrote Conversations with God. There’s a Conversations with God movie as well, and he’s written just whole wads of books about God. Um, that for me is pretty close to my own personal connection with God and how he sees that relationship and what he feels, messages that he gets through. It’s pretty similar to what I receive. So, um, good old Neely. He’s a groovy dude. Uh, First We Make the Beast Beautiful and New Journey Through Anxiety by Sarah Wilson is a phenomenal book on mental health and just living in this world. It is bare and raw and divine and scrumptious in so many ways. Gretchen Rubin has a bunch of fantastic books, including The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, which I love, but I find her most important work is the four tendencies, the indispensable personality profiles that reveal how to make your life better.
And basically she’s worked out there’s four kinds of people and how they are motivated. Like what’s kind of like your productivity profile and how to increase that. I personally am an obliger so I work better when I’m being held to commitments to other people. Um, and that structure of how she’s written that book is so fucking brilliant. I highly, highly recommend it. And last but not least for soul and personal development, the books of Brene Brown. Now I personally much prefer it when it’s the audio books. Brené’s got a fucking brilliant voice. She’s got a really conversational tone. Her books about vulnerability and being wholehearted in the world are all based in research. Um, as she’s a, I think it’s called a grounded theory social worker, kinda like a social worker. He interviews people then takes all the data from it and extrapolates it into like, how do we live better lives?
And her work is so fucking important, especially for women. Now memoirs, um, I’ve got three here Walking to Listen by Andrew Forsthoefel? Fucking hell. I don’t, I should’ve looked that one up. Forsthoefel. Walking to Listen: 4,000 miles across America. One story at a time. Beautiful, beautiful book about a young man who graduates school, realizes he doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his life and doesn’t know what the fuck to think. And so he just decides to walk across America instead. And he, and the connections that he makes along the way, it is beautiful. And I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed my way through it. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn hands down one of the very best books I’ve ever read in my life. And it’s the story of her losing her farm, her much beloved farm and her house and all of their money and her husband being diagnosed with a terminal illness and then becoming homeless and deciding to walk around England instead.
Um, it is like a Holy act of God that book, it is stunning and I could not recommend it more. And lastly, Wilding by Isabella Tree. This is something that has changed the way that I look at life profoundly. It is about a woman who decides to turn her farm in England and turn it wild basically, and let it turn to wilderness again. And what happens when they do and the miracles that happen along the way. It changed the trajectory of what I was doing with my life to read it. It may. I decided after reading that book, like I wanted to put all of my philanthropic efforts towards rebuilding rewilding projects instead. So that’s why I chose the Australian Wildlife Conservancy because they’re purchasing land and rewilding it again. It is a brilliant, brilliant book and so poetically and beautifully written and I highly recommend it.
Romance books. I fucking love romance, you know, this. And I wanted to share the ones that I’ve loved the most over recent times. All Tessa Dare books and she is kind of like Victorian Regency romance. So like England in the 18 hundreds, Dukes fucking wall flowers. Pretty much fucking great though. Um, other ones which are more contemporary is The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. The State of Grace by Rachel Lucas and the Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Uh, it’s funny when I look back at those, I think two or three of them have, um, romantic characters that are Aspergers. So, um, like I have a special interest in that because I am likely Aspergers and I love seeing neuro-diverse characters in romantic roles. It’s, it’s so fucking refreshing compared to like just normals fucking other normals.
Like that’s a bit boring. Like yeah, I was saying that story a million times. Like that’s like all of the romance stories that we’ve seen over time. But what about when there’s actual people involved? Like real humans with real fuck ups. And that’s where I like those kinds of books. Two more sections to go: Intersectional. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin de Angelo. Now I should say here, if you don’t know what the word intersectional is. So intersectional talks about intersectional feminism. And what that means is, yes, we want women to be seen as equal to men because of course they fucking are, but we won’t leave anyone else behind as we do it. And so when you’re an intersectional feminist, it means that you also support, um, LGBTQ plus rights and you advocate for them, for them to be safe and have the same kind of freedoms and privileges that we enjoy.
And that you also are an ally and an advocate for Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities. So, um, I thought I was really liberal, um, and thought I was anti-racist, not racist, um, until, you know, and you know, I’d studied that kind of stuff at university as well. I definitely thought I was. And then a few years ago I started kind of reading more about this and realize like, Oh fuck, there’s so much undiscovered privilege and um, unconscious bias that is moving through me and it’s something that needs to be looked at actively and I need to understand other people’s experience in the world that much more. Um, so that’s what I mean by intersectional. So White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin D’Angelo is pivotal. I think every single human should read this book.
It’s so, so, so fucking important. Talking to My Country by Stan Grant, uh, Stan Grant is a really well known, um, ABC or was it SBS? No, I think it was ABC. Um, anyway, he’s a news presenter, uh, who is indigenous Australian, Australian Aboriginal. And he talks about his history of growing up Aboriginal and what that meant and how that felt and what it feels like now. And it is sobering and it is beautiful and it is, it just opens your heart out wide so that you can understand another person’s and another culture’s life and what it means for them and where their hurts are. And I just think it’s so fucking critically important to do that. And Queer, a graphic history by Meg, John Barker and Jules Scheele. And that is, it’s like, I won’t lie, it’s, it’s pretty academic. It reads a little bit like a university socialism kind of textbook because it’s looking at kind of queer theory and, um, over the history of queer theory.
But seriously, it actually helped me understand so much more, um, about the whole LBGTQ plus community. And it also helped me see issues like gender and why the gender binary is so toxic. And it gave me a huge, huge, huge lightning bolt of realizing like, Oh, well that’s right. I’ve never felt particularly female myself and I would prefer to not really be seen by my gender, because in lots of ways I have more masculine traits in and I don’t want to hide that part either. And, um, yeah, it was fucking brilliantly, brilliantly helpful. So I highly recommend those, and graphic memoirs if you haven’t experienced the absolute miraculous bliss of graphic novels and graphic memoirs yet. It’s kind of like, it’s kind of like comic books for adults, but even better, like they are like art and words intertwined and they make my brain so happy and I also feel like I’m able to understand other people’s life experiences so much better when it is in that format.
So my favorite graphic memoirs have been Belonging. A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug and uh, that is a German woman who lives in New York and goes back into her history to try and understand what it means to come from a country that it is known for Hitler and the Nazi movement. And there’s something right at the start that really grabs hold of you. And she said, what if your whole ancestry and your whole country was defined by the madness of one man, and that Germany is so intertwined with the word Hitler. What does that mean? How does it feel and is that the whole of what Germany is? It just was deeply eyeopening and it is so stunningly written and illustrated and created just mind, mind gaspingly beautiful. Uh, Lucy Knisley. K. N. I. S. L. E. Y. I will link to all of these in the show notes.
Um, but she has written heaps of graphic memoirs now about her travels and about being pregnant and about getting married. And um, she’s got new ones coming out about, her babies and they are beautiful and they are scrumptious and I just love them. I love them. I think she is almost incomparable with how fucking great they are. Can’t We Talk About Something Pleasant by Roz Chast? That was the first graphic memoir I ever read and I remember just being absolutely gripped by it. I bought it because it had won an award and I thought, Oh, sounds like a great book. And I bought it not even knowing it was illustrated. And then I was like, what the fuck? This is a comic book. And then I was like, Oh, well I read a couple of pages. Oh, Holy shit, this is amazing. All books should be written like this Roz Chast writes about, um, her ageing parents and what it’s like to try and parent your parents.
And it is so raw and so loving and beautiful all at once. And last but not least, Marbles by Ellen Forney, which is about her journey into discovering she is bipolar and what that means for her and how it affects her creativity and her life and her relationships. Just fucking glorious. And I wanted to say one more thing. Books that have changed my life, and this is going to sound ridiculous, but there are my own books. So in 2009, when I was pregnant with my first kid, I knew that there was going to be some hard times ahead and I knew I needed something to hold onto. And I knew that I wanted to set goals, but I didn’t want them to be black and white. I wanted them to, and like really masculine. I wanted them to be rainbows and unicorns and deeply kind of feminine and creative.
And so I created the goals, workbooks purely for myself. I painted them and hand written them and I was looking at it and I was thinking, Oh, this is really cute. I wonder if like other people would want this. And I put this online as an ebook. Like I think I uploaded it like boxing day. And um, I thought if 10 other people would like it, that would probably be amazing. But it’s now gone on to be used by over 350,000 other people. And here’s the thing, even if like it wasn’t international bestseller, even if it was just me that was doing it, that would still be some of the most important books of my life because actually sitting and connecting with myself year after year and asking myself again and again, what is it I want to do with this wild and beautiful life of mine as Mary Oliver would say.
Um, and they have helped me create so much, so many blessings and miracles in my life. Um, so if you haven’t checked out the My Shining Year Goals, Workbooks, please do, like they are life changing. Make sure that you get them for your friends as well. So that you can do it together because I so deeply believe that when we as women and as heart centered beings step up to share our light bright with the world, it will change the world. So you can go to https:// myshiningyear.com to check them out. So that is my mega list of the best books of all time. I hope you found this useful. I hope it’s given you some inspiration and magic of books to add to your, to your reading list. And also, I do want to encourage you, if you’ve still got books at home that you haven’t read, don’t buy anymore. Just read the fucking books that you’ve got. That’s what I did last year. No bought books till you read everything you’ve got. And it was a brilliant project to do that too. All right guys, I hope you have a fucking brilliant day. I love you and let’s go make some magical miracles happen. Byeeee!