Summer Reading 2016: Non-fiction book pile

What’s on your bookshelf?  I have a batch of non-fiction reads that I hope to get to this summer, many of them are related to the world of theatre, of course.  Hope to tackle the following ten titles over July, August (and September)

THEN & NOW: A memoir by Barbara Cook with Tom Santopietro

Why this one? I’m a fan.

LIT UP: One Reporter. Three schools. Twenty0four books that can change lives by David Denby

Why this one? This reporter inspects  urban high school classrooms to consider the power that teaching with passion and commitment can have inspire every(!) student to ‘enjoy’ great literature, new and old.

ON SONDHEIM: An opinionated guide by Ethan Mordden

Why this one? I’m a fan.

MY PROMISED LAND: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit

Why this one? This book is a detailed heartfelt account of the history of Israel. I began reading      this earlier in the year and only got to 1967.  The history continues.

THEATRE OF  THE UNIMPRESSED: In search of Vital Drama by Jordan Tannahill

Why this one? Wunderkind Jordan Tannahill, offers sharp views of what makes theatre boring – for some/ for many. I consider myself an avid theatregoer, but Tannahill certainly has a sharper eye on the world of theatre, particularly of the ‘alternative’ kind.

RAZZLE DAZZLE: The battle for Broadway by Michael Redel

Why this one? I see a lot of Broadway musicals. Hope to gain insights into the world behind the razzle dazzle.

THE VIOLET HOUR: Great writers at the end by Katie Roiphe

Why this one? Read an article by the author in The New York Times about ‘saying last words (or not) to loved one’s.  This book is an account of the last days of Susan Sontag, Sigmund Freud, Maurice Sendak and others.  Final days and mortality:  Something to think about.

AMERICAN GIRLS: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales

Why this one? Insights into the mean girl culture. Please help me understand.


Why this one? I love New York. Everyone is a story.  This will be a second read. It’s a fantastic book.

THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL: How Broadway shows are built by Jack Vertel.

Why this one? I see a lot of Broadway musicals. Hope to gain insights into how they are built.