85 books like A Fine Romance

By Darcie Denkert,

Here are 85 books that A Fine Romance fans have personally recommended if you like A Fine Romance. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of City of Girls

Michael Bronte Author Of Long Haul

From my list on everyday people who refuse to be victims.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always been fascinated by stories where everyday people are thrust into dangerous situations through no fault of their own. I’ve often wondered how I would react in such a situation. To me, it’s like going off to war. How would I react? Would I shrink away from danger or stand up like a man and do what I could to save myself and others around me? I’ve always found it interesting to write about everyday people who rise to the occasion and rely on their wits to extricate themselves from danger. I find myself rooting for them, urging them to find some inner strength they didn’t even know they had.

Michael's book list on everyday people who refuse to be victims

Michael Bronte Why did Michael love this book?

The first thing that drew me in was the format. The entire book, which is 466 pages long, is a response to a letter written on page one by the main character, Vivian. What a neat way to write a book.

In her letter to Vivian, Angela asks, “Vivian, what were you to my father?” It wasn’t the same old “telling” of a story, but Vivian’s detailed response from a historical perspective involving her experiences over the years in love, lust, glamour, and promiscuity and how these affected her life.

Vivian is in her 90s as she responds, and the story is told from her perspective as an old woman looking back on her life. I found myself rooting for her as she described her many struggles in her attempt to answer Angela’s question.

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked City of Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person.

"A spellbinding novel about love, freedom, and finding your own happiness." - PopSugar

"Intimate and richly sensual, razzle-dazzle with a hint of danger." -USA Today

"Pairs well with a cocktail...or two." -TheSkimm

"Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or…


Book cover of Revolutionary Road

Heather Hach Author Of The Trouble with Drowning

From my list on a nod to Broadway.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, forever tap-tap-tapping away on my computer, looking to create that lyrical rhythm on the page that I feel in my heart. I’m also usually singing, whether it’s made up ditties to my dogs, 80s indie pop, or Broadway showtimes. Bottom line, I’m a storyteller, and nothing thrills me as much as a great tale well told, either on the page, on the stage, or around a table. Here are a few stories I’ve loved along the way that include a nod to Broadway, another love of mine long before I was hired to write the book for Legally Blonde the Musical.

Heather's book list on a nod to Broadway

Heather Hach Why did Heather love this book?

I read that Matt Weiner wouldn’t have had the courage to write Mad Men if he’d read this before he worked on the series.

Revolutionary Road is set in the world of New York advertising during the martini lunch era, and it’s one of my favorite books of all time. It doesn’t exactly have that Singin’ in the Rain optimism, but it’s darkly hilarious. The opening scene is literary perfection, set at the dress rehearsal for the Laurel Players.

Yates masterfully captures that Waiting for Guffman sincerity (and inherent comedy) of community theater, and the novel sets the stage for the deeply human tale of longing. It is deeply American and deeply perfect.

By Richard Yates,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Revolutionary Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as a masterpiece from its first publication, Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright young couple who are bored by the banalities of suburban life and long to be extraordinary. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April's decision to change their lives for the better leads to betrayal and tragedy.


Book cover of Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story

Heather Hach Author Of The Trouble with Drowning

From my list on a nod to Broadway.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, forever tap-tap-tapping away on my computer, looking to create that lyrical rhythm on the page that I feel in my heart. I’m also usually singing, whether it’s made up ditties to my dogs, 80s indie pop, or Broadway showtimes. Bottom line, I’m a storyteller, and nothing thrills me as much as a great tale well told, either on the page, on the stage, or around a table. Here are a few stories I’ve loved along the way that include a nod to Broadway, another love of mine long before I was hired to write the book for Legally Blonde the Musical.

Heather's book list on a nod to Broadway

Heather Hach Why did Heather love this book?

I’d take this book with me if banished to a deserted island.

It’s a comprehensive account of the modern musical from London’s West End to the influence of Show Boat and beyond. Beautifully researched, it’s filled with fantastic timelines and gorgeous art, this is a get-lost-for-days sort of giant tome.

Of course, I didn’t choose it because they feature Legally Blonde and also include my quote: “I’ve also been a blonde… and I’ve also been underestimated.” No, not at all.

By DK Publishing,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Musicals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story showcases the complete history of the musical on stage and screen, from its origins in ancient Greece to early twentieth century dance halls and vaudeville to the golden age of cinema productions to the record-breaking Broadway musicals of today.

Packed with historical insights, memorabilia, behind-the-scenes gossip, and artifacts, Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story takes you on the ultimate behind-the-scenes tour of the best-loved musicals, such as Chicago, Les Misérables, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, and many more.

In all, Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story features more than 140…


Book cover of A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages

Heather Hach Author Of The Trouble with Drowning

From my list on a nod to Broadway.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, forever tap-tap-tapping away on my computer, looking to create that lyrical rhythm on the page that I feel in my heart. I’m also usually singing, whether it’s made up ditties to my dogs, 80s indie pop, or Broadway showtimes. Bottom line, I’m a storyteller, and nothing thrills me as much as a great tale well told, either on the page, on the stage, or around a table. Here are a few stories I’ve loved along the way that include a nod to Broadway, another love of mine long before I was hired to write the book for Legally Blonde the Musical.

Heather's book list on a nod to Broadway

Heather Hach Why did Heather love this book?

What can I say, I love blondes. I also adore Kristin Chenoweth, though I realize I’m not the only one. She’s so damned adorable and heroically gifted, and her life is as interesting as her talent.

I love her honesty and you can feel her life on the page. Kristin is a force of nature and a damn good storyteller herself. 

By Kristin Chenoweth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Little Bit Wicked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A lively, laugh-out-loud journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to show biz sensation.

“Life’s too short. I’m not.”

You might know her as a Tony Award–winning Broadway star who originated the role of Galinda the Good Witch in the smash musical Wicked. Or you may recognize her from her starring roles on TV—The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, and Sesame Street. At four foot eleven, Kristin Chenoweth is an immense talent in a petite but powerful package. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and (she’s quick to add) the grace of God, Kristin took Broadway and Hollywood by storm. But of…


Book cover of American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle

Thomas S. Hischak Author Of Musical Misfires: Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak

From my list on Broadway musicals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having taught college courses on and written books about theatre, film, and popular music for over forty years, I have great respect for those who write about the popular art form known as musical theatre. As a theatergoer, I've watched the Broadway (and Off-Broadway) musical develop, change, and sometimes decline. It seems musicals are more popular today than ever before; they certainly are more diverse. I grew up with the traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein model and have seen musicals take on new forms over the years. It is an exciting art form that deserves to be written about.

Thomas' book list on Broadway musicals

Thomas S. Hischak Why did Thomas love this book?

This weighty reference book is not something to be read from cover to cover but, for browsing or looking up a plot or commentary on Broadway musicals, it is still the leader in its field. Bordman published his Chronicle in 1978 and he revised it up until his death, critic Richard Norton helping on the fourth edition. The coverage is impressive: musicals from the late 1700s up to 2010. The writing is concise and to the point. This book discusses shows you're not likely to find in any other book or website.

By Gerald Bordman, Richard Norton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Musical Theatre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as "absolutely the best reference book on its subject" by Newsweek, American Musical Theatre: A Chronicle covers more than 250 years of musical theatre in the United States, from a 1735 South Carolina production of Flora, or Hob in the Well to The Addams Family in 2010. Authors Gerald Bordman and Richard Norton write an engaging narrative blending history, critical analysis, and lively description to illustrate the transformation of American musical
theatre through such incarnations as the ballad opera, revue, Golden Age musical, rock musical, Disney musical, and, with 2010's American Idiot, even the punk musical.

The Chronicle is…


Book cover of The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built

Tere Michaels Author Of Snowmageddon (Broadway or Bust Book 1)

From my list on for next level Broadway fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a Broadway fan since I discovered the 60’s vinyl cast albums my parents collected. Seeing them in person added another level to the magic, and after every show, while still basking in the creative spark, I’m already planning my next visit! Sharing a list of books instead of a playlist is my way of sharing a deeper view of the world we Broadway fans love so much. It’s also the list I used as the basis for my research, while writing my new series (which follows the journey of a fictional Broadway musical from script to opening night)!

Tere's book list on for next level Broadway fans

Tere Michaels Why did Tere love this book?

What? A scholarly book about Broadway to kick things off? Absolutely. If you think you know everything about musicals, Jack Viertel (a jack-of-all-trades with a career seeped in working in and around the stage) is here to take you a step deeper. From the evolution of what is “popular” and preferred, to the aspects that make a show into a hit, Viertel leads you through the decades of American musicals for a thorough education that is equal parts analysis and a shared love of the genre. The best part is that he loves Broadway as much as you do! He pulls the curtains aside to probe how this amazing world works, in an entertaining and informative way. 

One of my favorite books on the genre, and indispensable if you’ve moved beyond show scores and behind-the-scenes anecdotes (although he has those too!).

By Jack Viertel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Secret Life of the American Musical as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New York Times Bestseller

For almost a century, Americans have been losing their hearts and losing their minds in an insatiable love affair with the American musical. It often begins in childhood in a darkened theater, grows into something more serious for high school actors, and reaches its passionate zenith when it comes time for love, marriage, and children, who will start the cycle all over again. Americans love musicals. Americans invented musicals. Americans perfected musicals. But what, exactly, is a musical?

In The Secret Life of the American Musical, Jack Viertel takes them apart, puts them back together,…


Book cover of How Musicals Work: And How to Write Your Own

Tere Michaels Author Of Snowmageddon (Broadway or Bust Book 1)

From my list on for next level Broadway fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a Broadway fan since I discovered the 60’s vinyl cast albums my parents collected. Seeing them in person added another level to the magic, and after every show, while still basking in the creative spark, I’m already planning my next visit! Sharing a list of books instead of a playlist is my way of sharing a deeper view of the world we Broadway fans love so much. It’s also the list I used as the basis for my research, while writing my new series (which follows the journey of a fictional Broadway musical from script to opening night)!

Tere's book list on for next level Broadway fans

Tere Michaels Why did Tere love this book?

Woolford describes his book as a prenatal guide for musicals and it is indeed just that. He breaks down the process from idea to opening night for a thorough examination of what goes into each part of writing a musical. From the tickle of inspiration—and everything that went into its construction after that point, including the steps back and sideways, trying to find the right formula for success—there isn’t much left out. Warning: You might be inspired to try your hand at writing once you finish this book! 

I felt as if I’d taken a college-level theatre course at the end of How Musicals Work, with an instructor who revels in the complicated chaos that is musicals! It opens up a whole extra level to watching/experiencing a musical.

By Julian Woolford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Musicals Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Musicals are the most popular form of stage entertainment today, with the West End and Broadway dominated by numerous long-running hits. But for every Wicked or Phantom of the Opera, there are dozens of casualties that didn't fare quite so well. In this book, Julian Woolford explores the musical-theatre canon to explain why and how some musicals work, why some don't, and what you should (and shouldn't) do if you're thinking of writing your own. Drawing on his experience as a successful writer and director of musicals, and as a lecturer in writing musicals at the University of London, Woolford…


Book cover of The Rise and Fall of the Broadway Musical

Thomas S. Hischak Author Of Musical Misfires: Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak

From my list on Broadway musicals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having taught college courses on and written books about theatre, film, and popular music for over forty years, I have great respect for those who write about the popular art form known as musical theatre. As a theatergoer, I've watched the Broadway (and Off-Broadway) musical develop, change, and sometimes decline. It seems musicals are more popular today than ever before; they certainly are more diverse. I grew up with the traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein model and have seen musicals take on new forms over the years. It is an exciting art form that deserves to be written about.

Thomas' book list on Broadway musicals

Thomas S. Hischak Why did Thomas love this book?

If you are looking for a highly opinionated and passionate account of the Broadway musical and the changes it has undergone over the decades, this book is for you. Grant does not pull his punches and the general tone is one of despair at the decline in the quality of musicals. But the book is well researched and offers many provocative ideas which the die-hard musical fan will find fascinating. It's the kind of work that you want to read after you have a solid knowledge of American musical theatre and you want to have your traditional ideas challenged.

By Mark Grant,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Rise and Fall of the Broadway Musical as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the ASCAP–Deems Taylor Award (2005)Many of today’s Broadway shows, from Rent to The Lion King, have become commercial hits, but do they have the cultural importance or the dramatic and musical artistry of such enduring productions as Oklahoma!, Show Boat, or Kiss Me, Kate? Mark N. Grant traces the transformation of singing and melody, libretto and lyric writing, dance rhythms, sound design, and choreography and stage direction through three distinct eras: the formative period (1866–1927), the golden age (1927–1966), and the fall (1967 to the present). He explores how and why the unsophisticated genre of pre-1927 musical comedy…


Book cover of The World of Musical Comedy

Thomas S. Hischak Author Of Musical Misfires: Three Decades of Broadway Musical Heartbreak

From my list on Broadway musicals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having taught college courses on and written books about theatre, film, and popular music for over forty years, I have great respect for those who write about the popular art form known as musical theatre. As a theatergoer, I've watched the Broadway (and Off-Broadway) musical develop, change, and sometimes decline. It seems musicals are more popular today than ever before; they certainly are more diverse. I grew up with the traditional Rodgers and Hammerstein model and have seen musicals take on new forms over the years. It is an exciting art form that deserves to be written about.

Thomas' book list on Broadway musicals

Thomas S. Hischak Why did Thomas love this book?

An early and still one of the best works on the subject, Green's The World of Musical Comedy is the book that introduced generations of musical theatre fans to the art form. It was first published in 1960 and that first edition was my first encounter with the great songwriters and musicals of the American theatre. Green later revised and updated the book and the fourth edition stops at 1980 but the book remains in print. I still recommend it as the best way to discover the classic works in the world of musicals.

By Stanley Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World of Musical Comedy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed through three editions for its uniquely informative and entertaining style, this fourth edition of Stanley Green's World of Musical Comedy updates and enlarges the theatrical scope to include such recent shows as A Chorus Line, Barnum, They're Playing Our Song , and Annie . In a format that provides biographies of all the leading figures in the musical's development, Stanley Green manages to convey the spirit of the Broadway stage, its musical make-believe, and yet remain objective about the creative swings in its history and the careers of its individual creators. Everyone is here: Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, Jerome…


Book cover of Moonfleet

Elliot Lord Author Of The Potter

From my list on engaging stories of historical adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have chosen this area of literature because I enjoy expanding my horizons. I love to find out about stories from different cultures and different times that will open my eyes to things I would never have thought about before. The depth of the writing is important to convey the emotions felt by the characters. This is what inspires me in my writing and my book that I have chosen to highlight here is also a story of historical fiction, influenced by my experience of living in Slovakia and finding out from residents about how incredibly different life had been in their country.

Elliot's book list on engaging stories of historical adventures

Elliot Lord Why did Elliot love this book?

Moonfleet is a fictional tale of life on the high seas. Starting out as a boy, the main character takes on a life where he constantly grows and learns through his dangerous interactions with smugglers. The book is filled with stories of different adventures and challenges and it will keep you engrossed all the way through. This is one of the best books of its kind that I have read.

By John Meade Falkner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moonfleet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in musical theatre, Broadway musicals, and Chicago?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about musical theatre, Broadway musicals, and Chicago.

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