64 books like Song of Spider-Man

By Glen Berger,

Here are 64 books that Song of Spider-Man fans have personally recommended if you like Song of Spider-Man. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Singular Sensation: The Triumph of Broadway

Marc Acito Author Of How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater

From my list on what life in the theatre is really like.

Who am I?

As a brainy, bullied Queer theater kid, I was 14 before I ever saw anyone like myself onstage or onscreen. Then—Wham—in June of 1980 I saw A Chorus Line on Broadway and Fame at the movies. But there weren’t any books that showed the theater life as it was actually lived. When I published my love letter to my high school theater friends in 2004, no one had written a novel about our kind. Today, as someone who’s managed to make a living as a writer-director of musicals, I strive to share the whole truth with the young artists I mentor. 

Marc's book list on what life in the theatre is really like

Marc Acito Why did Marc love this book?

As a teacher of History and Musicals at NYU, I’ve seen how theatre students are most interested in the shows they know, which typically means those produced in their lifetime. So I try to meet them where they are and then journey backwards into the past. While Singular Sensation moves forward in time from the 1990s, it shows how the Broadway we know today came to be. And who could resist reading about Patti LuPone throwing a floor lamp out her dressing room window when Andrew Lloyd Webber fired her from Sunset Boulevard? So I hope you’ll come back for more and read Riedel’s equally dishy yet informative Razzle Dazzle, which is about Broadway in the 1970s, when someone could mug you at knifepoint in broad daylight on 42nd Street (and, in my case, did).

By Michael Riedel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The extraordinary story of a transformative decade on Broadway, featuring gripping behind-the-scenes accounts of shows such as Rent, Angels in America, Chicago, The Lion King, and The Producers-shows that changed the history of the American theater.



The 1990s was a decade of profound change on Broadway. At the dawn of the nineties, the British invasion of Broadway was in full swing, as musical spectacles like Les Miserables, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera dominated the box office. But Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard soon spelled the end of this era and ushered in a new wave of American musicals,…


Book cover of Trouble in Mind

Marc Acito Author Of How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater

From my list on what life in the theatre is really like.

Who am I?

As a brainy, bullied Queer theater kid, I was 14 before I ever saw anyone like myself onstage or onscreen. Then—Wham—in June of 1980 I saw A Chorus Line on Broadway and Fame at the movies. But there weren’t any books that showed the theater life as it was actually lived. When I published my love letter to my high school theater friends in 2004, no one had written a novel about our kind. Today, as someone who’s managed to make a living as a writer-director of musicals, I strive to share the whole truth with the young artists I mentor. 

Marc's book list on what life in the theatre is really like

Marc Acito Why did Marc love this book?

Like Hamlet says, “The play’s the thing,” so any reading list for theater people should include the reason we’re here in the first place. Alice Childress’s indictment of the degrading condescension inflicted on Black people in the theater by self-proclaimed white allies is as true today as when she wrote it in 1955. That makes me sad and angry, as does the fact it took 66 years for it to finally be produced on Broadway. But it also gives me hope when high-quality work gets recognized. And as a writer who finds the funny in any situation, I love how Childress serves up bitter pills of truth in spoonfuls of honeyed laughs. 

By Alice Childress,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

“A masterpiece . . . Trouble in Mind still contains astonishing power; it could have been written yesterday.” —Vulture

Ahead of its time, Trouble in Mind, written in 1955, follows the rehearsal process of an anti-lynching play preparing for its Broadway debut. When Wiletta, a Black actress and veteran of the stage, challenges the play’s stereotypical portrayal of the Black characters, unsettling biases come to the forefront and reveal the ways so-called progressive art can be used to uphold racist attitudes. Scheduled to open on Broadway in 1957, Childress objected to the requested changes in the script that would “sanitize”…


Book cover of Putting on the Ritz

Marc Acito Author Of How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater

From my list on what life in the theatre is really like.

Who am I?

As a brainy, bullied Queer theater kid, I was 14 before I ever saw anyone like myself onstage or onscreen. Then—Wham—in June of 1980 I saw A Chorus Line on Broadway and Fame at the movies. But there weren’t any books that showed the theater life as it was actually lived. When I published my love letter to my high school theater friends in 2004, no one had written a novel about our kind. Today, as someone who’s managed to make a living as a writer-director of musicals, I strive to share the whole truth with the young artists I mentor. 

Marc's book list on what life in the theatre is really like

Marc Acito Why did Marc love this book?

Joe Keenan’s madcap farces made me want to write my own. They’re the kind of books that make you laugh so hard you just have to read lines from it to the person sitting next to you (preferably someone you know because strangers on mass transit don’t appreciate that kind of thing). As zany as they are, his novels are rooted in the real, doing-whatever-you-can-to-make-it lives of theater people. So they’re not as far-fetched as you might think. Life in New York City really can be that wildly glamorous. And hilarious.

By Joe Keenan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Putting on the Ritz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The witty duo from Blue Heaven invade the entourage of a tasteless real estate/media magnate, attempt to turn his talentless wife into a chanteuse, and vie for the affections of a suave magazine editor, in this deftly delicious comedy of bad manners, financial skullduggery, and romantic infighting.


Book cover of Unprotected: A Memoir

Marc Acito Author Of How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater

From my list on what life in the theatre is really like.

Who am I?

As a brainy, bullied Queer theater kid, I was 14 before I ever saw anyone like myself onstage or onscreen. Then—Wham—in June of 1980 I saw A Chorus Line on Broadway and Fame at the movies. But there weren’t any books that showed the theater life as it was actually lived. When I published my love letter to my high school theater friends in 2004, no one had written a novel about our kind. Today, as someone who’s managed to make a living as a writer-director of musicals, I strive to share the whole truth with the young artists I mentor. 

Marc's book list on what life in the theatre is really like

Marc Acito Why did Marc love this book?

If you’ve ever seen Billy Porter werk the red carpet, you know he doesn’t hold anything back. His memoir is no exception. And while the challenges he’s faced as a Black, Queer person are as unique as his talent, every theatrer-maker can identify with his dreams, his passions, and his disappointments. I so admire his courage in calling out hypocrisy in our business while simultaneously demonstrating the grace to call in for healing. 

By Billy Porter,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the incomparable Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award winner, a powerful and revealing autobiography about race, sexuality, and art

It's easy to be yourself when who and what you are is in vogue. But growing up Black and gay in America has never been easy. Before Billy Porter was slaying red carpets and giving an iconic performance in the celebrated TV show Pose; before he was the Tony Award-winning star of Broadway's Kinky Boots; and before he was an acclaimed recording artist, actor, playwright, and all-around diva, Porter was a young boy who didn't fit in. At five years old…


Book cover of Tradition!: The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World's Most Beloved Musical

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

From my list on for next level Broadway fans.

Who am I?

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?

Full disclosure—Fiddler of the Roof is one of my favorite musicals of all time. I love the story, the music, the stage version, the movie, the various soundtracks…all of it. So it was an absolute pleasure to read this deep dive into the history of the show and understand the trials and tribulations that went into the journey to get it made.

Warning: This will incite you to listen to the soundtrack(s) and definitely want to watch the movie version (as of the writing of this piece, it was on Netflix!). You’ll be listening and watching with a new perspective of how Fiddler was an unexpected but well-earned hit.

By Barbara Isenberg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In 1960, Sheldon Harnick sent a copy of Sholom Aleichem's novel, Wandering Stars, to his long-time collaborator, Jerry Bock, suggesting it might make a good musical and Fiddler on the Roof was born. Barbara Isenberg interviewed the men and women who created the original production, the film and significant revivals - Harold Prince, Sheldon Harnick, Joseph Stein, Austin Pendleton, Joanna Merlin, Norman Jewison, Topol, Jerry Zaks, Harvey Fierstein, etc. - to produce a lively, popular chronicle of the making of Fiddler. Published for the 50th anniversary of Fiddler's opening night on Broadway, Tradition! is the book for everyone who loves…


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.

Who am I?

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 This is All I Ask

Jennifer Wilck Author Of A Reckless Heart

From my list on making you laugh, cry, and escape this crazy world.

Who am I?

I’ve always had a passion for wounded heroes and strong heroines. My earliest memories are reading books where the heroine saves the day. I’ve never wanted the heroine to need the hero in order to make her life complete. Even as a child, when my dad read me books at night—one of my favorite memories—I preferred stories where the heroine saved the day. As an adult, I’ve loved to read stories where the hero is brave enough to show his vulnerable side, and when I decided to become a writer, those were the books I wanted to write.

Jennifer's book list on making you laugh, cry, and escape this crazy world

Jennifer Wilck Why did Jennifer love this book?

Another wounded hero book, but I’m choosing this one because not only is it one of my favorites from the series, but Lynn Kurland packs so much emotion into every page that I cry and laugh and live the book while I’m reading it and long after.

It’s time travel (but they always seem to bring chocolate with them ☺ ) and the love is so strong. Her stories are like catnip.

By Lynn Kurland,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This is All I Ask as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Lynn Kurland, the New York Times bestselling author of the Nine Kingdom series.

Set near the Scottish border at a rugged castle on the edge of the sea, this is the story of a courageous lord who lost everything he held dear. Of a strong young woman willing to sacrifice everything for happiness. Two lost souls who find in each other a reason to live again, to laugh again, and to love for the first time...


Book cover of Where the Truth Lies

Steven Jankowski Author Of Below the Line

From my list on noir crime with characters that aren’t detectives.

Who am I?

As a screenwriter I’ve always enjoyed noir stories, whether books or movies. Stories where the characters are not your squeaky-clean “good guys.” I like to see “ordinary” people; people who are flawed (like all of us), or maybe with a shady past, who are swayed or manipulated by dire circumstances into doing something they would not ordinarily do. I enjoy stories with unique, interesting characters that are not your run-of-the-mill private eyes, and whose moral compass might be a bit off. I particularly like stories where characters are forced to become investigators because of a situation they are thrust into, whether by accident or by their own dubious actions. 

Steven's book list on noir crime with characters that aren’t detectives

Steven Jankowski Why did Steven love this book?

Set in the seventies, a sexy female celebrity journalist sets out to find the reason for the break-up of a singing/comedy duo alá Lewis and Martin and uncovers a gruesome murder. Full of sex, drugs, and behind-the-scenes entertainment business debauchery, this story is told in a masterful way that is funny, frightful, suspenseful, and disturbing. A truly unique noir tale where no one comes away clean. Just how I like it. And written by my good friend and former employer, Rupert Holmes. The same guy that gave us “Escape, The Pina Colada Song” and the Broadway hit The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

By Rupert Holmes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Where the Truth Lies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE

O’Connor, a vivacious, free-spirited young journalist known for her penetrating celebrity interviews, is bent on unearthing secrets long ago buried by the handsome showbiz team of singer Vince Collins and comic Lanny Morris. These two highly desirable men, once inseparable (and insatiable, where women were concerned), were driven apart by a bizarre and unexplained death in which one of them may have played the part of murderer. As the tart-tongued, eye-catching O’Connor ventures deeper into this unsolved mystery, she finds herself compromisingly coiled around both men, knowing more about them than they realize and less…


Book cover of Act One: An Autobiography

Robert Kaplow Author Of Me and Orson Welles

From my list on set in the world of the theater.

Who am I?

Since adolescence I’ve written scripts, stories, and songs. For ten years I wrote songs and sketches for NPR’s Morning Edition  as “Moe Moskowitz and the Punsters.” Among my young-adult novels, my favorite remains Alex Icicle: A Romance in Ten Torrid Chapters, a literate howl of romantic obsession by an over-educated and under-loved madman. I think my funniest comedy novel is Who’s Killing the Great Writers of America? that not only kills off some famous writers, but simultaneously parodies their style. And, of course, Stephen King ends up solving the whole crazy conspiracy. I taught writing for many years, and I’m pleased to report that my students taught me more than anything I ever taught them.

Robert's book list on set in the world of the theater

Robert Kaplow Why did Robert love this book?

While the prose style of Act One is a little fussy, florid, and overly eager to impress, this is still a moving, funny, and emotional biography of a talented, ambitious young man who is determined to make his mark as a Broadway playwright. And, at the end, when he single-handedly turns his out-of-town failure (co-written with George S. Kaufman) into a hit, you want to stand up and cheer.

By Moss Hart,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Act One as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Moss Hart's Act One, which Lincoln Center Theater presented in 2014 as a play written and directed by James Lapine, is one of the great American memoirs, a glorious memorial to a bygone age filled with all the wonder, drama, and heartbreak that surrounded Broadway in the early twentieth century. Hart's story inspired a generation of theatergoers, dramatists, and readers everywhere as he eloquently chronicled his impoverished childhood and his long, determined struggle to reach the opening night of his first Broadway hit. Act One is the quintessential American success story.


Book cover of The Mysterious Mr. Quin

Jim Eldridge Author Of Murder at the Natural History Museum

From my list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction.

Who am I?

I have always loved history, from ancient Egyptian times up to recent history (the 1950s and 1960s). Put history in the context of a crime and the history becomes even more fascinating. A book where the history of that time comes vividly alive for the reader is the greatest pleasure a reader can experience.

Jim's book list on by the greatest writers of crime fiction

Jim Eldridge Why did Jim love this book?

Agatha Christie is deservedly the world’s best-selling crime writer, and most of her readers are familiar with Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot, but with this book we have the undiscovered gems of the mysterious Harley Quin and his partner Mr. Satterthwaite. The book is evocative of England in the 1930s. It makes for addictive reading and shows Christie at her very best.

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mysterious Mr. Quin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A unique offering from the Queen of Crime. This Agatha Christie Signature Edition features the hero the world-famous author was most fond of - Mr Harley Quin, the enigmatic friend and counterpart of the rational Mr Satterthwaite.

So far, it had been a typical New Year's Eve house party. But Mr Satterthwaite - a keen observer of human nature - sensed that the real drama of the evening was yet to unfold.

So it proved when a mysterious stranger arrived after midnight. Who was this Mr Quin? And why did his presence have such a pronounced effect on Eleanor Portal,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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