96 books like The Season

By William Goldman,

Here are 96 books that The Season fans have personally recommended if you like The Season. 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 Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation

Sowmya Krishnamurthy Author Of Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion

From my list on learning about hip-hop.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved hip-hop since, as Biggie Smalls would say, “the public school era.” For over 10 years, I’ve been a journalist and on-air host covering all facets of hip-hop from breaking emerging acts to interviewing superstars. Fashion Killa: How Hip-Hop Revolutionized High Fashion is my first book and the culmination of my expertise in fashion and pop culture. These books served as the bedrock for me—as inspiration, research, and motivation—and one day, I hope that my book will do the same for the next writer.

Sowmya's book list on learning about hip-hop

Sowmya Krishnamurthy Why did Sowmya love this book?

If you need an introduction to hip-hop, this book is it.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop chronicles the birthplace of hip-hop—from Kool Herc’s famous party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on August 11, 1973—and follows the dynamic history and commercial evolution of the culture that would one day dominate the world. This book was a great starting point in my own research process for my book.

By Jeff Chang,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Can't Stop Won't Stop as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A history of hip-hop cites its origins in the post-civil rights Bronx and Jamaica, drawing on interviews with performers, activists, gang members, DJs, and others to document how the movement has influenced politics and culture.


Book cover of Mike Nichols: A Life

Annie Korzen Author Of The Book of Annie: Humor, Heart, and Chutzpah from an Accidental Influencer

From my list on laughter and tears.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books are all by or about comic geniuses. I have always expressed myself through humor. I never felt I was pretty, so making people laugh was another way of seducing people. I started out by doing improvisational theater on the streets of New York, went on to have a recurring role on Seinfeld, and performed my solo shows on three continents. One of my greatest thrills has been to share the stage with other storytellers while touring with The Moth. When I used my storytelling skills on TikTok, I was amazed at the response. Eleven million Likes is a lot of love. I hope I deserve it.

Annie's book list on laughter and tears

Annie Korzen Why did Annie love this book?

I love showbiz biographies full of the inside dope on glamorous, brilliant people, because I’ve always wanted to be one of those glamorous, brilliant people. 

Mike Nichols knew everyone important in the arts, ate at the most fabulous restaurants, traveled to the most luxurious locations, and owned several grand homes. And I am pleased to report that he was frequently anxious and depressed. 

I find it very reassuring to learn that someone who has everything I’ve ever dreamed of is no happier than I am. I know that sounds a little mean, but I never claimed to be perfect.

By Mark Harris,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Mike Nichols as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A National Book Critics Circle finalist • One of People's top 10 books of 2021 •An instant New York Times bestseller • Named a best book of the year by NPR and Time

A magnificent biography of one of the most protean creative forces in American entertainment history, a life of dazzling highs and vertiginous plunges—some of the worst largely unknown until now—by the acclaimed author of Pictures at a Revolution and Five Came Back

Mike Nichols burst onto the scene as a wunderkind: while still in his twenties, he was half of a hit improv duo with Elaine May…


Book cover of Sitcom: A History in 24 Episodes from I Love Lucy to Community

Marcus Gorman Author Of Triceratops

From my list on pop culture primers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Pop culture is my life, and I like my characters to be well-versed in it. There's no reason to pretend otherwise, as what we consume informs who we are as people. Plus, there’s something beautiful in something everybody collectively knows. I’ve worked hard to make pop culture not just an interest but a career path. I currently program films for the Seattle International Film Festival, work as a playwright and performer, cover film, theatre, and burlesque for The Ticket at the Seattle Times, am a frequent guest on podcasts such as Film at Fifty, and assist at various arts organizations all over the greater Seattle area.

Marcus' book list on pop culture primers

Marcus Gorman Why did Marcus love this book?

To quote New York Times critic Sam Anderson, “the sitcom is arguably the defining commercial art form of the American 20th century,” and this book gives that hypothesis weight. Over 24 chapters (starting in 1951 with I Love Lucy, the Rosetta Stone of the genre, and ending in 2014 with Dan Harmon’s cult hit Community), Austerlitz uses the television comedy format to discuss joke structure, technological advancements in the arts, and the evolution of American social and political consciousness over the previous half-century. Sitcoms are by their nature the tension between two opposing forces, centering on characters who strive to change their lot in life only to have everything reset by episode’s end, just in time to do it all again next week. There’s something both beautiful and menacing about that.

By Saul Austerlitz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The form is so elemental, so basic, that we have difficulty imagining a time before it existed: a single set, fixed cameras, canned laughter, zany sidekicks, quirky family antics. Obsessively watched and critically ignored, sitcoms were a distraction, a gentle lullaby of a kinder, gentler America—until suddenly the artificial boundary between the world and television entertainment collapsed.

            In this book we can watch the growth of the sitcom, following the path that leads from Lucy to The Phil Silvers Show; from The Dick Van Dyke Show to The Mary Tyler Moore Show; from M*A*S*H to Taxi; from Cheers to Roseanne;…


Book cover of Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live

Marcus Gorman Author Of Triceratops

From my list on pop culture primers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Pop culture is my life, and I like my characters to be well-versed in it. There's no reason to pretend otherwise, as what we consume informs who we are as people. Plus, there’s something beautiful in something everybody collectively knows. I’ve worked hard to make pop culture not just an interest but a career path. I currently program films for the Seattle International Film Festival, work as a playwright and performer, cover film, theatre, and burlesque for The Ticket at the Seattle Times, am a frequent guest on podcasts such as Film at Fifty, and assist at various arts organizations all over the greater Seattle area.

Marcus' book list on pop culture primers

Marcus Gorman Why did Marcus love this book?

Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s oral history Live From New York (published in 2002, updated and expanded a decade later) is probably the most popular book on sketch comedy giant Saturday Night Live, but I’m more partial to Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad’s 1986 record of the show’s historic but tumultuous first ten years on the air. Unlike Live From New York, the vibe is less “hanging out with comedy giants” and more “I can’t believe these coked-out maniacs were able to stay alive, let alone create something that’s still going strong.” As SNL approaches its 50th anniversary, see the near-impossible alchemy that changed network television forever.

By Doug Hill, Jeff Weingrad,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Saturday Night is the intimate history of the original Saturday Night Live, from its beginnings as an outlaw program produced by an unruly band of renegades from the comedy underground to a TV institution that made stars of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Garrett Morris, Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy.

This is the book that revealed to the world what really happened behind the scenes during the first ten years of this groundbreaking program, from the battles SNL fought with NBC to the battles fought within the show itself. It's all here: The…


Book cover of A is for Audra: Broadway's Leading Ladies from A to Z

Mark A. Robinson Author Of The Magical Mice of Broadway

From my list on theatre written for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime arts educator who has worked predominantly with kids ages 3 to 12, I initially set out to find books that could inspire them about theatre. For many years I have searched for the perfect books that achieve this and have used all of these books in my teaching.

Mark's book list on theatre written for children

Mark A. Robinson Why did Mark love this book?

This book is a whimsical, colorful, and delightful introduction to the women who have made the American Musical Theatre great. Kids learn all about such talented ladies as Audra McDonald, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Bernadette Peters, Lea Salonga, and Kristin Chenoweth, to name a few.

By John Robert Allman, Peter Emmerich (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A is for Audra as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"It's an incredible honor to be included in this amazing book of the greatest talent the Broadway stage has ever known!"
—AUDRA McDONALD, six-time Tony Award-winning actress

From Audra McDonald to Liza with a "Z," here is a showstopping alphabet book featuring your favorite leading ladies of the Broadway stage!

Step into the spotlight and celebrate a cavalcade of Broadway's legendary ladies. Start with "A" for six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, then sing and dance your way through the alphabet with beloved entertainers like Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Lea Salonga, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelli O'Hara, and Liza Minnelli!…


Book cover of Okay for Now

Diana Harmon Asher Author Of Upstaged

From my list on music, art and friendship.

Why am I passionate about this?

Just like my Upstaged heroine, my first stage experience was playing Mr. Jacey Squires in The Music Man. Both of my parents were singers and really, there’s never been a time when music—and the friends I made through music—haven’t been an important part of my life. Love of the arts can bring kids together in surprising ways. The characters in these books face varied challenges, home lives, and predicaments. But for all of them, it’s the support of friends, a dose of courage, and inspiration from the arts that get them through. That’s why I’ve chosen these five wonderful, readable, un-put-downable books.


Diana's book list on music, art and friendship

Diana Harmon Asher Why did Diana love this book?

I don’t have words for how masterful this book is. (I know, I’m a writer, I’m supposed to have words). I’m constantly blown away by Schmidt’s writing. The novel, set in 1968, is the story of fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck, whose abusive father moves the family to a new town. Doug’s first-person voice is so alive and original. He tells you a lot, but not everything. And what he’s hiding is revealed in scenes that will stay with me forever, among them one in PE class, and another when Doug’s brother returns from Vietnam. On every page, you sense Doug’s emotional armor, but also his vulnerability. His growth as a person and an artist makes it one of my favorite books of all time.

By Gary D. Schmidt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Okay for Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

Beloved author Gary D. Schmidt expertly blends comedy and tragedy in the story of Doug Swieteck, an unhappy "teenage thug" first introduced in The Wednesday Wars, who finds consolation and a sense of possibility in friendship and art.

At once heartbreaking and hopeful, this absorbing novel centers on Doug, 14, who has an abusive father, a bully for a brother, a bad reputation, and shameful secrets to keep. Teachers and police and his relatives think he's worthless, and he believes them, holding others at arm's length. Newly arrived in town, he starts out on the same path—antagonizing other kids, mouthing…


Book cover of Make Believe: The Broadway Musical in the 1920's

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?

Mordden has written books about musicals from several decades of the Twentieth Century but my favorite remains Make Believe about the 1920s. Too few American musicals from that decade are still performed today. Show Boat and No No Nanette are two memorable exceptions. So most of the shows in the book are not familiar to theatergoers. But Mordden brings these musicals to life with his vivid writing and enthusiasm for what was a Golden Age for the art form.

By Ethan Mordden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The 1920s represented a turning point in the history of the Broadway musical, breaking with the vaudeville traditions of the early twentieth century to anticipate the more complex, sophisticated musicals of today. Composers Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and their contemporaries revitalized the musical with the sound of jazz and other new influences. Productions became more elaborate, with dazzling sets, tumultuous choreography, and
staging tricks, all woven into tightly constructed story lines. These dramatic changes of the 1920s ushered in the "golden age" of the American musical theater.
Ethan Mordden captures the excitement and the atmosphere of…


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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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 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.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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