Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

My Summer Reading List

Jun 14, 2024 by Victoria Noe

I have a lot of reading to do this summer. A book a week, at least. Most of it will likely be research for the second edition of F*g Hags, Divas and Moms. That’s normal for when I’m working on a new book. But I’m doing my best to mix in more books that are completely unrelated. Books on subjects that interest me, possibly to the point of obsession, and books that are fun. Here is my list:


The Playbook: A Story of Theater, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War by James Shapiro

You can be forgiven for assuming this is a book about current events. It is not. It recounts a part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal that did not survive like Social Security and other programs. The Works Progress Administration’s Federal Theater Project only lasted from 1935-1939, but was responsible for over 1,000 productions around the country reaching one-quarter of all Americans, two-thirds of whom had never attended a play before. Ten million people listened to their radio broadcasts every week. And then…it was shut down. I’ve been mildly obsessed with this bit of history since college, and though I just started reading it, it’s already living up to my expectations.


The Secret Life of the Savoy: Glamor and Intrigue at the World’s Most Famous Hotel by Olivia Williams  

Another obsession of mine is the Savoy Hotel in London. I have no idea how or why my interest started, though it may go back to the first time I saw a photo of Fred and Adele Astaire dancing on its rooftop. I’ve visited it several times - for afternoon tea in the Thames Foyer, drinks in the American or Beaufort Bars, a memorable lunch in the Savoy Grille. They also host a fascinating historical tour that includes stories of guests like Winston Churchill and Claude Monet. Someday I hope to be able to afford to stay there. Looking forward to learning even more about it.


Lucky by Jane Smiley

A young girl’s uncle takes her to the racetrack in 1955, where she first discovers what it’s like to be lucky. What follows is an unlikely journey from the St. Louis I remember to New York City in the 1970s and a career as a folk musician. Will rock ‘n’ roll also make her lucky in romance? Let’s find out!


A Sisterhood on Fire by Sarah Hoeynck

My sister, father, uncle and I were all taught by the Sisters of Loretto, a Roman Catholic order of nuns founded in 1812 in Kentucky. I’ve visited the motherhouse there, and it is a beautiful, serene environment, including for those of us lucky enough to soak up the history. Fellow alum Hoeynck, a teacher at our high school, tells a fictionalized account of the three women who started it all, and I can’t wait to see them brought to life.


The Other Significant Others by Raina Cohen

Loneliness and isolation plagued us during the height of COVID, and our re-entry into the world was sometimes awkward. But it was our friends who we reached out to, searching for that sense of normalcy again. What if we considered them to be our ‘significant others’? Not romantic partners, but platonic friends? What if we elevated - and acknowledged - their importance in our lives, instead of abandoning them when we find a spouse? What if living like the women in ‘Golden Girls’ was the norm, not an exception? 


If I’m a good little reader, I’ll remember to leave reviews online. I look forward to diving into all of them. 


What are you reading this summer?