James Whiteside: TOP TEN BOOKS


James Whiteside courtesy of Fabrizio Ferri

If there’s a better living definition of a Renaissance man than James Whiteside, we’d like to hear from you. In addition to his role as a principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre, James Whiteside belts out songs as his pop star alter-ego, JbDUBS, performs with his boyfriend Milk under their drag group name the Dairy Queens (he’s Ühu Betch), and has a popular podcast, The Stage Rightside with James Whiteside, which he records from his dressing room. Most recently, Whiteside could be seen dancing in the psychological thriller, The Tenant, based on the 1964 surrealist novel of the same name by Roland Topor. Next year he stars in the ABT’s premiere of Jane Eyre, playing the role of Rochester, as well as in the comic ballet, Harlequinade, choreographed by the company’s artist-in-resident Alexei Ratmansky.

Below are James Whiteside’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.



Sam Wasson
Bob Fosse is one of my favorite choreographers. This book is a dark and fascinating biography of the man who gave us Cabaret, Sweet Charity, and Chicago, among others.
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Stranger in a Strange Land

Robert A. Heinlein
This novel explores the oft confusing social mores and prejudices of humankind, all while following a Mars-born human male's first trip to earth. I found it incredibly relevant to the America that I've grown up in.
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Big Bang: the Origin of the Universe

Simon Singh
This comprehensible and comprehensive look at the mysteries of the Big Bang Theory sated my curiosity for physics.
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A Little Life

Hanya Yanagihara
This relentless peek into the lives of four friends affected me more than any book I've ever read. It's brazen honesty and relatability has me thinking about it years after I read it.
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The Name of the Wind

Patrick Rothfuss
This is perhaps the most poignant fantasy novel I've ever read. If you're a fan of fantasy, this is the series for you; a wizard's tale as poetry.
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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari
This provocative work should be required reading as it challenges everything one thinks one knows about the history and future of humanity. I was riveted, irritated, and ashamed. The author's catty tone also makes this an amusing and eye-opening read.
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Just Kids

Patti Smith
This lyrical tale of two friends in cultural heyday New York City elicits nostalgia for a time I didn't even experience firsthand. As an artist, this story speaks to me on many levels and inspires me to be honest, shameless, and creative.
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Speaker for the Dead

Orson Scott Card
This is the second installment of Card's wildly popular Ender Quintet. It is by far my favorite in the series. It challenges xenophobia in a compelling, poetic, and beautiful way.
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A Brief History of Time

Stephen Hawking
A classic in scientific writing, this work illuminates the mysteries of the universe. If you have any interest in physics, pick this up!
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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll
This book introduced me to my imagination. Its flare for the absurd and nonsensical is perfect for any age. The illustrations are iconic and inspired much of my childhood drawings.
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