A Stripped-Down Summer Book List

Michelle Carr

Michelle Carr hide caption

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Continuing our series on summer books, we checked in with Michelle Carr, the founder, director and producer of the Velvet Hammer Burlesque in Los Angeles.

Carr grew up Catholic and has two books on her list that center on the life of Jesus Christ. She's currently reading The Gospel in Brief, by Leo Tolstoy, an interpretation of Christ's life. The Da Vinci Code is on Carr's reading wish list. She's interested in exploring Brown's fictionalized take on the Holy Grail and Christ's relationship with Mary Magdalene.

Birth of The Cool: Beat, Bebop, and the American Avant Garde, by Lewis MacAdams, and The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene are two of Carr's top reads. She also likes the quirky depictions of family life that comprise such David Sedaris collections as Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

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For those interested in learning more about burlesque, she highly recommends Horrible Prettiness: Burlesque and American Culture, by Robert C. Allen. If readers can get past Allen's dense academic prose, Carr says they'll find a riveting story about an overlooked part of American history.

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