Top Ten Books to Read if you like Black Swan

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Readalikes: Books if you like a certain tv/show/movie/play/comic, etc. I seem to have acquired a few books that center on the ballet recently, and think if you like films about the ballet, such as Black Swan, these ballet themed books may appeal to you.

Black Swan movie still
Natalie Portman in Black Swan


About Black Swan: A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan. (IMDB)

Black Swan is a psychological thriller type, but if you hunger for more books set in the ballet world maybe one of these books will strike your fancy.

Top 10 Books to Read if you like Black Swan:

1. Bunheads by Sophie Flack – A nineteen-year-old juggles the demands of ballet, life and romance, and has to decide if being a bunhead is what she truly wants.


2. Pointe by Brandy Colbert  -A recent release that features a lot of big issues in the narrative including: ballet, eating disorders, and a kidnapping. The author has a dance background to draw upon so she knows her stuff.


3. Various Positions by Martha Schabas  – This book is about a fourteen-year-old dancer who becomes obsessed with her teacher.


4. Dance of Shadows by Yelena BlackDance of Shadows is about the ballet world and also has a paranormal twist.


5. The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan -This book is about two sisters and takes place in Belle Époque Paris. This story was inspired by Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and follows the dancer Marie, a student at the Paris Opera Ballet. 


6. The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey -Kate Crane is a dancer in the NYC Ballet Company, where until recently her sister also danced. This book examines the sister bond and the competitive world of dance.


7. Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead – This recent release also looks at the NYC Ballet world, and the scars the ballet world leaves over generations.


8. Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe -This verse novel follows a young girl pursuing her dream as she battles jealousy, eating disorders, and balancing dance, school and romance.


9. dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman – A young dancer gets some unwanted attention when a video of her dancing at a party goes viral.


10. A Company of Swans  by Eva Ibbotson – Historical fiction about a nineteen-year-old girl who escapes her family and the fiancé she doesn’t want to join the ballet.


What are your favorite books or movies about the ballet?


11 thoughts on “Top Ten Books to Read if you like Black Swan

  1. Great choice for a topic. I think Dance of Shadows looks interesting. I have actually never read a book about the ballet so I think it would be a neat change to what I normally read.

    Top Ten Tuesday- Clue!

  2. Candice says:

    So unique! I haven’t read any ballet books but they always sound so interesting to me. Like it’s this secret world I know nothing of… that’s kind of how I felt watching Black Swan (minus all the weird stuff). I’ll have to check some of these books out!

  3. I just read Pointe yesterday and really enjoyed it. There was an awful lot going on in the story, but all the threads blended together pretty well. (And the dance scenes were descriptive and beautiful without excluding those of us readers who haven’t donned a tutu since we were eight.) I’ve heard good things about Astonish Me, too.

    My favorite dance book when I was a kid was Ribbons by Laurence Yep. I remember it was one of the first realistic books to ever make me cry, just because of all the emotional involvement the young character pours into her dancing.

  4. she says:

    I’m a HUGE dance lover. I’m currently reading “The Ballerina.” I’ve bookmarked this!

  5. I think I’ve truly only dabbled in on-screen ballet/dance shows/movies more than the literary side (not even sure if i’d actually read much into dance novels) but great direction for the topic considering Black Swan is such a stellar movie!

    joey via. thoughts and afterthoughts

  6. Caitie F says:

    This is a great topic choice! I have to check out most of these books. I was never a dancers but I always found it so fascinating to have to be so dedicated at such a young age. I have always been drawn to those stories.

  7. I LOVE Ballet, and my favorite ballet is Swan Lake. I did find Black Swan a little weird though, so it’s not my favorite movie ever. But you know what? As much as I love ballet, I’ve never read a ballet book. I seriously need to.

  8. I love our list 🙂 And so many gorgeous, beautiful covers!

  9. Tara says:

    I LOVE THE BLACK SWAN AND WANT TO READ ALL OF THESE BOOKS! Thank you for making this list!

  10. I had not heard of a lot of those but I am excited, I am a sucker for ballet movies and just got Pointe. So I will have to check out some of these.

  11. I LOVED Bunheads and Pointe and The Painted Girls are on my list! Thank you for even more awesome ballet novel suggestions! I LUV ballet, doing it and reading about it! Cannot wait to read the all! xo

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