Advertisement
  1. Books

Here's what 'Frozen' and Broadway star Idina Menzel is reading these days

Idina Menzel
Published May 18, 2017

Nightstand

Idina Menzel

Menzel is known to some as the green-skinned Elphaba from Wicked. Other fans go farther back and think of her as Maureen from Rent, while her youngest fans recognize her as the voice of magical Elsa in the Disney movie Frozen. When we caught up with the Tony-winning performer by phone recently, she told us she's bringing it all when she makes her return stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 25. (Her last visit was in 2015.) "I always find it challenging to create new shows,'' she said. "I want to strike a balance, so it runs the gamut. There's going to be emotional songs and some real pop and rock stuff too. Oh, and I play the drums at times, too,'' she said. Menzel, whose solo albums include Still I Can't Be Still, Here, I Stand, and idina, is also the co-founder of A BroaderWay Foundation, focused on girls in underserved communities as an outlet for self-expression and creativity through arts-centered programs.

What's on your nightstand?

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I'm about 200 pages in. It's a beautiful book. It's heartbreaking, but I'm loving it. My next book will be Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I know the author was one of Obama's favorites, so I wanted to read it.

You have a number of young fans, middle and high schoolers. What books or writers would you recommend for them?

I would say read what they love and what moves them. Maybe that would be an autobiography, maybe a great woman who inspires you. One like that for me is Joni Mitchell. I have a book with all her lyrics. It's a collection of beautiful poetry. So, it should be what makes you happy, and it's about having fun. When I look back, growing up, reading felt like a chore for a long time. It shouldn't be. It's about what moves you and what interests you. Also, look at different things because you still are not sure who you are. It's all about the process. Find books that help you find your own voice.

Contact Piper Castillo at pcastillo@tampabay.com. Follow @Florida_PBJC.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A Zombie Bride is one of the characters found in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream, which opens for its 20th year on Friday.
    Free Museum Day is coming, Howl-O-Scream opens at Busch Gardens, Billy Ray Cyrus plays for the Bucs Beach Bash and Tho Who will be at Amalie Arena.
  2. Pinellas County resident and bestselling author Lisa Unger will launch her new book, "The Stranger Inside," on Tuesday. Courtesy of Jay Nolan
    Dark events threaten a new mother’s happiness in the author’s 17th psychological thriller.
  3. Iris Martin Cohen Michael Assous
    The author of ‘The Little Clan’ drew on her New York experiences for the novel.
  4. Margaret Atwood's new novel "The Testaments" is a sequel to her powerful and prescient "The Handmaid's Tale." Liam Sharp
    Fanfare and faux pas surround the publication of the sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But really, it’s all about the book.
  5. Pinellas County resident and bestselling author Lisa Unger. Courtesy of Jay Nolan
    Plus, Tampa’s Sulphur Springs Museum will host Raymond Arsenault for a discussion about ‘Arthur Ashe: A Life.’
  6. R.H. Herron is the author of "Stolen Things." TAWNIE ASHLEY  |
    The “Stolen Things” author is reading Trevor Noah’s memoir “Born a Crime.”
  7. Marci Moore is the author of "Love Letters From Your Life." Courtesy of Marci Moore
    The local author of ‘Love Letters From Your Life’ also recommends Melinda Gates’ ‘Moment of Lift.’
  8. Humorist Dave Barry's new book, "Lessons From Lucy." is about what he's learned from his dog. Jeffrey Salter
    It’s a power-packed lineup for the area’s signature book event.
  9. Margaret Atwood will publish "The Testaments," her sequel to "The Handmaid's Tale," on Tuesday. DARREN CALABRESE  |  Associated Press
    Volunteers and vendors can also apply for the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading.
  10. Some of Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders at the Henry B. Plant's Tampa Bay Hotel (now the University of Tampa) where they were staying before embarking to Cuba and history, 1898. FLORIDA MEMORY PROECT
    Clay Risen’s engaging, detailed history makes a stop in Tampa in its account of a pivotal battle in Cuba.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement