The Women Writers Of 'Younger' Reveal What They're Reading Behind-The-Scenes Of The Show

TV Land

If you've seen an episode of TV Land's Younger, you already know the deal: an almost-middle-aged woman, Liza (Sutton Foster), pretends to be in a 20-something in order to secure a job at Empirical Press with editor Kelsey (Hillary Duff), head of marketing Diana Trout (Miriam Shor), and publisher Charles Brooks (Peter Hermann). She also gets romantically involved with her boss and a much-younger tattoo artist (poet/actor/dreamboat Nico Tortorella), and basically re-lives her entire youth in spectacular fashion — except that she's divorced and has a daughter and an entire secret life she's hiding from basically everyone. It's a whole mess that leads to a lot of drama and shenanigans (and, in the process, makes an important point about a woman's "worth" in the workplace past a certain age.)

A TV sitcom set in a publishing company is basically a dream-come-true for book-lovers, and Younger has consistently lived up to its promise that it's a show for avid readers. Authors play a prominent role in the story, one of the books published by the fake Empirical Press was published IRL by the very real Simon & Schuster, and, as it turns out, the people behind the scenes of the show are big readers, too.

I wanted to know what the writers of the show are actually reading, so I asked Younger's EP and writer Dottie Zicklin and co-EP and writer Alison Brown for their summer book recommendations. Here's what they said:

Alison Brown recommends 'Brain On Fire' by Susannah Cahalan

"[Brain On Fire by Susannah Cahalan] is a scary, well-written account of how illness can completely alter your reality," Brown tells Bustle. "If you love a medical mystery, which I do, this is a fantastic read."

Dottie Zicklin recommends 'Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life' by William Finnegan and 'All Of It Is You' by Nico Tortorella

"This summer I’m finally reading Pulitzer Prize winning Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan," Zicklin tells Bustle. "Finnegan describes surfing as the 'true north of irresponsibility' and writing, at least professionally with deadlines, is its polar opposite. Maybe this ballast is what allows Finnegan to create a memoir that’s thrilling and swashbuckling while delicately plumbing themes like impermanence, loss, and the fundamental sadness of the passage of time. Finnegan takes you from his youth in the 1960’s in Hawaii and California through life-threatening adventures in Fiji, apartheid South Africa, Portugal, finally landing in Manhattan where he staffs for the New Yorker, surfs icy winter waves, and forays to report from war zones like El Salvador and Sudan. Even if you don’t think you care about surfing, you will after reading this. It’s the pulse of a spectacularly interesting life.

She adds: "If you like poetry, you need to check out Nico Tortorella’s All of It Is You. I dip into it again and again, emerging refreshed and nourished."