If we’re being honest with ourselves, we probably all spend too much time binge-watching shows on Netflix. I know, I know. It’s hard to hear. Give yourself a break from the excessive screen-time with these book recommendations that will be just as entertaining as your favorite shows.
If you like Stranger Things, you should read It by Stephen King
If you just finished Stranger Things in one day (who didn’t?), then you’re probably looking for something similarly creepy. Stephen King’s horror classic is exactly that, and more. It will undoubtedly keep you up all night. Actually, be sure to read this during the day. With all the lights on.
If you like Orange is the New Black, you should read A World Apart: Women, Prison, and Life Behind Bars by Cristina Rathbone
Rathbone’s unprecedented investigation into a women’s prison reads like a tour through a real-life Litchfield. Expect plenty of heartbreaking, enraging, and emotional stories about women in the criminal justice system, many of whom have suffered unthinkable horror and abuse.
If you like Gilmore Girls, you should read Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham:
Looking for a way to pass the time while you’re anxiously awaiting the long-awaited and much-anticipated Gilmore Girls revival? Look no further than a novel by Lorelai Gilmore, I mean, Lauren Graham herself! Graham’s debut novel is about a young woman figuring out love and life. Oh, and it’s set on the east coast. You can thank me later.
If you like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, you should read Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill
Although not as light-hearted and comedic as Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Jenna Miscavige Hill’s harrowing recollection about her escape from Scientology and her life after is just as inspiring as the hit Netflix show. You’ll cheer when Jenna stands up to the Church of Scientology just as much as you did when Kimmy stood up to Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, guaranteed.
If you like The Office, you should read Company by Max Barry
Workplace comedies might seem boring, but Max Barry's Company is really funny in the most relatable way. Just like The Office, it will make you laugh at the crazy things that happen at work. Plus, it might just leave you feeling thankful that you work where you do.
If you like Friday Night Lights, you should read Big and Bright by Gary Levy
Friday night football is a phenomenon unlike anything else in Texas. The author of Big and Bright, a high school football coach himself, attempts to figure out just why football is such a giant source of community and pride in the lone star state. I guess you could call it an investigation under the Friday night lights (I’m sorry).
If you like Grey’s Anatomy, you should read Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan
If you like Grey’s Anatomy, you most likely love stories with lots of dramatic and sometimes frustrating twists. This book, although not set in the medical world, will make you feel extremely emotional and ridiculously attached to the characters. And, of course, there’s an ending twist just as emotional as Grey’s notoriously tragic drama.
If you like Scandal, you should read Madam President: A Novel by Nicolle Wallace
If we've learned anything from Olivia Pope, it's that women rule the world, okay? Similar to Scandal, Wallace’s political drama surrounds three women at the top of the US government (including a President) attempting to balance their personal lives while dealing with major attacks against the U.S. You know, just your average day.
If you like American Horror Story, you should read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The first season of Ryan Murphy’s hit anthology series American Horror Story was set in a house with a history of immense amounts of tragedy and, obviously, horror. Similarly, Flynn’s Dark Places surrounds a woman who’s haunted by the tragic events that occurred at her childhood home and who seeks to overcome her troubled past. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Gillian Flynn without a brilliantly frustrating reveal at the end.
If you like Making a Murderer, you should read Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial by Rabia Chaudry
Both of these works are captivating investigative pieces attempting to find truth in tragic crimes. Not quite whodunits, but more like didhedoits. We might not ever know, but we sure do like to attempt to figure it out. P.S. - Serial, mentioned in the book title, is the mega-hit true-crime podcast which covered Adnan’s case in its first season. If you haven’t listened yet, check it out here.
Cover Image by Jodeci Zimmerman
Images via Netflix, Amazon, ABC, FX
Ting Ting Chen