We don’t know about you, but we at the Reading Group Center are all too familiar with that horrible feeling when instead of seeing “Next Episode in 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . 1” all of a sudden something new and random is about to play. Whether our favorite show has ended or is in between seasons or we just need to wait until the next episode airs in seven days that feeling of not knowing what to do next can be harrowing. What are we going to do without the characters that we feel we’ve come to know personally? How are we going to cope with not knowing what happens next? Fortunately, we find solace in our usual place: books!
We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites to help fill the void left when you run out of episodes to stream. We hope you enjoy!
If you’re obsessed with:
The Handmaid’s Tale
Check out The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
You’ve seen what happens to Elisabeth Moss in seasons two and three, but if you’ve ever wondered WWMAD (What Would Margaret Atwood Do?) your answer is finally here!
“A fast, immersive narrative that’s as propulsive as it is melodramatic.” —The New York Times
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison, or death. Margaret Atwood’s companion novel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
Check out Wow, No Thank You. by Samantha Irby
If “Pool” was your favorite episode of season one, you’re in luck! Episode writer Samantha Irby has a few books to hold you over until season two.
“Samantha Irby is my favorite living writer. Actually, I’ll throw in the dead ones too. Screw you, Herman Melville.” —Lindy West, author of Shrill
Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with “tv executives slash amateur astrologers” while being a “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,” “with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,” who still hides past due bills under her pillow.
Check out Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Did you wonder what Veronica was up to between the feature film and season four? She was solving crimes in Neptune, of course!
Ten years after graduating from high school, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing persons case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.
Also, check out the second book in the series, Veronica Mars: Mr. Kiss and Tell.
Check out Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
While you’re anxiously awaiting season six, why not indulge in series creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s fabulously off-beat collection of short stories?
Written with all the scathing dark humor that is a hallmark of BoJack Horseman, Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s stories will make you laugh, weep, and shiver in uncomfortably delicious recognition. Equally at home with the surreal and the painfully relatable (and both at once), Bob-Waksberg delivers a killer combination of humor, romance, whimsy, cultural commentary, and crushing emotional vulnerability.
The Last Czars
Check out I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
We know it’s difficult to get enough of the Romanovs, especially Anastasia!
“Engrossing. . . . Readers may already know how Anna’s story ended, but the book’s historical detail and clever structure will bewitch them into forgetting.” —People
An enthralling feat of historical suspense that unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson’s fifty-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian grand duchess or the thief of another woman’s legacy?
When They See Us
Check out The Central Park Five by Sarah Burns
If you want to go deeper into the Central Park jogger case, this is a must-read!
“Burns’s gripping tale may serve as an allegory for some of the most pressing criminal justice issues of our time.” –The New York Times Book Review
In this spellbinding account of the real facts of the Central Park jogger case, Sarah Burns powerfully reexamines this historic case and its aftermath for the first time since the young men’s convictions were overturned, telling, at last, the full story of one of New York’s most legendary crimes.
BONUS: Because the book is (in our opinion) always better than the miniseries, check out the books on which these popular streaming shows were based:
“A terrific political novel. . . . Sinister, vivid, dreamlike . . . creepily plausible.” — The New York Times Book Review
Philip Roth’s bestselling alternate history novel–the chilling story of what happens to one family when America elects a charismatic, isolationist president.
“Outstanding.” —The New York Times Book Review
The bestselling novel about a young woman’s coming-of-age, set against the glitzy, grimy backdrop of New York’s most elite restaurants.
“Bitterly funny . . . A dazzling performance.” —The New York Times
One of the funniest books ever written, Joseph Heller’s masterpiece about a bomber squadron in the Second World War’s Italian theater features a gallery of magnificently strange characters seething with comic energy.
“Remarkable.” —The New York Times
An acclaimed bestseller and international sensation, Patrick Suskind’s classic novel provokes a terrifying examination of what happens when one man’s indulgence in his greatest passion—his sense of smell—leads to murder.
“Popular science writing at its best and the year’s most infectious page-turner.”
The bestselling landmark account of the first emergence of the Ebola virus. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.
“Deeply researched . . . immaculately crafted.” —The Wall Street Journal
The bestselling, Pulitzer Prize–winning account of the history of 9/11 spanning five decades. Packed with detailed information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.