During the past few years, the number of books I’ve read has dwindled, while the amount of shows I’ve binge-watched has skyrocketed. It’s a lot easier to be drawn to the remote, but books are an equal, if not better, source of entertainment. They carry the same appeal but hold so much more content than the screen could ever portray. Plus, reading provides you with the opportunity to visualize characters yourself. Sure, you’re given a basic description of what they look like, but it allows far more interpretation than being fed an actor or actress some casting director deemed fit for the role.
That all being said, sometimes it can be difficult to choose a book that will capture your attention. By looking at your taste in television shows, you can get a better picture of what kind of book you’d like to read. So here are some of my recommendations to you.
If you love all the drama that comes with “The Bachelor,” there’s no doubt you’ll love “The Selection” series by Kiera Cass. The show isn’t really up my alley, but even I can admit there is something entertaining about a group of women battling over one guy. It’s very reminiscent of “The Hunger Games”; though there is less physical gore, there is certainly plenty of emotional warfare at play.
“The Selection” features a face-off between a bunch of ruthless girls, not only seeking their way to a man’s heart, but vying for the crown. Every girl has dreamt of being a princess, right? America Singer, one of the 35 contestants, finds herself warring between a future with her forbidden love of a lower caste or a future with the prince. Either way, a life of luxury does not come so easily, as the palace is riddled with attacks, making this series essentially a dystopian version of “The Bachelor.”
“The Great British Baking Show”
If you’re into competitions more friendly in nature and are a fan of “The Great British Baking Show,” you might just find your mouth watering at the descriptions of Cath’s culinary creations in “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer. Though this book is a lot more fantastical than “The Great British Baking Show.” It features a character whose one goal in life is to open a bakery in Wonderland. Cath is constantly whipping up delectable treats, whether it be pumpkin cake, delicate rose macarons or lemon tarts made from a magical tree. The story even includes a baking competition, where the King of Hearts, rather than Paul Hollywood, judges the treats.
Many people got swept up into “Outer Banks” at the start of quarantine, and I can’t blame them. The setting had such a unique vibe, and if you enjoyed it, chances are you’ll love “The Rest of the Story” by Sarah Dessen. I usually prod fun at the cheesy nature of Dessen’s stories, but this one makes me feel nostalgic for an experience I never actually had: summer at the lake. This contemporary novel takes place in a town where the lake is its most notable feature. The protagonist, Emma Saylor, is on the hunt for who her late mother really was, similar to John B’s quest to find out what happened to his father. There is also the interesting dynamic of a town divided by tourism, with half of the lake being home to rich tourists, while the other half live there year-round, working diligently just to make ends meet. This dynamic reminded me a lot of the tension between Pogues and Kooks in “The Outer Banks.”
This show is basically a modern-day version of my favorite piece of required reading, “Lord of the Flies.” Following a group of young schoolboys stranded on an island without any adult supervision whatsoever, they quickly become their own worst enemies, unable to work together towards a solution. The Society takes a similar turn, with high schoolers scavenging for signs of life, hoarding food and even poisoning one another as power dynamics shift.
Let’s be real, if you liked this show, you’d probably enjoy most psychological thrillers out there today. But a solid book to start with is “The Girl on the Train,” which follows a woman who becomes obsessed with a couple whom she sees on her daily commute to work. She becomes preoccupied envisioning what their lives are like, and when tragedy strikes, finds herself thrust into their actual story.
I don’t know many people who watch “Mindhunter,” but it’s seriously amazing. It follows the creation and cultivation of the term “serial-killer,” with an investigative duo visiting and studying several convicted criminals who could potentially fall under this category. At one point, they actually visit Charles Mansfield, who is a huge part of the book “The Girls” by Emma Cline. The novel does an incredible job delving into the fascinating mindset of the members of his cult, depicting just how willing they were to go to unthinkable extremes.
“Say Yes to the Dress”
If you love this show, along with other TLC offerings, you’ll definitely love the family dynamic present in “Save the Date” by Morgan Matson. This book is filled with everything you could possibly imagine relating to the stress of wedding planning, from dealing with a big family and conflicting personalities to crushing on the wedding planner’s nephew. Just like in all of Matson’s books, the characters are extremely lovable and will definitely fuel your love of all things wedding.