What You Should Read Based on Your Netflix History
A digital detox with a strong plotline
You’ve bingewatched a Netflix series for basically 48 hours straight, and you’re feeling a mix of regret that it’s over and regret that you basically just watched TV for two days straight. We’ve all been there. One way to remedy these feelings of intellectual laziness is to read a book. Specifically, a book similar in tone and subject to whatever you’ve been queuing up.
If you watch “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
You should read: The Nanny Diaries
You know Jane Krakowski’s entitled and wonderfully hateable character? Those are the types of women the authors worked for before writing this funny book based on their experiences.
If you watch “Breaking Bad”
You should read: No Country for Old Men
It’s hard to compete with the addictive nature of Walter White’s incredible story, but Cormac McCarthy’s 2005 novel about drug dealing in Texas’s backcountry comes pretty darn close (and also spawned a terrific movie adaptation of its own).
If you watch “Arrested Development”
You should read: Me Talk Pretty One Day
If anyone can rival the Bluth family in terms of general absurdity and hilarity, it’s David Sedaris. Really any of his excellent essay collections would do here, but we’re partial to Me Talk Pretty One Day because we can very clearly picture the supremely awkward George Michael Bluth in some of the uncomfortable school-age predicaments.
If you watch “How to Get Away with Murder”
You should read: The Dinner
A crime, a cover-up and too many twists to count. Herman Koch’s 2013 best seller is a must-read for devotees of Annalise Keating and her questionable judgment in life or death situations.
If you watch “How I Met Your Mother”
You should read: The Group
Sure the protagonists in Mary McCarthy’s excellent 1963 novel are all women, but the overarching themes of friendship and New York City render Barney’s presence unnecessary.
If you watch “The X-Files”
You should read: The Bone Clocks
When a scary book gets praised by Stephen King, you know it’s gotta be pretty damn terrifying. David Mitchell’s 2014 novel doesn’t disappoint. Intense, creepy and scientifically improbable (we hope), The Bone Clocks, about a young runaway who hears voices from "radio people," is a no-brainer for fans of the cult-favorite sci-fi series.
If you watch “Black Mirror”
You should read: Brave New World
Speaking of creepy, we’re going to be honest: We couldn’t make it all the way through Black Mirror, but we definitely made it through Aldous Huxley’s dystopian masterpiece--albeit with chattering teeth. Think sleep-learning and mind control--not exactly a beach read.
If you watch “Bojack Horseman”
You should read: Invisible Monsters
It’s much creepier than BoJack, but Chuck Palahniuk’s novel delves into very serious issues like addiction and depression using absurd situations and characters. Oh, and if you’ve resisted watching a series about an anthropomorphic horse, consider this a friendly reminder that you’re doing yourself a serious disservice--it is wonderful.
If you watch “Narcos”
You should read: The Sound of Things Falling
Juan Gabriel Vásquez's 2011 novel is a little lighter on the gun-wielding action and much heavier on the psychological implications of the drug industry in Colombia. But both are compelling and badass.
If you watch “Mad Men”
You should read: Sex and the Single Girl
Legendary Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown's advice on everything from how to dress to how to have an affair would certainly have had a spot on Joan Holloway’s bookshelf. (Though her advice on "having it all" is pretty embarrassingly outdated.)
If you watch “Orange is the New Black”
You should read: Orange Is the New Black
This would be kind of cheating if the book weren't so different than the TV show. Both are fascinating, but for a more real idea of what it's like to be an incarcerated woman, pick up Piper Kerman's 2011 memoir and thank your lucky stars you're not in jail right now.