The oncoming winter season is the perfect time to stay bundled up inside, lounging on the couch, catching up on your favorite TV shows — if only they weren't all on their midseason breaks. While the twisty heroines of Shondaland, the blood-soaked survivors of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and the masked crusaders of Star City and Central City take a well-deserved break, what are you, the devoted fan, supposed to do? You could rewatch old episodes, scour the Internet for spoilers, or you could try reading while your favorite shows are on a winter hiatus.
If you're worried you'll miss out on the drama, the action, the romance, and the hilarity that your weekly TV lineup offers you, please, don't resort to starting an old series over again. Joey picks Pacey, Ted's wife is dead, and *gasp* Rachel and Ross end up together. Come on, fellow TV-lovers, you know all those stories by heart, and it is time to try new ones — at least your shows come back on. It's probably about time you gave your monitors a break anyways, so dig out that library card, because it's time to hit the stacks.
Here are 7 books to help get you through your midseason blues. Don't worry, books are just like TV in your head.
1. Scandal, Grey's Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder: Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Because Olivia, Meredith, and Annalise won't be returning until February 11, you'll have to get your Shonda Rhimes fix another way. Her recent book about a year of saying yes to everything is insightful, powerful, and full of great quotes — just like her TV shows.
2. The Walking Dead: Zone One by Colson Whitehead
It's been a rough and questionable season for Rick and the gang, but we won't have any more answers until February 14 when The Walking Dead returns. Until then, visit another world of the living and the living dead in Zone One, Colson Whitehead's post-apocalyptic zombie novel.
3. Once Upon a Time: Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are spectacular at altering classic fairy tales and giving them creative new twists in ABC's Once Upon a Time, and if that's your thing, you have to get your hands on Mirror Mirror while the show takes a break until March 6. In the novel, Gregory Maguire (who has also retold the story of the Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked and the tale of Cinderella in Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister) gives the Snow White fable a makeover that mixes fantasy, fairy tales, and history into one magical read.
4. Castle: Heat Wave by Richard Castle
If you miss the TV version of Richard Castle, the obvious next best thing is his books. OK, so Nathan Fillion didn't actually write these novels, but they were created as a TV series tie-in, and despite their gimmicky feel, they're actually pretty great books. Filled with the same wit, mystery, and action that the show has, if you're a die-hard fan, Heat Wave and and the Nikki Heat series is worth checking out. At least, until you can see Castle brought to life on screen in January.
5. Gotham: The Whites by Richard Price (writing as Harry Brandt)
There is a lot to digest from Gotham's midseason finale while we wait for it's return February 29, but if you want to distract yourself from analyzing Jim Gordon's decisions in the final moments of the show, then The Whites is a great way to do it. A troubled cop with a dark past, unsolved crimes, and a city at war with criminal activity come together in this quick-paced crime novel that will delight anyone interested in the Gotham City Police Department.
6. Nashville: And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You by Kathi Kamen Goldmark
From the music to the drama to the romances, there are so many reasons to love Nashville, and each one of them is also a reason to love Kathi Kamen Goldmark's novel. A charming, hilarious, and heartfelt story about family, love, and, of course, music, And My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You will give you plenty of star power and even more great tunes until you can watch Rayna and Juliette grace the stage again on March 16.
7. Any Superhero Show: The Reckoners Series by Brandon Sanderson
From Marvel to DC Comics, from Netflix to the CW, super hero shows are taking over TV — not that it's a bad thing, it's just with so much action and adventure delivered to your home weekly, what will you do without Arrow, The Flash, Agents of SHIELD, and all the rest while they're on a midseason hiatus? For your fill of super powers and questionable morals, try Brandon Sanderson's YA series, The Reckoners. Set in a world where those with super-human powers chose to use their abilities for evil, a young boy seeks revenge for his father's and ends up becoming a hero along the way. The first two books in the series, Steelheart and Firefight, are already out, and the third installment, Calamity, is due out February 16, which is still before SHIELD returns in March.