One of television's most beloved shows said farewell on Tuesday, as Parks and Recreation wrapped up its last episode. From the first to the final episodes, the Parks team has been nothing short of hilariously unforgettable. At the helm of the show though, was Leslie Knope. The brains and definitely the heart of the department, there was nothing she wouldn't do to help her friends or change Pawnee for the better.
Dedicated, hysterical, and unstoppable once she set her mind on something, Leslie Knope is a role model for anyone who needs one. (Not unlike Amy Poehler herself). Her enthusiasm was infectious, often inspiring those around her to share in her next plan, whether it was to throw a surprise party or run for city council — Leslie's dreams were limitless. Many of her ideas of how to be a leader, a woman, and a politician came from those she admired: her mother, Madeleine Albright, and her own friends, those beautiful tropical fish.
So, what does such an inspiring, smart woman read, you ask? I wondered the same thing. Definitely some political biographies, but as we know, she is a dedicated Harry Potter fan, too. If there's one definite, though, it's that she didn't get her books from a library. Leslie would have a bookshelf as eclectic and fun as she is, I'm sure. Here are 13 books no one would be surprised to find on her shelves, right next to her copy of Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Leslie was never short on her feminist words of wisdom, but would definitely realize that it's impossible to be the "perfect" feminist. Roxane Gay's unique mix of pop culture criticism and humor would be right up Leslie's alley.
Oh, The Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Never wanting anything but the best for her friends and her town, Leslie strove to help everyone achieve their dreams. A well loved copy of this Dr. Seuss classic surely won a place in her heart, and her shelves, because if there's anything more upbeat and inspiring than Leslie herself, it's Oh, The Places You'll Go!
The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs
If nothing else, fangirls are known for their never ending enthusiasm, something Leslie Knope knows extremely well. With her Harry Potter quotes and her bottomless excitement for everything life throws at her, she would definitely find this guide more than a little humorous.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
Leslie Knope is dedicated enough to her job for her entire team. She is the powerhouse of the Parks and Rec cell. Chances are, she would have a lot in common with Sophia Amoruso, who worked just as hard and started her own business, becoming her own #Girlboss.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
This one fits right in with Leslie's favorite mantra: Ladies celebrating ladies. Leslie would enjoy Mindy Kaling's humor and life lessons, relating to her struggle of making it in an industry largely dominated by men. Hysterical and inspiring, this would be the perfect light read for someone like Leslie.
Madam Secretary by Madeleine Albright
Leslie would surely have a copy of the book written by her idol, first female secretary of state, Madeleine Albright. It's the perfect blend of inspiring and motivating. After all, she has a photo of Albright behind her desk, so this one is pretty much a guarantee.
Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
These short stories detailing the lives of women who lived just on the cusp of fame are perfect for any woman, or anyone, really, but would be especially perfect for Leslie. She would love Bergman's attempt at bringing these often forgotten women back into the spotlight, because no one should be forgotten!
Mistakes I Made at Work, Edited by Jessica Bacal
Cheryl Strayed, Ruth Ozeki, and 23 other empowering women look back at where they went "wrong" and how it led them to their eventual successes. Leslie doesn't always get it right but like these 25 women, she refused to ever give up.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Between projects, who doesn't like to unwind and take a trip back to Hogwarts? No one can part with these childhood classics, and I'm willing to bet Leslie is no different. She does have a diploma in Potions, after all.
How to Be a Heroine: Or What I Learned From Reading Too Much by Samantha Ellis
Our favorite characters stay with us long after we close the books they belong to. Samantha Ellis looks back on the most inspiring fictional characters, and the things they taught her about life and love. Leslie loves a good inspirational story as much as the rest of us, and How to be a Heroine would fit right in on her bookshelf.
Liar, Temptress, Soldier Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
Because "girls can do anything boys can do better" is basically the story of Leslie's life, and this is a page-turning work of non-fiction that proves it. Plus, Leslie would totally be one of these women because face it, she can be a little scary.
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
The OG beautiful, tropical fish. Plus, if there is one thing Leslie loves, it's pointing out the best in people. She brings it out of her friends, her co-workers, and herself. Basically, everything Leslie Knope knows, she learned from The Rainbow Fish as a kid. (Didn't we all?)
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
Let's be real for a minute: Leslie is never not making trouble of some kind. From filling in the pit with cement to offering up the jobs of her coworkers to fund the Harvest Fest, the shenanigans of Pawnee, Indiana are plentiful. Kelly Link's collection of stories is as fun and unique as Leslie herself!