11 Books About TV To Get You Off The Couch & Into The Park This Summer
I'll be the first to admit it: whenever summertime comes around, I find myself itching for a good TV series I can watch in full in one sitting. There's just something about the longer days that make me feel like I can tackle all of the important things, with ample time to spare for a good ol' fashioned Netflix marathon. But the truth is, I'd really rather enjoy the fleeting warmth and sunlight of the summer by getting my butt off the couch and out into the world. And if you're a TV lover who wants to do less of the couch-sitting and more of the summer adventuring over the next three months, it might be time to shift the mindset from binge-watching to binge-reading. But that doesn't mean you have to give up your TV obsession completely.
The 11 books about TV below all have something to do with the small screen, whether they're memoirs by beloved television stars, fictional novels that make television a huge part of their plot, or even books that jump right off the screen of your favorite TV series. Think of this as an easy way to wean yourself off the bright lights of the little box in your living room (or, you know, your laptop screen) while still enjoying all of the dishy drama of your favorite shows.
'So Close To Be The Sh*t, Y'All Don't Even Know' by Retta
Parks & Recreation star Retta has graced our screen in various roles for over 10 years, and now she is taking her story to the page. Her personal essay collection takes us from her youth as the child of immigrants to her years as a stand-up comedian, to her big TV breaks, with hilarious anecdotes about her many relatable obsessions (i.e.: designer bags and Hamilton) along the way.
'Marriage Vacation' by Pauline Turner Brooks
You might recognize the title and author of Marriage Vacation if you're a fan of TV Land's Younger. The book, which is written by Jennifer Westfeldt's character Pauling Turner Brooks (and edited by Sutton Foster's character Liza, has been made into an IRL beach read. The plot follows Kate Carmichael, an affluent married mom who decides to embark on a solo trip when her seemingly perfect life turns out to be anything but.
'Bachelor Nation' by Amy Kaufman
Bachelor Nation goes inside the cultural phenomenon that is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette reality TV shows, which has been America's ultimate guilty pleasure for 15 years and 35 seasons. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show's inner workings.
'Snow Falling' by Jane Gloriana Villanueva
Another fiction within fiction, Snow Falling is the romance novel written by Gina Rodriguez's character on CW show, Jane the Virgin, brought to the page for fans to read IRL. The book is a sweeping historical romance set in Miami in 1902, following a steamy love triangle between heroine Josephine Galena Valencia, her detective fiance and a dreamy robber baron from her past.
'This Is Me' by Chrissy Metz
This Is Us is undeniably one of the biggest shows to hit television in the last two years, and Chrissy Metz is one of the cast's biggest breakout stars. In her first book, a mix of memoir and advice, Metz weaves together heartwrenching personal stories of her childhood and family with hilarious and uplifting takes on making it in Hollywood and making the most of your life, whoever you are.
'The Favorite Sister' by Jessica Knoll
Jessica Knoll's latest thriller, The Favorite Sister, has a sinister reality TV twist that all small screen fans will eat right up. When five hyper-successful women — fan favorite, Brett; golden girl, Kelly; author, Stephanie; comeback Queen, Lauren; and hippy Jen — agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers expect some serious drama. What they don't expect? That the season will result in murder.
'Just the Funny Parts: And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys' Club' by Nell Scovell
For more than 30 years, writer, producer and director Nell Scovell worked on iconic TV shows like Late Night with David Letterman, Murphy Brown, and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, which she created. In 2009, she gave up her behind-the-scenes status when the David Letterman sex scandal broke. Only the second woman ever to write for his show, Scovell used the moment to call out the lack of gender diversity in TV writers’ rooms. Now, Scovell is opening up with this fun, and often shocking account.
'Nice Try, Jane Sinner' by Lianne Oelke
Nice Try, Jane Sinner is a YA take on the realities of reality TV which follows Jane Sinner after she signs up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Community College students. As the show grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base to prove to the world that she has what it takes to win.
'Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television' by Joy Press
Female writers, directors, and producers have radically transformed the television industry in recent years. Shonda Rhimes, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey and many more have shaken up the entertainment landscape. But it took decades of determination in the face of preconceived ideas and outright prejudice to reach this new era. In Stealing the Show, veteran journalist Joy Press tells the story of the maverick women who broke through the barricades.
'Prince In Disguise' by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Life is real enough for Dylan — especially as the ordinary younger sister of Dusty, former Miss Mississippi and the most perfect, popular girl in Tupelo. But when Dusty wins the hand of the handsome Scottish laird-to-be Ronan on the TRC television network’s crown jewel, Prince in Disguise, Dylan has to face a different kind of reality: reality TV.
'What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw' by Leah Stewart
After a break-up with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar, newly famous actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity. As Charlie struggles with gaining fame, Josie struggles with its loss. The star of a cult TV show in her early 20's, Josie has spent years searching for a role to equal that one. Preparing for a reunion of the cast, all she wants to do is find a part and replace Charlie. But she can't forget him, and to get him back she'll need to be a hero in real life.