Summer ending can be a sad prospect for many of us, and not just because we didn't quite tackle our summer TBRs. For me, I know that while autumn is by far my favorite season, winter is not far behind. And while I'm all for hunkering down with tons of books and few Netflix series to binge, the constant darkness and MTA debilitating snow days are not exactly things I look forward to. But, there is one really good thing about summer coming to a close — and that's TV. Because come September, all of our favorite fall TV shows are set to return to screens.
The prospect of finally finding out how Jack Pearson died and seeing who Mindy Lahiri will end up with makes giving up long days of sunshine and dips in the pool just a little bit easier. But if you just can't wait another month for your favorite shows to come back, why not pick up a book instead? The recommendations below all correspond to a popular returning fall show and they'll give you the same feels, chills and general obsession-worthy moments as any primetime series. There's not better time to sneak in another couple of books to your TBR before you're spending your time on the couch catching up with your favorite characters.
If You Can't Wait For 'This Is Us' Read 'Everything I Never Told You' by Celeste Ng
What It's About: Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. So begins this novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
Why You'll Like It: Though there is a lot less familial warmth here than in This Is Us, you'll enjoy reading about each family member's internal life and the show they put on for one another, as well as the secrets they keep. Discussions of race, the bond between parents and children and husbands and wives will also appeal to you. And if you're looking for even more suggestions, here are 11 Books For This Is Us fans.
If You Can't Wait For 'Black-Ish' Read 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas
What It's About: 16-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. . What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
Why You'll Like It: Both Black-ish and The Hate U Give are excellent at combining the harsh realities of being black in modern day America with the undeniably hilarious and heartwarming moments of a family who love each other. You'll laugh and cry and fall in love with Starr's family as much as you have the Andersons.
If You Can't Wait For 'Scandal' Read 'The Hopefuls' by Jennifer Close
What It's About: When Beth arrives in Washington, D.C., she hates everything about it. At dinner parties, guests compare their security clearance levels. They leave their BlackBerrys on the table. They speak in acronyms. And once they realize Beth doesn't work in politics, they smile blandly and turn away. Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable. But as Jimmy's star rises higher and higher, their friendship, and Beth's relationship with Matt, is threatened by jealousy, competition and rumors.
Why You'll Like It: Though you'd be hard-pressed to find a more badass D.C broad than Olivia Pope, Scandal fans will still enjoy reading about this behind-the-scenes reality of the political scene in Washington, and how it affects lives, friendships and relationships.
If You Can't Wait For 'Superstore' Read 'Then We Came To The End' by Joshua Ferris
What It's About: The characters in Then We Came To The End cope with a business downturn in the time-honored way: through gossip, secret romance, elaborate pranks, and increasingly frequent coffee breaks. By day they compete for the best office furniture left behind and try to make sense of the mysterious pro-bono ad campaign that is their only remaining "work."
Why You'll Like It: Though favorably compared to The Office in days of yore, fans of Superstore will still love to read about the hilarious hijinks, personal dramas and work related apathy that Ferris's characters endure here.
If You Can't Wait For 'Supernatural' Read 'Meddling Kids' by Edgar Cantero
What It's About: It's 1990 and the teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club are all grown up and haven't seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius, is bartending in New York. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last 13 years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter's been dead for years. The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.
Why You'll Like It: While this is obviously an ode to Scooby Doo, Supernatural fans will love the idea of a group of mystery hunters coming back together after leaving the business, and grappling with the realities of both.
If You Can't Wait For 'The Mindy Project' Read 'One Day We'll All Be Dead And None Of This Will Matter' by Scaachi Koul
What It's About: Koul deploys her razor-sharp humor to share her fears, outrages, and mortifying experiences growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding. Alongside these are observations about life as a woman of color, where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, and ethnic stereotypes.
Why You'll Like It: Hilarious and moving stories about surviving and thriving as an Indian woman in a culture that is at every turn both perplexing and violent, enthralling and exciting? I feel like Scaachi and Mindy would have a lot to talk about.
If You Can't Wait For 'Broad City' Read 'All the Lives I Want: Essays about My Best Friends Who Happen to Be Famous Strangers' by Alana Massey
What It's About: Massey examines the lives of the women who reflect our greatest aspirations and darkest fears back onto us. A cultural critique and a finely wrought fan letter, interwoven with stories that are achingly personal, All The Lives I Want is also an exploration of mental illness, the sex industry, and the dangers of loving too hard. But it is, above all, a paean to Amber Rose, Lil' Kim, Lana Del Rey, Anna Nicole Smith and many more. These reflections aim to reimagine these women's legacies, and in the process, teach us new ways of forgiving ourselves.
Why You'll Like It: Massey's heartfelt and witty humor, paired with a relatable celeb obsession is about as on par with Ilana and Abby as you're going to get. If you can't imagine Ilana reading this one on the subway and mouthing "Yas Queen" at her favorite essays, well, you're wrong.
If You Can't Wait For 'Fresh Off The Boat' Read 'Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir' by Eddie Huang
What It's About: Eddie Huang grew up on a cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family “fresh off the boat" hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father launched a series of successful restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way. His anchor through it all was food—from making Southern ribs with the Haitian cooks in his dad’s restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother’s kitchen. After misadventures as a lawyer and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved into his own restaurant.
Why You'll Like It: If you didn't know your favorite comedy was based on a memoir, you've been missing out. The book version has just as much humor and heart as you've come to expect from the TV show.
If You Can't Wait For 'Once Upon A Time' Read 'Princesses Behaving Badly' by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie
What It's About: You think you know her story. You’ve read the Brothers Grimm, you’ve watched the Disney cartoons, you cheered as these virtuous women lived happily ever after. But the lives of real princesses couldn’t be more different. Sure, many were graceful and benevolent leaders—but just as many were ruthless in their quest for power, and all of them had skeletons rattling in their royal closets. Princesses Behaving Badly offers minibiographies of all these princesses and dozens more.
Why You'll Like It: One of the best aspects of Once Upon A Time are all of the badass broads who make up the cast of characters, whether they're modern women, fairytale princesses we all know and love or villains we all love to hate. Consider Princesses Behaving Badly your chance to learn about all of those women, but this time IRL.
If You Can't Wait For 'Riverdale' Read 'Little Monsters' by Kara Thomas
What It's About: Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. And everyone is so nice — she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them. Which is why it’s so odd when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year. But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers. Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.
Why You'll Like It: A town that looks picture perfect on the outside, but which hides an eerie dark underbelly, paired with an edge-of-your-seat mystery. What more can you ask for?
If You Can't Wait For 'Jane, The Virgin' Read 'The Inconceivable Life of Quinn' by Marianna Baer
What It's About: Quinn Cutler is 16 and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones.
Why You'll Like It: Though it takes a far more magical realism take of the virgin pregnancy than Jane, The Virgin, it's perhaps a more dystopian view at what would happen to a pregnant teen virgin with a high profile father and the attention of real world religious fanatics.