What she reads during a summer TV drought

tv drought

We’re all for summer reading by the pool and passing travel time with the latest and greatest reads, but sometimes all you want to do is kick back and watch your favorite TV show. If you’re currently struggling to make it through the summer TV drought season, these books will satisfy your craving for some of your favorite shows.

The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

If you love Sherlock, read The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Daniel Hawthorne, an eccentric and brilliant ex-detective, gets called in to investigate a case: a woman gets strangled six hours after planning her own funeral. Did she plan her own death too? Meanwhile, Hawthorne believes he would make a great character in a book, so he hires a ghostwriter to document his life. Yep, Anthony Horowitz himself. The two are reminiscent of Watson and Holmes as one minute they are having fun and the next they are at each other’s throats. Not only is it a good old-fashioned mystery, it’s a masterfully written meta-mystery. This book is recommended for readers who love BBC’s Sherlock as much as I do.


If you love Sex and the City, read Sex and the City and Us by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

This might be a little “captain obvious” but if you’re like me and can watch endless reruns of Sex and the City, you’ll want to check out this book. It’s an interesting, behind-the-scenes look at an iconic show and how it influenced future television. There are anecdotes and interviews from the cast, crew and writing staff with a stellar introduction that dives right in. It’s a great summer read for any fan who wants to revisit their favorite NYC fashion-forward girlfriends, maybe while sitting by the pool, sipping on a cosmopolitan.


The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen

If you love The Affair, read The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen

This is perfect for fans of Showtime’s The Affair. Frank and Josie appear to have it all. Living in Chicago, they are happily married with two kids, until one day Josie sees something on Frank’s phone. First, it’s just emails, then it was just a kiss, but it doesn’t stop there. Not only does this book perfectly capture what it feels like when one spouse is having an affair, but it is a hardcore look at a very realistic marriage. Josie’s character is very relatable and you’ll find yourself wondering if you know a Josie or Frank. If you’re looking for raw emotion like you find on The Affair, you’ll want to give this a read.


If you love Black Mirror, read Mother of Invention by Caeli Wolfson Widger

What if pregnancy lasted nine weeks instead of nine months? Doesn’t this sound exactly like an episode of Black Mirror?! I’m impatiently waiting for the next season to show up on Netflix, but until then this book sounds cracking good! Silicon Valley executive Tessa Callahan is passionate about the use of technological advances to better the lives of women. Her company has developed The Seahorse Solution, a safe procedure used to speed up pregnancy. Three women participate in the trial run and Tessa is their confidante. But Tessa may not like what she uncovers.


If you love The Americans, read Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

I wholeheartedly loved The Americans so I was heartbroken when it came to an end. However, Need to Know looks like the perfect way to rebound. Vivian and Matt are the picture-perfect American couple. Vivian has a desk job at the CIA while Matt works in IT with the flexibility to pick up the kids after school. Vivian’s team is working to uncover Russian sleeper cell agents where, lo and behold, one day Matt’s face turns up. What does Vivian do? Keep her family together? Betray her country? This is a fast-paced spy novel full of suspense, but also has a domestic thriller slant which makes it a must-read for a wider audience.


If you love 13 Reasons Why, read Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasglow

Seventeen-year-old artist Charlotte Davis has suffered through tremendous pain and loss. After taking to self-harm and ultimately attempting suicide leading to hospitalization, she takes a trip to Arizona to meet up with an old friend and crush, Michael. But Michael views her as only a friend so she ends up in a destructive relationship with a junkie musician. Charlotte’s story is written in short diary-like chapters, chronicling her journey and how she wears her pain on her body. This book so reminds me of 13 Reasons Why, not just because of the similar leads but because it tackles so many relevant topics.


If you love Jessica Jones, read Bone Music by Christopher Rice

This is one of the more unique thrillers I’ve ever read, and even though there’s a tiny bit of science fiction involved, don’t let that deter you – it’s 450 pages of pure joy and unputdownable thrills. Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life with two serial killers. They killed her mother and raised her as their own. Flashing forward, Charlotte is 26 and sees a psychiatrist for anxiety medication, only that’s not what she ends up taking and that’s when things get really interesting. I got serious Jessica Jones vibes from this book, as it’s about a strong, intelligent female protagonist with a slight supernatural element. Highly recommended if you want an original, edge-of-your-seat thriller with amazing, well-developed characters, and of course, Jessica Jones vibes.


If you love Girls, read Choose Your Own Disaster by Dana Schwartz

This one just screams HBO’s Girls. Schwartz writes a hilarious, yet honest memoir about life and decisions made in her twenties. It covers body image, sexual assault, eating disorders, career change, depression and loneliness in a big city, all in a very relatable, not-too-heavy way. It has a personality test and you really do choose your own adventure… err… disaster in this one. Schwartz writes for Buzzfeed – she’s sharp and intelligent, and has a gift for making you feel like she’s reading your thoughts.


If you love Big Little Lies, read It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Campbell’s dark portrayal of marriage and friendship is full of secrets and lies. There are some fantastic similarities between this book and HBO’s Big Little Lies. Of course, if you haven’t read Liane Moriarty’s book, then get on it, but if you have, then this might fill the void until season two starts. Kate, Jenny and Aubrey, who couldn’t be more different, met in college and have been friends for over twenty years. They all harbor a secret that subsequently leads to a death. This is a slower-paced, domestic suspense novel where secrets slowly unfold until you reach the brilliant ending.


If you love Dexter, read Hangman by Jack Heath

A deeply disturbed and flawed protagonist that you end up rooting for… who does that sound like? That’s right, our lovable serial killer, Dexter. Except this is about Timothy Blake, a “last resort” consultant for the FBI. Blake is brought in to help solve difficult puzzles in difficult cases and he was just assigned a new one: the kidnapping of a 14-year-old boy. Now Blake has a rather nasty addiction, and if you can get past that and if you’re twisted like me, then you might find him to be an endearing character. With puzzles at the start of each chapter and a rather unique storyline, you’ll be sure to get your Dexter fix.

Janelle Janson

I have a deep passion for books. I love reading them, admiring their beautiful covers, and learning about their authors. I have been obsessed with reading since I was a little girl because it fed my ever growing imagination. In addition to books, I love learning about different cultures, food, traveling, and am obsessed with maps. I love all animals, but especially cats and elephants. I have lived in Northern California my entire life and enjoy how close I am to everything, whether it be the ocean, the mountains, or all that’s in between. I’m married to a loving husband who is the most caring person I know. It is a dream of mine to one day own a bookstore in the historic area of my hometown. I would love to feature book and beer pairings, possibly with a local brewery or a coffee shop next door.

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