Bingeworthy: Books Edition


If you’re starting to run out of ways to take your mind off things and keep yourself busy while staying at home, look no further, below are a few books that will keep you hooked. They are must-reads for anyone’s list.

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Cover design and illustration by Bob Kosturko. Cover art by Corbis (woman) and the Library of Congress (slave quarters). Courtesy of Beacon Press

Dana, a modern-day black woman, is celebrating her birthday with her new husband when she’s suddenly transported from her home in California to a plantation in the antebellum South to save Rufus, the son of the plantation owner, from drowning. It doesn’t end there, though. Dana continues to be summoned back to the plantation, with each stay growing longer than the last. Uncertain of when she’ll return home, Dana must learn to adapt to her new, second lifestyle.

Kindred is the perfect book for those who aren’t big into sci-fi (like me) but need something interesting. Butler weaves a compelling and beautifully written story. She makes it easy to sympathize with Dana’s plight. Dana’s story is one you’ll want to stick with until the very end.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Cover photograph by Showtime. Courtesy of Vintage Crime/Black Lizard

Before Dexter Morgan hit the screen, he was taking out the bad guys in the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. Darkly Dreaming Dexter is the first of eight books in the series and is the basis of the television adaptation.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter follows Dexter Morgan, a blood splatter analyst for the Miami Metro-Dade police department, who also happens to be a serial killer who only kills bad people. When a series of murders begin that are eerily similar to his own, Dexter finds himself caught between being flattered or frightened by the new killer or himself.

If you’ve watched and liked the TV series, you will definitely enjoy the books. Even though the show strays from the books pretty heavily after season one, you’ll still follow many of the same characters. They’re written in Dexter’s point of view, providing a much more in-depth look into his thoughts and imbued with his charm and dark sense of humor. The books are a great way to kill some time while you’re stuck at home.

Dexter ran for eight seasons on Showtime from 2006-2013. Created by James Manos Jr., Michael C. Hall starred in the title role alongside Jennifer Carpenter as Deborah Morgan, David Zayas, C.S. Lee, James Remar, Luna Lauren Velez, Julie Benz, and Desmond Harrington. It is currently available to stream on Netflix.

One More Thing by B.J. Novak

Courtesy of Vintage Books

B.J. Novak, best known for his role as Ryan Howard in the U.S version of The Office, doesn’t just start fires and catch the eye of regional mangers; he’s also a published author. In One More Thing, Novak brings the same dry and witty humor in a collection of short stories. You’ll read about the untold true story of the rematch between the tortoise and the hare, a mirror for Earth, the presentation of “The Best Thing in the World Awards,” a newcomer to Heaven who procrastinates acting on a promise to visit his grandmother, and much more.

If you’re not a big reader or want a break from a current read, One More Thing is the book for you. You don’t need to read the stories in order (but you should), and they range from a couple of sentences to a few pages. Novak’s stories are unique, creative, insightful, and well-written. They’ll surprise you and keep you laughing throughout the entire book. Once you start, it will be impossible to set it down until you finish reading.

Like Brothers by Mark and Jay Duplass 

Courtesy of Ballantine Books and Penguin Random House

In Like Brothers, filmmaking brother duo Mark and Jay Duplass write about their journey in the film industry and how they relied on each other. They talk about how their close bond helped shape them as people and as filmmakers, the ups and downs of their creative partnership and the importance of trust, tips on how to get started in film, and so much more.

Even if you aren’t interested in the film industry, this is still a great read. The Duplass brothers share a creative and wonderful story that has plenty of elements everyone can find relatable. They write with honesty and humor, bringing a refreshing and unique story to the table.

Mark and Jay Duplass are writers, directors, actors, and producers. They have executive produced projects such as the HBO anthology series Room 104 and Netflix’s Wild Wild Country. They’ve written/produced/directed independent films together and created HBO’s Togetherness with Steve Zissis. Mark Duplass has acted in several films and TV shows, including The Morning ShowCreep, The LeaguePaddleton, and more. Jay Duplass has appeared in Beatriz at DinnerThe Mindy Project (along with Mark), and Transparent, among others.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Cover design by Christopher Moisan. Cover photo illustration by Penguin UK. Cover photos by Michael Wildsmith (figure), Oleg Seleznev (arch), Allan Grant/Time & Life Pictures (skyline)

The Reluctant Fundamentalist begins in a café in Lahore, Pakistan, where a Pakistani man, Changez, converses with an American stranger. Changez tells his story about living the American Dream in New York. He’s top of his class in Princeton, recruited by an elite valuation firm, and is in the midst of a budding romance. Then 9/11 happens, and Changez finds his life and his own identity dramatically shifting in the aftermath.

This is one of those books you can’t put down until you’ve read every word. Mohsin Hamid’s writing style is one that pulls you in and refuses to let go and is a must-read from the author. He goes deep into the mind of Changez, writing him in such a way that makes him feel as real as you or I. I was intrigued by the way he was able to weave the two perspectives of the story together in a way that never felt disjointed.

For more book recommendations, check out our YA book edition of bingeworthy here. You can also read our other bingeworthy articles here!

Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds who joined the team in 2019.

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