It’s strange to see a TV character reading a book, since it’s such a solitary activity. But do we really expect them to reference imaginary novels in conversations in their fictional universes? Sometimes there’s a break in the narrative and the outside world comes into the story, alerting the viewer to the fact that both worlds can be fluid. This happens pretty frequently in Mad Men, where time-appropriate novels are read and discussed with bartenders, spouses, or in secret in the ladies’ lounge. (We’re looking at you, Lady Chatterley’s Lover.) Last year, we created a summer reading list of books referenced in the show. This time around, we were inspired by this Tumblr post to expand our focus to include more series, so get ready to discover what your favorite characters leaf through on a lazy afternoon when you’re not around.
Parks & Recreation
In a recent episode of Parks and Recreation, Leslie Knope throws down a copy of Freedom on the desk. Ann asks, “And why am I reading this?” Leslie says, “Because I’m almost done with it and I wanna talk to you about Patty!” It’s the perfect scene because we all know how Leslie feels during the time when you finish a book and have to talk to someone about it immediately.