Surviving the Netflix Drought: Here Are Books to Replace All The TV We Lost This Month

Buffy Summers Reading In Library

As I’m sure you’ve realized, April has been a devastating month for Netflix-and-chilling. (*Cue the Jaws theme song which, of course, is one of the movies we no longer have access to*). Upon realizing how many of your favorite shows and movies we’ve lost, you may wonder what you’re going to do with yourself without this #content—actually look your friends and family in the eyes for the first time in months? Expose your skin to the light of day? Sit in front of a blank screen crying “WHYYYYY?”

(Related: 11 Books for “The X-Files” Fans Who Can’t Get Enough)

If I’m being totally honest, I’ll probably be doing all of these things, but there is one option that’s a little less dire. Here’s a list of book suggestions to help you cope with the loss of free (let’s be honest, our parents—or friends—or friend’s parents—pay the monthly subscription) streaming access to your faves. Whether it’s a novel in the same vein as your favorite show or an inside look at a movie classic, here are 17 books that will help fill the hole in your heart Netflix has left you with.

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales

Speaking of holes in the heart, can we talk about how Netflix is taking away ALL the seasons of Buffy (and Angel and seasons from a bunch of other incredible Joss Whedon shows like Firefly and Dollhouse)? We’ll just have to get our kick-ass, vampire-slaying, beep-me-if-the-apocalypse-comes fix elsewhere, and Manuel Gonzales’ debut novel is the perfect place to find it. Designed to root out evil, The Regional Office is an organization that is being weakened from within. Rose, a young assassin and one of the defectors, is eager to prove herself—but then again so is Sarah, a fierce defender of the Office—and their worlds are about to collide. (Faith and Buffy anyone?)

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones

A sequel to The String Diaries, this thriller checks off a whole lot of boxes for Buffy fans. A young woman trying to figure out her identity? Check. A man who hasn’t aged since the 19th century? Check. A monster stalking America and putting in jeopardy all the main characters hold dear? Definitely check.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

BONES 

Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid

Since we’re losing a significant part of Bones, we might as well become our own forensic scientists (just, you know, on the side). From one of the most experienced crime writers comes a piercing exploration into the way the right person can use a corpse to figure out how someone lived, died, and who killed them. Maggots, microscopic DNA traces, and autopsies are just a few of the fun topics this book covers.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

Chaos: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell

Bones and Booth are basically the ultimate power couple of the fictional forensic world, but in the latest book in the Kay Scarpetta series, Dr. Kay Scarpetta and her FBI agent husband Benton Wesley give them a run for their money as they rush to solve a case involving a dead bicyclist found near the Kennedy School of Government.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

HOUSE, M.D. 

Containment by Hank Parker

We can always go back to Sherlock Holmes if we’re looking for House in a literary work (and watch BBC’s Sherlock which, thank the Netflix gods, is still available). But for some House-like fiction that’s a little more cutting-edge, make sure to check out Hank Parker’s ripped-from-the-headlines thriller about the imminent release of a global and quite deadly virus that’s the latest form of bioterrorism. I feel like this is just the sort of thing House would love to get to the bottom of in the space of a 45-minute episode.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young

You may be thinking “wait, is this just House’s unauthorized biography?” It’s not, but you’re close. Both House and Toby Young are British, both are pricks (yes, I am switching to British slang for this one), and both are darned funny. This five-year account of journalist Toby Young’s misadventures (read: downward spiral) in New York is definitely the right choice if you derive amusement from House’s endless knack for rubbing people the wrong way.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

THE X-FILES 

The String Diaries by Stephen Lloyd Jones

One of the best parts of The X-Files is the monster-of-the-week aspect to it—and Stephen Lloyd Jones has come up with a truly terrifying monster in the first book of The String Diaries. This particular monster has haunted Hannah and her family for centuries, but what is most frightening is that it can change its shape to look and sound exactly like others in her life. How can she keep herself and her daughter safe if she can’t even tell the monster apart from the people she loves?

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

Ink and Bone by Lisa Unger

For those who STILL want to believe, make sure to check out Lisa Unger’s eerie psychological thriller. Set against the bleak, wintery backdrop of The Hollows, New York, the novel centers around a young woman whose visitations by people that are only apparent to her and dreams of the prophetic variety drive her and her grandmother, a renowned psychic, into a missing child investigation that becomes more and more complicated the deeper they look.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

THE PRINCESS BRIDE 

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden

Who wouldn’t want to hear all the behind-the-scenes gossip about The Princess Bride from the Man in Black himself? Cary Elwes’s first-person account of the making of the film includes exclusive photos, interviews with his costars, and never-before-told stories for the hardcore fans. Perhaps you can read it while sipping coffee from this mug that perfectly captures how I feel about everyone when I’m caffeine-deprived.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

If you love the pirates, princesses, enchantment, and yes, even the kissing parts of The Princess Bride, you absolutely have to read Neil Gaiman’s fairy tale about a young man who ventures beyond the confides of his village and into the Faerie world to find a fallen star (that just so happens to be a beautiful girl with a broken leg and an attitude).

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF 

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) by Hadley Freeman

Honestly, nothing’s better than a young Matthew Broderick breaking the fourth wall (repeatedly) to tell us “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And without the movie on Netflix, we might as well stop and dive into Hadley Freeman’s personalized guide to ‘80s movies. Putting her “obsessive movie geekery,” as she calls it, to good use, she has written an outstanding love letter to cinematic classics like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the way they changed movie-making (and movie-goers) forever.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

It’s impossible not to be charmed by this new novel by Jason Rekulak, a book about the ‘80s, about the dawn of the computer age, and about being a teenager—and all the joys and heartbreaks that so exquisitely go along with it. Sometimes we just need a book—or a Ferris—to remind us that if we played by all the rules, we’d be in gym.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

CLUELESS

As If!: The Oral History of Clueless as told by Amy Heckerling and the Cast and Crew by Jen Chaney

Do you consider Cher’s outfits to be clothes goals and dream of having her digital wardrobe? Do you miss Brittany Murphy and her incredibly acting almost daily? Do you think we need a reminder that it does not say RSVP on the Statue of Liberty? Pop culture journalist Jen Chaney’s thought so, so she drew on interviews with the director and writer, cast members, and costume designers to bring us an inside look at one of the most iconic rom-coms of all time. If this book is the closest we’re going to come to rollin’ with the Clueless homies, I think I’m ok with that.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

It may be a stretch to say that Cher always meant well, but she didn’t mean to crash into that car mirror, or fall for a guy who was pretty clearly gay, or mess up her friend’s love life…right? Sloane Crosley totally gets how, despite one’s best intentions, things can go really wrong, and she’s written some absolutely hilarious essays about it. Original, witty, and profoundly true, this is a book for anyone who’s ever felt like a full-on Monet.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

 JAWS

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

That’s right, I’m throwing it all the way back to the original story about a bunch of guys who really shouldn’t have been looking for a particularly vicious sea creature. The trick to Moby-Dick, I’ve found, is not reading it for the plot (there’s virtually none to speak of). If you read it for Melville’s writing style and philosophical ideas and fantastic allusions, you’ll love it—despite the impressions you may have understandably formed in high school English class.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Between Jaws and this book, I never want to spend time anywhere near the water again. That being said, both are the kind of chilling summer thrillers that I can’t get enough of. Lo Blacklock thinks she’s in for a career break at her travel magazine and maybe a bit of fun when she gets the chance to cover a lavish cruise in the Baltics. But, when she sees a woman in the cabin next to hers (yup, you guessed it, cabin 10) and hears someone fall overboard her first night on board, her investigation into this woman’s disappearance sets off a string of increasingly disturbing events that Lo couldn’t have imagined. In this case, having a bigger boat really didn’t help.

READ IT: BARNES & NOBLE / AMAZON / INDIEBOUND

Featured photo: Pinterest/Buffy and Giles

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