We all love binging on our guilty pleasure TV shows. Why not kick it up a notch and read a book about one of those shows? We live in a world where people can write books about literally everything, and sometimes those books offer amazing new insight into our favorite shows. Did you know how grueling the filming process for the Bachelor was? What about the cast drama from Friends? How did Sex and the City shape a generation of women? What about the ways in which the West Wing influenced the politics of the day? Those are all things you can learn in these books that dive into the stories of our favorite television programs. 

Bachelor NationBachelor Nation is the first behind-the-scenes, unauthorized look into the reality television phenomenon. Los Angeles Times journalist Amy Kaufman is a proud member of Bachelor Nation and has a long history with the franchise–ABC even banned her from attending show events after her coverage of the program got a little too real for its liking. She has interviewed dozens of producers, contestants, and celebrity fans to give readers never-before-told details of the show’s inner workings: what it’s like to be trapped in the mansion “bubble”; dark, juicy tales of producer manipulation; and revelations about the alcohol-fueled debauchery that occurs long before the fantasy suite. 

I’ll Be There For YouI’ll Be There for You is the definitive retrospective of Friends, exploring all aspects of the show from its unlikely origins to the elusive reasons why we still watch it. Journalist and pop culture expert Kelsey Miller relives the show’s most iconic moments, analyzes the ways in which Friends is occasionally problematic and examines the many trends it inspired, from the rise of coffee-shop culture to “Friendsgivings” to the ultimate ’90s haircut, The Rachel.

Sex and the City and UsSex and the City and Us is the story of how a columnist, two gay men—Darren Star and fellow executive producer Michael Patrick King—and a writers’ room full of women used their own poignant, hilarious, and humiliating stories to launch a cultural phenomenon, pushing the boundaries of television and ignited a national conversation about single women and sex in the process. While the show’s feminist merits continue to fuel debate, it taught viewers—male and female, gay and straight—about sex, and demonstrated that single women could support each other through life’s tribulations, even as men came and went.

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed EverythingSeinfeldia, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s intimate history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be. Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers into the writers’ room and into a world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant. Seinfeld created a strange new reality, one where years after the show had ended the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!”, Joe Davola gets questioned every day about his sanity, and Kenny Kramer makes his living giving tours of New York sites from the show.

Walk with Us: How the West Wing Changed Our LivesThe West Wing premiered in 1999. That’s a long time ago. Back then, we were worrying about the Millennium Bug, paying $700 for DVD players, and using pagers. 1999: a century ago. And yet, the show continues to have an impact that is arguably unique. If you live or work in DC, references to it are inescapable. People have walked down the aisle to the theme music. Or they’ve named children, pets, GPS systems, and even an iPhone app after the characters. They’ve started Twitter accounts as the characters to continue the storyline and comment on current political events. Or they credit it for closer relationships with their family members or a way out of depression. In this anthology of quotes and essays, contributors from six countries, ranging in age from twenty to seventy years old, tell their West Wing stories

Gossip Girl: A Critical UnderstandingGossip Girl: A Critical Understanding provides a critical analysis of The CW’s hit teen television drama Gossip Girl. Lori Bindig analyzes episodes as a set of media texts that blur the boundaries between hegemonic and counter-hegemonic content. Using political economy, textual and audience analyses, Bindig dissects how the show presents ideological content in regard to gender, race, class, sexuality, and consumerism, ultimately unearthing potential ramifications of Gossip Girl and other popular media texts. In addition, Bindig examines the expansive fan community and its engagement with the show through online forums and YouTube.

The Making of OutlanderSpanning the first two seasons of the Starz network sensation, The Making of Outlander leads readers behind the scenes and straight into the action as cast members, writers, producers, musicians, costume designers, set decorators, technicians, and more share the many adventures and challenges they face to make this sweeping saga come alive on the screen. Best of all, The Making of Outlander offers a veritable feast of lavish photographs—including an array of images spotlighting the stars in all their characters’ grandeur and up-close personal portraits. Featuring an introduction by Diana Gabaldon herself, this magnificent insider’s look at the world of the OutlanderTV series is the companion all fans will want by their side.

The Crown: The Official Companion The official companion to the Emmy-winning Netflix drama chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and starring Claire Foy and John Lithgow, The Crown by Peter Morgan, featuring additional historical background and beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills. Written by the show’s historical consultant, royal biographer Robert Lacey, and filled with beautifully reproduced archival photos and show stills, The Crown: The Official Companion: Volume 1 adds expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Here is Elizabeth II as we’ve never seen her before.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member