Let’s just be honest: We’ve all watched at least one reality TV show in our lives. And if we’re being super-honest, I’m sure at least some of us would admit being quietly addicted to one. There is zero shame in that game. The best of the reality shows out there are brilliant at telling stories and developing characters, and have mastered the art of suspense like nobody else alive. Even the worst reality shows are good at one thing—reflecting a mirror back on the society that created them. That’s right, y’all. I just went full mimetic tradition, up in here.
Now that the balmy summer months have arrived, even the most ardent TV fan probably wants to spend at least a little bit of time out of doors, soaking up the sun’s warm cancery rays. While you take a break from the tube, read one of these 8 books, rated most likely to appeal to those of us who can’t get enough of that sweet, sweet reality programming:
Angels, by Marian Keyes
One ordinary housewife’s life is changed forever when she discovers her hubby’s having an affair. She flees to Los Angeles and her best friend’s side. Needless to say shenanigans ensue. It’s like if TLC and Bravo had a baby.
Rich Again, by Anna Maxted
If you’ve never read any Anna Maxted, I’ve just introduced you to your MVP of the summer. This dramatic novel could be the tale of two lesser Kardashians: it’s soap opera chic with a heart.
Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner
Let’s be real: We’ve all hate-watched at least one episode of The Biggest Loser. This modern-day classic will undo any damage wrought upon your psyche by that hour of pain and sweat. Follow protagonist Cannie as she kicks butt and takes names, body size be damned.
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
You know it, you love it, and you’ll totally agree—this one is the real life version of Survivor. Minus Jeff Probst, plus several ridiculous outfits and the murder of small children at the behest of a totalitarian government.
Bridget Jones’s Diary, by Helen Fielding
The Bachelorette might be fun to watch, but is it something we can actually relate to? No, not one whit. I mean, unless you, too, have a stable of hunks and bandage dresses to choose from on a daily basis. Bridget’s drama? Now that’s a bit more on the familiar side. Plus, Darcy.
Leggy Blonde, Aviva Drescher
Fan of The Real Housewives of New York? Obsessed with this year’s epic #bookgate? You be the judge! Check out Aviva’s memoir and see if you think it’s the real McCoy or not. Either way, you’ll have fun.
A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, by Eugene O’Neill
The original reality family. When folks stop being polite, and start quietly drinking themselves to death in the shadow of their overbearing mother.
Baby, Let’s Play House: Elvis Presley & The Women Who Loved Him, by Alanna Nash
Brett Michaels might have talked the talk on Rock of Love, but Elvis Presley lived it. This book is a massive, gripping, and totally salacious page-turner. If The King were alive today, no doubt in my mind he’d have a reality-style dating show to call his own, and I would be a guest on that show.
What reality TV–ready books have you read?