Book Round Up: Orange Is The New Black Edition

I shouldn't be surprised that a TV series that I am completely in love with started from a book. This week, the stars aligned and I have some time off work during the week, which has resulted in some guilt free lounge time. I have watched almost the entire series of Orange is the New Black this week.  Notice I said ALMOST, so no spoilers! 

I've noticed a lot of articles about the differences between the book and the TV series so I am sure there are noticeable differences, but I still want to read the book. I love that Piper is real and her stories are authentic.  

From Goodreads: With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424—one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system. From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

As I devoured the TV series, I couldn't help but notice the books that the prisoners were reading. It happens so frequently that I felt like it was on purpose. Ironically, when I Googled the books, I found a quote from Piper Kauffman about how important books were to her while she was in prison. 

 "They were complete lifelines. They were the only legitimate forms of escape." 

 I couldn't agree with her more. And when I started really paying attention, these prisoners REALLY know how to pick a good book. They quote Shakespeare and set Robert Frost straight. They also talk about my favorites: The Help,Gone Girl and more. 

Do you want to read along with them? Here are some of the books that have caught my eye while watching the show. 

Red Reads: 

From GoodReads: The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.
As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant. This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not

One of the security guards reads:

From Goodreads: Never trust your heart to the New York Times bestselling master of suspense, Stephen King. Especially with an anthology that features the classic stories "Children of the Corn," "The Lawnmower Man," "Graveyard Shift," "The Mangler," and "Sometimes They Come Back"-which were all made into hit horror films. From the depths of darkness, where hideous rats defend their empire, to dizzying heights, where a beautiful girl hangs by a hair above a hellish fate, this chilling collection of twenty short stories will plunge readers into the subterranean labyrinth of the most spine-tingling, eerie imagination of our time.

 This is the most exciting one: 

Alex Reads : 

Because I have read this! AND LOVED IT! 

From Goodreads: Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

And Alex also reads: 

From Goodreads: Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.  Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.   Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course

So although I never want to GO to prison, at least I know I'd be able to read to my heart's content if I did get put in the slammer. 

If you haven't signed up for a free month's trial on Netflix to watch this show yet, I suggest you do so immediately. And while you're at it, call in sick for a day or too because once you start watching it, you'll be hooked. 


  1. Ohh nice list! I am going to have to pay more attention to the books they read. :)

  2. There is a whole Tumbler on literary references in the show but you found a lot. I read the book and watched the series and definitely a lot of differences between the two although I was hooked on both!

  3. I literally had no idea that it was a book first. I cannot wait to read it! And I also LOVED the Glass Castle!

  4. It's official.. as soon as I finish the book I'm reading, I'm watching Orange is the New Black! Everyone is talking about it! And then I'm going to have to read the book. And then I'm going to have to read all of these books. You've just added quite a lot to my to do list!

  5. I started reading the book and tried to finish before the show premiered, but I couldn't wait to watch, so I ditched the book. I keep meaning to pick it back up again. I'm obsessed with that show and watched it in 5 days. I want to re-watch it soon. Fun post!

  6. This TV show sounds pretty awesome, I'm going to have to give it a try. Any show that references The Help or Gone Girl sounds good to me!
    As for the books, you've given me a whole bunch I need to add to my kindle now - thanks :)


  7. Thanks for informing those of us who live under a rock what Orange is the New Black is all about. Seems interesting. And so many of those books up there look good!


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