Piper’s Prison Book Club: 10 Books from Orange Is the New Black

July 28 2015

If you have just awoken surrounded by cereal bowls with no idea of what’s happened in the world in the past three days, odds are you have just finished binge-watching season three of Netflix’s runaway hit Orange Is the New Black. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because we have compiled a list of our ten favorite books featured throughout the season to keep you reading until season four.

The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

In this luminous novel, 14-year-old Susie Salmon dies a violent death and goes to heaven while her family struggles to pick up the pieces left in her wake. While incarcerated, Flaca reads Alice Sebold’s haunting classic on Mother’s Day, perhaps hinting at the discord in Flaca’s own past.

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The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold

After her death in 1973, Susie Salmon is adjusting to her new home in heaven, and watching life on earth continue without her. Her friends are trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer is trying to cover his tracks, her grief-stricken family is unraveling. From above, Susie learns more about the man who took her life, and watches as her father searches for answers.

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Freakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

When an unlikely friendship blossoms between Big Boo and Pennsatucky, Boo explains supply and demand with the help of this now ubiquitous exploration of economics.

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Freakonomics
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

When an unlikely friendship blossoms between Big Boo and Pennsatucky, Boo explains supply and demand with the help of this now ubiquitous exploration of economics.

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Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
by Meredith Zeitlin

It’s a tough Mother’s Day for Red, who is feeling betrayed by her husband and sons. Meredith Zeitlin’s tale of a high school girl’s adventures in Greece is just the light, escapist read that she needs.

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Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me
Meredith Zeitlin

It’s a tough Mother’s Day for Red, who is feeling betrayed by her husband and sons. Meredith Zeitlin’s tale of a high school girl’s adventures in Greece is just the light, escapist read that she needs.

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

In this season, Piper brazenly takes the helm of a risky prison enterprise. Donna Tartt’s hugely popular and Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of survival and reinvention perfectly accompanies Piper’s transformation into a Litchfield bigwig.

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The Goldfinch
Donna Tartt

The novel that took the world by storm and won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction is (finally!) out in paperback. A mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, it is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

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Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
by David Sedaris

When a bedbug scare leads to a mass burning of the prison library’s books, the inmates memorialize the lost tomes. These include, in Poussey’s words, “All the David Sedarises.” His newest laugh-out-loud funny book is sure to be missed.

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Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
David Sedaris

When a bedbug scare leads to a mass burning of the prison library’s books, the inmates memorialize the lost tomes. These include, in Poussey’s words, “All the David Sedarises.” His newest laugh-out-loud funny book is sure to be missed.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Close
This Is Where I Leave You
by Jonathan Tropper

During the book funeral, the women pay their respects to Tropper’s hilarious and touching family drama alongside the works of literature’s other notable Jonathans—namely, Jonathan Swift, Jonathan Lethem, and Jonathan Franzen.

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This Is Where I Leave You
Jonathan Tropper

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. This Is Where I Leave You is a humorous, emotional novel about the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close
The Old Man and The Sea
by Ernest Hemingway

In a flashback to Nicky’s drug-addled, criminal past in New York City, she and a friend discuss a rare signed first edition of Hemingway’s most famous book.

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The Old Man and The Sea
Ernest Hemingway

Read with a Mojito

This classic is the story of follows an old Cuban fisherman who is down on his luck and engaged in a relentless and agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Pair this one with a classic mojito in a nod to papa Hemingway’s Cuban home.

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MENTIONED IN:

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A Scanner Darkly
by Philip K. Dick

As Alex becomes increasingly convinced that someone in the prison is out to get her, she quotes this classic science-fiction novel: “It’s strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.”

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A Scanner Darkly
Philip K. Dick

As Alex becomes increasingly convinced that someone in the prison is out to get her, she quotes this classic science-fiction novel: “It’s strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.”

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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Close
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
by Karen Joy Fowler

As Red struggles to preserve both her biological and her adopted prison families, she reads this beautifully written tale of an unconventional family and the heartbreaking consequences of their good intentions.

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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Karen Joy Fowler

“WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES is one of those completely absorbing books that makes the rest of the world disappear, while at the same time reminding us all too clearly of the world we come from and its occasional cruelty.”

Read the full review by Midge Raymond here.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

While formulating the ultimate revenge plot, Big Boo references Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander’s quest for retribution in Stieg Larsson’s classic trilogy.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson

Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist, and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander team up to investigate the 40 year disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families. Stieg Larsson's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into one satisfyingly complex and entertainingly atmospheric novel.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close

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