Drexel Picks for Binge-Worthy Books and Television Programs
When it’s as hot and humid as it’s been in Philadelphia this summer, it’s a good time to stay indoors — and curl up with a good book or television series (hopefully, next to a fan).
Here are the best binge-worthy books and television programs that the staff in Drexel University Libraries recommend this summer.
Who: Sarah Rich, coordinator, administrative services
What: “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Why: “This novel (which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize) tells the story of a North Vietnamese spy in the South Vietnamese army, exiled to the U.S. in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. It’s witty and fast-paced and is giving me a fascinating window into a Vietnamese immigrant’s relationship with the U.S.”
Who: Elise Ferer, librarian for undergraduate learning
What: “The Handmaid’s Tale” (TV series), Hulu
Why: “It’s an adaptation of one of my favorite books from high school. I reread it right before I started watching the series, and they are both equally scary and great at the same time. Be careful if you’re trying to watch it all at once.”
Who: Gary Childs, liaison librarian for the nursing and health professions
What: The Dune Series by Frank Herbert
Why: “Very well-written and complex sci-fi series full of political and mystical intrigue set against an unforgiving and harsh landscape. A reader can easily make comparisons to the current state of affairs on our own planet.
Here’s a note about ‘spice,’ a substance that’s used as both a narcotic and a food additive and is also essential for rapid travel: ‘Without spice, the Empire falls apart. … Planets will slowly lose clear memories of each other. They’ll turn inward and upon themselves. … We’ll cling to our dunetops and be ignorant of what is above us and below us.’”
Who: Stacy Stanislaw, communications manager
What: “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline
Why: “I’ve read book reviews calling this one ‘ridiculously fun and large-hearted’ and I can’t think of a better description. I fell in love with Wade Watts from page 1 and was on the edge of my seat for the next 370 pages. Part dystopian sci-fi, part fantasy, with a little bit of romance and tons of ‘80s pop culture references, this is the perfect summer read. And you don’t have to be a video game geek or an ‘80s connoisseur to enjoy it.”
Who: Jesse Webster, specialist I, library assistance
What: “American Gods” (TV series), Starz, Sundays at 9 p.m.
Why: “My latest obsession is the show ‘American Gods’ on Starz. It follows the story of ex-con Shadow, who works in the employ of a man he just met. As they travel across this great land of ours, they discover just how stark the contrast is between the old and new. Based on a beloved book by Neil Gaiman and created for TV by the multitalented Bryan Fuller (‘Pushing Daises,’ ‘Hannibal’), this show has fused Gaiman’s captivating narrative with the weight of today’s geopolitical climate. Adding in Fuller’s flare for the hypervisual, this show quickly captures your attention, mind, heart, and hopefully a bit of your soul.”