Book Recommendations for the Ladies of “The Bold Type”

Source: Freeform

Who else watches The Bold Type? It’s kind of a show that I didn’t want to like, but can’t help liking anyway. It gets so many things wrong, about media and publishing and journalism, mostly, but what it absolutely gets right is the friendship between the three main characters.

Sutton, Jane, and Kat support each other 100% of the time, even when they don’t always agree with each other’s choices. This feels like a real friendship, and the characters feel like real people.

We don’t see it much onscreen, but I like to imagine that all three women are readers, too, and maybe they even have an off-screen book club. Jane especially, as a writer, probably reads a lot, right?

So, with the twist ending of the season 3 finale behind us, I thought Jane, Kat, and Sutton might need some encouragement or comfort, or maybe a relaxing escape into a book. I decided to recommend a few books for each of the ladies, based on what we know of their personalities and interests. To keep it interesting, for each of them I’m recommending a classic, a genre novel, and a nonfiction work.


  • Classic: Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte

As a writer, I’d bet Jane has already read at least the Big Three Bronte sisters novels (Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, Emily’s Wuthering Heights, and Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall), so I’ll throw her this *slightly* less well-known Bronte offering. Agnes Grey is sort of a quieter version of Jane Eyre, and I think Jane Sloane would connect with her quiet strength.

  • Genre: The Likeness, Tana French

A murder mystery thriller steeped in atmosphere and literary references, French’s novel would appeal to Jane’s contemplative and analytical side, and also features a strong female protagonist at its center.

  • Nonfiction: Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer

As a journalist, Jane would really appreciate Krakauer’s tight and intense journalistic prose. And as I’ve discussed before, everyone should just read this book.



  • Classic: The Awakening, Kate Chopin

It’s a little Feminism 101, but it’s not a classic for nothing. I think Kat would appreciate Chopin’s subversive, groundbreaking work and identify with the protagonist as a woman who, at first, struggles to come to terms with her identity.

  • Genre: The Collapsing Empire, John Scalzi

I have no idea why, but I feel like Kat would be a big sci-fi fan. Scalzi’s pure fun thrill ride would appeal to Kat’s adventurous side, and there are some pretty bad-ass ladies in there to inspire.

  • Nonfiction: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy Kaling

Honestly, Kat has probably already read everything I could think of to recommend for her in nonfiction that I think she’d be interested in, especially surrounding social justice and intersectional feminist issues. So I picked something that, while having an important and positive message, is also really light and fun.



  • Classic: Save Me the Waltz, Zelda Fitzgerald

I ultimately picked Save Me the Waltz not for itself, but for its author. Throughout her life, Zelda struggled for recognition of her work and her talents in her own right, something I feel Sutton can strongly relate to. Plus the Jazz Age was a great one for fashion, which Sutton would appreciate.

  • Genre: The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic, Emily Croy Barker

All three of my picks for Sutton were a little difficult to pin down, but this one most of all. I’m recommending to her one of my favorite fantasy novels of the last few years because I would recommend it to anyone; if you want to get lost inside a book, this is the book for you.

  • Nonfiction: Queen of Fashion, Caroline Weber

Maybe this is a little bit of an obvious choice, as Sutton works in fashion, but this biography of Marie Antoinette through the lens of her fashion choices, and the choices that were made for her, is something I think Sutton would find fascinating.

Do you watch The Bold Type? What did you think of the season finale? What books would you recommend to the characters? Let me know in the comments!


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