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What Would They Read?: Recommendations for The Big Bang Theory

2013 November 19
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Big Bang TheoryI often spend a lot of my time recommending books to people.  I got to thinking: what books would I recommend to my favorite TV and movies characters?  There are so many different characters to choose from, but I knew that I would need to first look at a group of nerds with whom I would love to spend time discussing the finer things of the book shelves.  I decided to closely examine the possible reading tastes of the ensemble of The Big Bang Theory.  Some of the characters may be pretty obvious in their reading preferences.  I mean, how many times have we heard Raj talk about Twilight?  So now, with no further delay, here are my recommendations for our nerdy male friends in The Big Bang Theory.

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Sheldon – Sheldon is one of the more difficult, yet simplest person to please with books.  Obviously if you’ve watched at least one random episode, you will easily notice the love of comic books and graphic novels.  Sheldon has an affinity for Batman as he states that he could be Batman given the right amount of financial backing.  Given those interests, I would recommend Batman: Year One by Frank Miller and David Muzzuchelli. As for a traditionally-formatted teen novel, I would suggest The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson (2009 Best Books for Young Adults, 2009 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults).  In this book, Jenna discovers that after she experiences a traumatic accident, she is only alive due to vast amounts of artificial medical materials.  This leaves Jenna debating whether or not she is still human or now some kind of medical creation.  Sheldon would be interested in the ethics of science as well as the procedures created for the book.  Not to mention, it is mentioned quite frequently that Sheldon is not quite human.  I would also throw the modern-day classic, Ender’s Game by 2008 Edwards Award winner Orson Scott Card at Sheldon as well.  He would definitely be able to relate to the young genius protagonist.  Also, the science fiction elements fit into Sheldon’s established preferred genre.

Leonard – Leonard is the cross-section of the group.  While his girlfriend Penny is definitely more of the traditional, normalGoing Bovine kind of person, he is also able to hang on to his nerd roots.  Dealing with his roommate, Sheldon, is a completely separate and bizarre relationship.  I would definitely recommend Leonard The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.  In this book, there is an alien invasion that wipes out a majority of the global population.  Of the remaining people, it’s impossible to tell who is an alien and who is not.  This would be an interesting read due to the statements that Sheldon might actually be an alien.  Another book I would definitely give Leonard is the winner of the 2010 Printz AwardGoing Bovine by Libba Bray.  Going Bovine is an epic, yet bizarre, hero’s tale about a teen named Cameron who is diagnosed with Mad Cow disease.  He is visited by an angel while at the hospital and is told that he must journey from Texas to Disney World to get the cure while saving the universe from destruction at the hands of an evil genius called Dr. X.  Going Bovine has several references to physics including Schrödinger’s Cat and the Copenhagen Interpretation.  Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leonard passed it along to Sheldon when he is through with it.

Howard – Howard has only recently moved past his obsession with picking up girls.  Now that he is married to Bernadette, he is strictly a one-woman guy.  Although, I could still see Howard looking back at a time when he was a semi-professional girl chaser.  The first book that entered mCover for Swim the Fly by Don Calamey mind is Swim the Fly by Don Calame.  In this book, three high school boys plan their summer goal, as they have for the past several years.  This year, as they grow older, they decide to make the ultimate goal seeing a naked girl, live and in person.  No internet.  No TV/movies.  Howard has quite the sense of humor and I feel that he would definitely enjoy this book, which is the first in a series.  Pre-Bernadette Howard could relate to the struggle of the main characters and maybe learn a few tricks.  Although, it’s safe to admit that the three boys are not all that successful, which mirrors Howard’s past experiences.  As Howard is now an experienced astronaut, I would recommend 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad.  In this book, three teens are chosen from a worldwide lottery to be the first teens in space.  Howard will feel at home with the space references as well as relate to the apprehension felt by the teens throughout their experience.

Raj – As I stated earlier, Raj has not been shy with his feelings about paranormal romances such as the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer.  Using his previous book selections as a guide, I could easily suggest a number of paranormal/supernatural romances firelightfor Raj.  However, I would specifically suggest Firelight by Sophie Jordan.  Firelight is the first book in a series about a girl who is a drakki, a race of dragon people who can switch from human to dragon.  Jacinda and her family leave her drakki people and her betrothed to live among the humans where she falls for a boy from a line a dragon hunters.  The star-crossed lovers and love triangle will definitely fulfill Raj’s need for a Twilight-esque story.  Also, I would love for Raj to read Shrinking Violent by Danielle Joseph.  In this book, Teresa is so shy that she won’t speak to anyone. However, she dreams of being a DJ and practices in her room.  When a slot opens up at the local radio station owned by her step-father, Teresa becomes Sweet T, a mysterious and well-loved DJ.  Raj can relate to Teresa due to his own issues talking to girls.  Raj can talk to girls with the help of alcohol while Teresa can talk to people through the anonymity of the radio.

Check in next month when I tackle the ladies of The Big Bang Theory.

-Brandi Smits

Currently Reading: September Girls by Bennett Madison & I am Messenger by Markus Zusak

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One Response leave one →
  1. Lindsey permalink
    November 20, 2013

    Thank you for this list. I have many students who identify with The Big Bang’s characters and I have most of these titles in my library. I will be printing this list to share with them.

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