What Would They Read?: That ’70s Show

That_'70s_Show_logoIt’s time once again to consider what books our favorite TV characters would read.  While reading isn’t boring, it’s not that exciting to watch.  So the question remains, what books would they read?  This month I decided to bring the past to the present.  Our six beloved teens from the 1970s probably read the classics like The Hardy Boys and books by Judy Blume.  It definitely makes me wonder what books would the gang from That 70s Show read if they were teens today.

EWilliam Shakespeare's Star Wars Verily, A New Hoperic Forman – Let’s start with the unofficial leader of the group.  When Eric is not obsessing over his on-again, off-again girlfriend or battling with his hard ass father, Eric has one other fixation, Star Wars.  We know he went to see the original several times and has even had fantasies in which he is Luke Skywalker.  I know he would plow through all of the different amalgamations of Star Wars graphic novels, from the first episode to the Clone Wars and beyond.  I would also like to give him something I stumbled upon a few months ago that is just fantastic.  Ian Doescher has blended together two things that have never combined before: Star Wars and William Shakespeare.  I would give him Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (2014 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults).  Just the image of Jabba the Hut in Shakespearean dress is enough to make this title a favorite.

Jackie Burkhart – We know that Jackie is a reader.  On several occasions Jackie mentions reading Nancy lulu dark can see through wallsDrew mysteries.  I’d like to bring Jackie to the new millennium with a few options that are a bit more modern, but still with the Nancy Drew core.  First, I’d give Jackie Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls by Bennett Madison.  Unlike Nancy Drew, Lulu isn’t that excited to beginning investigating a mystery, but when her designer purse is stolen, she takes the case.  Instead of ending every mystery with a hot fudge sundae like Nancy Drew would do, I’d bet Lulu would celebrate every mystery with a latte.  I’m sure millennial Jackie would approve. 

Carter Finally Gets ItMichael Kelso – Kelso is probably the easiest of the group to entertain.  Throw in a good fart joke and he’ll be laughing for hours.  That is why the first book that comes to mind is Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford.  The first installment of Carter’s high school experiences will be just the ticket for Kelso.  Once he gets to the taco explosion movie theater scene, he will be hooked.  Also, when Kelso dated Jackie, he would always try his hardest to please Jackie, even though he was usually miles away from accomplishing his goal.  With that in mind, I would hand him the short story collection, Zombies vs. Unicorns.  Authors Justine Larbalestier and Holly Black assembled several authors’ stories regarding which is better, zombies or unicorns.  Kelso will believe he has scored, unicorns for Jackie and zombies for him.  I’m sure we can all envision Jackie’s tone when she tells Michael that Diana Peterfreund’s story about killer unicorns are not the unicorns she likes.

Steven Hyde – Hyde fit right into the rebellious, authority-bad stereotype of the time.  However, if Hydelittle brother cory doctorow cover were to live in the new millennium, I would see him standing up against the Big Brother government tendencies of today.  He would trade in his aviator sunglasses, jean jacket, and bong for a laptop and top notch hacker skills.  In short, Hyde would read every book written by Cory DoctorowLittle Brother (2009 Best Books for Young Adults) tells the story of a teen hacker who breaks down the strict government surveillance after the wake of a deadly terrorist attack to which he was a suspect.  I’d also throw him Pirate Cinema, the story of a group of filmmakers who ease around the laws restricting the use of materials for artistic use.  Seventies Hyde and millennial Hyde are just two sides of a forty-year-old coin.

Cover for Swim the Fly by Don CalameFez –   Fez is the perfect example of someone with very simple needs.  There are only two things that Fez truly craves, woman and candy.  He is always trying to find a way to win over a girl.  In fact, he’s really not that picky and has no specific type.  Big Rhonda, Caroline, and Nina are all very different girls, but all share the experience of dating Fez.  With his lifelong quest to find himself a woman, I would give Fez Swim the Fly by Don Calame (2014 Top Ten Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults).  In this book, three friends make a summer goal to see a woman naked, in person.  The boys aren’t incredibly successful, so maybe Fez could use this as a guide of what not to do. Secondly, I would point Fez towards Voss: How I Come to America and am Hero, Mostly by David Ives.  Being as we never do find out where Fez is from, I believe he would enjoy this fictionalized account of a guy sneaking into America from his fictional country.  Maybe Fez and Vos share a home…in Slobovia.

Donna Pinciotti – Donna discovered a very lucrative hobby when she inadvertently became the local welcome, caller, this is chloeradio station’s “Hot Donna.”   Donna, who was always viewed as less-than-feminine by her friend, is now a local celebrity who gets to hang out with rock stars.  Because of her interest in radio, I would recommend Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell.  In this story, Chloe takes over her school radio station.  In comparison to Jackie, Donna may not seem like much of a girly girl, but I bet she would like a romance or two once in a while.  What ’70s girl didn’t have a copy of Forever… by 1996 Edwards Award winner Judy Blume stashed somewhere?

I think our gang from Point Place could start a reading circle in Forman’s basement.  If it’s one thing they like to do, it was sitting in a circle.

-Brandi Smits, currently reading Guy in Real Life by Steven Brezenoff and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black