Parks & Recreation Book Recommendations

It’s no secret that Parks and Recreation is my all-time favorite TV show. I first watched Parks & Rec during summer 2015 on Netflix, quickly falling hard for a dysfunctional, but loveable group running their city’s Parks and Recreation department. In short, this show is insanely laugh-out-loud funny, has an incredible cast and guest stars (hello Michelle Obama!) and clever.

In honor of the upcoming Parks & Rec reunion at PaleyFest (I WILL find a way to watch),the following book recommendations are based on Parks & Rec characters’ personalities.

And yes, it makes me very sad that Leslie Knope does not like libraries. Then again, if Tammy was my local librarian…

Leslie Knope- The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I can picture Leslie Knope reading across many genres, but she would especially love this summer contemporary about a politician’s daughter. The Unexpected Everything is in my top three Morgan Matson books, following Andie’s change in summer plans after her dad’s political scandal. Did I mention she becomes a dog walker?

Ron Swanson- Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Okay, so I couldn’t see Ron Swanson reading contemporary romance, but what screams Ron Swanson more than a camping trip in the woods? Starry Eyes is one of my favorite contemporaries, following best friends turned enemies Lennon and Zorie’s misadventures when they’re left stranded in the Californian wilderness together.

Ben Wyatt- The Seven Torments of Craig and Amy by Don Zolidis

If Ben can’t have Cones of Dunshire, I’m sure he would be fine settling for Dungeons and Dragons. Aka, Craig’s Saturday night game of choice in The Seven Torments of Craig and Amy. This book is a quiet contemporary, following Craig and Amy’s tumultuous relationship over senior year. The setting is so unique, taking place in 1990s Wisconsin, and is so laugh out loud funny (much like Parks & Rec).

Ann Perkins- Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll 

Ann is definitely someone who would do anything for her best friends, much like Doris and co. in Unclaimed Baggage. This under-the-radar book deserves so much more hype, following three friends working at an unclaimed baggage store during the summer. Ann and Leslie would definitely have fun raiding a store like this. Leslie would fill a binder recapping the whole experience.

April Ludgate – Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Jane Sinner from Nice Try, Jane Sinner would relate to April Ludgate on a spiritual, cynical level. If there’s anyone would also be able to get a bunch of college kids to film a reality TV show, it would be April. Nice Try, Jane Sinner is another laugh-out-loud, yet definitely dark read following Jane’s experience on her community college’s reality TV show, House of Orange.

Andy Dwyer- Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

Andy and Love, Life and the List’s main male character, Cooper, are similar in their own way. We all know that Andy can be oblivious at times. Much like Andy, Cooper can’t tell that his best friend has feelings for him. Love, Life and the List follows Cooper and Abby’s summers dealing with family, first experiences, and their feelings for another.

Tom Haverford- The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

This The Way You Make Me Feel recommendation is obviously based on my love for this summer contemporary, but also for the food trucks, something Tom Haverford would be all over. This book is filled with family, friendship, and yes, all the delicious treats on the LA food scene. Do I sense a Treat Yo’ Self food truck run coming soon?

Donna Meagle- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I couldn’t picture any Parks & Rec character being able to relate to Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians more than Donna. She would have a tweet storm after reading every chapter. Like many readers, I could not get over the outrageousness and hilariousness that is Crazy Rich Asians, and I’m very much in love with the film adaptation.

I feel like I could be forgetting someone, but they’re probably not that important


I also have recommendations based on characters from:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Throne of Glass

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Have you watched Parks & Recreation? Have you read any of the books above? Share in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Parks & Recreation Book Recommendations

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