• The cover of the book The Best of Everything

    The Best of Everything

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel opens in 1958, which is also when Jaffe’s game-changing book about five young women working at a Manhattan-based publishing house first hit the shelves. Both stories are about women struggling to rise to the top of competitive industries during a time when women weren’t encouraged to pursue particularly challenging career paths.

     
  • The cover of the book The Chelsea Girls

    The Chelsea Girls

    For a look at the New York arts’ scene in the ‘40s through the ‘60s, check out The Chelsea Girls. It follows the friendship between Hazel Riley and Maxine Mead, a playwright and actress, as they inhabit the famous Chelsea Hotel and attempt to land a show on Broadway over the backdrop of the Red Scare.

     
  • The cover of the book We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

    We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

    Blogger-turned-essayist Samantha Irby is one of the best voices in modern comedy and something tells us Midge Maisel would appreciate the perceptively hilarious autobiographical essays included in this collection. Irby offers spot-on insights about her own life as well as pop culture, illuminating the truth about what it means to be human.

     
  • The cover of the book Diary of a Mad Diva

    Diary of a Mad Diva

    Midge Maisel appears to be at least partly based on the late Joan Rivers, who helped blaze a trail for women in comedy. Check out her diary (no, really! It’s her actual diary!) with daily musings on celebrity culture, family life—well, the Joan Rivers version of family life—fashion, and more.

     
  • The cover of the book Funny Girl

    Funny Girl

    This modern classic from the author of High Fidelity is about Sophie Shaw, a young ingenue navigating the tough waters of showbiz in 1960’s London. It chronicles her meteoric rise to television stardom, and while the setting is different from Mrs. Maisel, the snappy, witty voice is pretty similar.

     
  • The cover of the book Recipe for a Perfect Wife

    Recipe for a Perfect Wife

    Journalist Karma Brown takes her keen eye to fiction. Her first novel follows a present-day publicist-turned-writer named Alice Hale who discovers an old 1950s cookbook filled with letters and notes from the previous owner, housewife Nellie Murdoch. Reading through the pages, Alice begins to piece together the clues the other woman left behind about her life.

     
  • The cover of the book Modern Girls

    Modern Girls

    Midge Maisel’s Jewish-American identity is a major focus of the show, and Brown’s Modern Girls is set in a community of Jewish immigrants in 1935. It follows Dottie Krasinsky and her mother Rose, both of whom who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. This is a story about identity, motherhood, faith, and tough choices.

     
  • The cover of the book Park Avenue Summer

    Park Avenue Summer

    This novel features the real-life former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Helen Gurley Brown, responsible for transforming the magazine to appeal to the modern woman. In Park Avenue Summer, wannabe photographer Alice Weiss lands a coveted position at the publication and moves to New York from her small Midwestern hometown to make her dreams come true.

     
  • The cover of the book Why Not Me?

    Why Not Me?

    Comedian Mindy Kaling’s second essay collection digs into her experience as a woman of color climbing the ranks in Hollywood. Though her story isn’t exactly the same as Midge Maisel’s, there are certainly shared themes of struggling to find a place in an industry that isn’t exactly welcoming you with open arms. Plus, Kaling is laugh-out-loud funny.

     
  • The cover of the book I Feel Bad About My Neck

    I Feel Bad About My Neck

    This collection of delightful essays about life, love, great apartments on New York City’s Upper West Side, and growing older showcase filmmaker and writer Nora Ephron at the height of her powers. Her comedic voice is not too different from what we’ve seen of Midge’s on the show—sharp, smart, and self-deprecating.