Follow-up your giftee's dramedy TV with our choice selections— Always Brave, Sometimes Kind (Brindle & Glass) and Fake It So Real (Nightwood Editions)—and get 20% off until Dec 4th with promo code BINGEMAS20 (enter at checkout).
Continuing to tug at heartstrings into its fifth season, weepy family drama This Is Us follows the lives of a diverse-ish family through decades as they struggle in very human ways with a past that's always present. It's arguably the one family dramedy that everyone cries while watching. Like This Is Us, Katie Bickell's debut novel of vignettes Always Brave, Sometimes Kind (Brindle & Glass) has a lot of the same appeal in its reflection on how events of one's past significantly impact the person they become. The connected short stories introduce us to characters we're immediately invested in: a teenager who becomes a career hockey mom, a nurse who cares for multiple generations of a family, a doctor who fights for his skeleton-staff amidst government cuts all the while alienating himself from his daughter. Always Brave, Sometimes Kind captures a network of friends, caregivers, in-laws, and near misses, with each character’s life coming into greater focus as we learn more about the people around them. This might just be the perfect gift to tide over that giftee who's waiting for the next episode of This Is Us to air.
Pamela Adlon's acclaimed family dramedy Better Things is a true gem that's only gotten better with time. Following the lives of Sam, a badass single mom who makes her living as an actor, and her three daughters, the show unfolds in a series of compelling interactions, conversations, and events that tell a larger picture about coming-of-age and the pitfalls of being a middle-aged actress in LA. Fans of Better Things will no doubt find the same unapologetic honesty in Susan Sanford Blade's Fake It So Real (Nightwood Editions) a debut novel about what happens when Girl meets Boy in Punk Band. Like Sam, the novel's central character Gwen, a gnarly Nancy Spungen look-a-like, is left to raise daughters on her own. And like Better Things, the strength and edgy realness of the all-female family and the emotional veracity of their lives is what'll keep your giftee hooked until the last page.