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Master of None: Books to read
Master of None fans who binge-watched season 2 of Aziz Ansari's excellent examination of millennial New York (and beyond) who now feel a gaping hole in their life where the Netflix show used to be, check out some of these books that share similar themes, characters and concepts.
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Open City, Teju Cole
Not unlike Dev's travels to Italy for some soul searching in season 2, Open City tells Nigerian doctor Julius' tale as he reflects on his past, present and future while living in New York and also by visiting Brussels and the Nigeria of his youth.
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The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar share its self-awareness, honesty and reflection on human pyschology with many of the musings of Aziz Ansari's writing. Plath's semi-autobiographical and darkly beautiful novel will stay in your mind, and heart, long after reading the last line.
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Sex in the Title, Zack Love
Set in New York City in the early 2000s -- before smart phones and dating apps dictated romantic relationships -- Sex in the Title's exploration of dating in a metropolis that moves too fast and always has too many alternative options mirrors Dev's troubles in Master of None, particularly in its portrayal of making meaningful connections.
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Office Girl, Joe Meno
Meno's novel deals with that transition between early adulthood and actual adulthood. Though it's a little earlier in the process than Ansari's group in the Netflix show, Office Girl shares similarities in its humorous tone even when dealing with darker emotions like angst, insecurity and loneliness.
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Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Maria Semple
Ansari and Semple share the ability to write about real emotional pain but with wit and perspective which, in turn, allows for comedy to breach some of life's more painful moments. Where'd You Go, Bernadette follow Bee's attempt to track down her mother after she mysteriously disappears.
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I Was Told There'd be Cake, Sloane Crosley
This book of essays deals with the struggles of modern urban living and the unique perks and problems presented by life in New York City. Like Dev in Master Of None, the essays' protagonist encounters crazy jobs, complex relationships, and moral quandaries -- but all in an unpredictable and endearing way.
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Wallflower at the Orgy, Nora Ephron
Ephron and Ansari share the ability to analyze American culture with a mix of love and cynicism. This book of essays from the 1960s explores society's obsessions with celebrity, food, romance, clothes, entertainment, and sex -- obsessions that haven't changed greatly in nearly 60 years.
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The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
Episode 3 of the new season of Master of None, "Religion," explores the conflicting view points between generations, as Dev rejects his parents' view of the Muslim religion because he doesn't want to be confined by older practices. In The Namesake, Lahiri also explores the clash of cultures, the immigrant experience and the tangled ties between generations.
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The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman
Viewers who found the Italian setting of the first two episodes of Master of None seasons 2 to be a highlight, Rachman's novel is a must-read. Set in Rome, The Imperfectionists follows the ups and downs of a group of reporters and editors of an English-language newspaper.
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Day of Honey, Annia Ciezadlo
One of the best parts of Master of None might be Dev's enthusiasm for food -- it's rare for an episode to pass without him suggesting grabbing a bite. So if season 2 has left fans hungry for more, check out Day of Honey. Ciezadlo's memoir uses food, the rituals of eating and interactions with others to reveal the vibrant culture of the Middle East.
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It's Not You, Sara Eckel
Dev hasn't had much luck in the romance department. Maybe he could use a copy of Eckel's book, It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single. Based on a popular Modern Love column, the book counters all the tired reasons given to singletons to explain their lack of a relationship and encourages them to tap into their own wisdom about who and what is right for them instead.