So you’ve read every thinkpiece, recap, slideshow, interview, and reaction post you could find, and that Mad Men-shaped hole in your heart is still agape? Fear not, dear viewers. EW is here for you during this tough time: From suburban woes to career gals, these books will help combat your Mad Men withdrawal.
Josh Weltman, Seducing Strangers: How To Get People To Buy What You’re Selling
To really keep you drenched in the Mad Men universe, check out this book by Josh Weltman, one of the show’s co-producers. Not only did Don Draper himself write the foreword (okay, it was Jon Hamm), but Seducing Strangers is packed with surprisingly fascinating case studies from the advertising world.
Mary McCarthy, The Group
This long-running (and, at the time, scandalous) 1963 bestseller about a group of Vassar grads navigating marriage, sex, children, workplace sexism, and money was the inspiration for Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City. The Group takes place between 1933 and 1940, but is a fantastic specimen of what Peggy, Joan, and their peers were likely reading in the ’60s.
Rona Jaffe, The Best of Everything
First published in 1958, Jaffe’s novel was the original career girl’s saga, following a cohort of young employees at a New York publishing company.
Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
Yates’ 1961 novel evokes the utter desolation of mid-century suburban life—one of Mad Men‘s favorite subjects.
Helen Gurley Brown, Sex and the Single Girl
Before she famously shook up Cosmopolitan magazine, Gurley Brown’s advice book encouraged women to strive for financial independence and seek out sexual relationships, whether married or not.
Sloan Wilson, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit
Wilson’s chronicle of the discontented businessman has been referenced in countless Mad Men thinkpieces—so why not read the original thing for yourself?
Coffee, Tea, or Me?
We now know that the author of these “uninhibited” fictional memoirs, ostensibly written by “stewardesses” Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones, was actually Donald Bain, who worked in PR for American Airlines. While some references are cringingly dated (like a chapter on homosexuality titled “They Looked So Normal”), the pop cultural tidbits (like references to Batman and celebrities of the day) are a fun treat.
John Updike, Rabbit, Run
Updike’s classic centers on Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, a married former basketball star who grows weary of suburban life and longs for escape. It’s an unsettling tale, complete with affairs, betrayals, and an accidental murder. We’re guessing Don Draper might see a kindred spirit in Rabbit.
Brett Martin, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
And finally, to bring it all back around, a book for the true television scholar.