I have a confession to make. We pay too much for cable. That said, part of the reason we do so is because I’m addicted to a show called Shameless. It’s a reboot of a British show I’ve never seen, but it worked for The Office and it’s working for Shameless, yo. William H Macy plays the world’s most dedicated alcoholic/worst father. His eldest daughter Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has taken the helm of the impoverished Gallagher family who live on the South Side of Chicago. The show has approximately zero boundaries and I mean that in the best possible way. Since the folks at The Broke and the Bookish proposed this week’s topic “books for people who love …” I figured I’d get my Shameless on.
1. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (review)- This little beauty winds up on so many of my lists, but there’s a reason for it. The parents in this book give Frank and Monica a run for their money. The poverty? The substance abuse? The generalized crazy? Yes, yes, yes.
2. Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend by Erika T Wurth (review)- Dysfucntional families all up in this piece. Actually, the main character in this book takes care of her younger twin siblings a lot, so she reminds me of Fiona Gallagher. Plus, she makes some terrible life decisions, so she’s got a double Fiona going on.
3. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper (review)- This book is lacking the poverty and outrageously bad parenting, but the Foxmans have a whole lot of their own problems and PLENTY of shenanigans.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson- If you ever wanted to get inside Frank Gallagher’s head while he’s on a bender, this is the book you need to read. Holy crazy drug trip, you guys.
5. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (review)- Francie Nolan, my heart! Poor girl has the complicated alcoholic parent and urban poverty thing down.
6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (review)- Eleanor’s home life is on par with Shameless, that’s for sure! Actually, she could BE a Gallagher, what with the red hair and all…
7. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (review)- One of the undercurrents of Shameless is the way mental illness often dovetails with substance abuse, but it’s still got heart when things are super sad, much like The Silver Linings Playbook.
8. Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison- Oh man, I wanted to call social services about every 10 pages when reading this novel. Rural poor devastatingly abusive household. It’ll break your heart.
9. The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton- This book was such a surprise for me. I read A Map of the World and HATED it so I was super hesitant to pick this one up. Lucky I overcame my misgivings because this book was SO good. And sad. Poverty, again, but also a super smart brother who tries to get out of the muck (much like Lip!)
10. Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs- This book blows my mind. Outrageous lack of parental supervision, neglect, and casual drug usage. Why, it’s just like the Gallagher household.
Talk to me, Bookworms! Do any of you watch Shameless? Am I alone on this bandwagon? Is it weird that I’m a little obsessed with a show about super upsetting stuff?
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