The hit Netflix thriller You is not only based on a book, but it features a number of books within the (so far) four seasons. These are all the books referenced in You.
The creepy series stars Penn Badgley – a big book nerd and also a psychopath. He also happens to be a bookstore manager and while he’s a walking red flag, the literary references are on point.
Books Referenced in You
Books Referenced in Season One of You
- Desperate Characters by Paula Cox
- Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Ozma of OZ by L. Frank Baum
- The Alienist by Caleb Carr
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Books Referenced in Season Two of You
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- The Power by Naomi Alderman
- Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
- Sum by David Eagleman
- Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
- Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
- Berlin Wild by Elly Welt
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- A Guide to Jane Austen by Michael Hardwick
- Kafka’s Selected Stories, translated by Stanley Corngold
Books Referenced in Season Three of You
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin
- Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
- Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
- The Tradition by Jericho Brown
- The Unbearable Lightness Of Being by Milan Kundera
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- The Science of Addiction: From Neurobiology to Treatment by Carlton K. Erickson
- More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen
Books Referenced in Season Four of You
- My Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Five Decades: Poems 1925-1970 by Pablo Neruda
- The Man of the Crowd by Edgar Allan Poe
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Pie
- The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
- Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
- Hell is the Absence of God by Ted Chiang
- Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare
- Maxwell’s Demon by Steven Hall
- Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
- The Path to Rome by Hilarie Belloc
- It Had to Be Murder by Cornell Woolrich
- The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
Honorable Author Mentions:
- Ernest Hemingway: Joe throws a literary-themed surprise party for Beck’s Birthday. When she arrives at the scene she asks Joe “Why are you wearing a turtleneck?”. He replies “I’m Hemingway.”
- Joe follows Beck to a Charles Dickens festival that she attends with her family.
- Charles Bukowski: Season 2 starts off with a mural of books in Los Angeles, all written by Charles Bukowski.
- Nicholson Baker, Louisa May Alcott: Joe mentions those two names in order to describe how being a parent feels like.
- Richard Yates: Theo compares Joe’s love for lawn and his attention to detail, to Richard Yates’s writing style.
- Tim Ferris, Tony robbins: While Joe breaks into Ryan’s house he mentions his love for self-improvement books.
- Hemmingway: Joe grabs his hat off a stack of two books, the top one written by Hemmingway.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: The library charity gala is full of references to this children’s classic.
- Charles Bukowski: The fourth season opens up with one of his most famous quotes: “Find what you love and let it kill you.”
- Emily Dickinson: During the opening monologue, Joe says, “The heart wants what it wants.”