All The Books Referenced In Netflix’s Four Seasons Of You

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 you

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 you

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
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Honorable Author Mentions:

Season 1:

  • 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.

Season 2:

  • Charles Bukowski: Season 2 starts off with a mural of books in Los Angeles, all written by Charles Bukowski.

Season 3:

  • 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.

Season 4:

  • 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.”

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Ashley Hubbard

Ashley Hubbard is a blogger and freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee focusing on sustainability, travel, books, plants, coffee, veganism, mental health, and more. She has two other websites - and

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