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4 Meta Reads for Fans of Russian Doll

by | March 12

Sweet Birthday Baby!! It’s Nadia 36th birthday, a birthday she’s been dreading for years, and all she wants to do is get drunk and stoned out of her mind (and find her missing cat, Oatmeal). But there’s one major problem. By the end of the night she winds up dead…

Sweet Birthday Baby!! It’s Nadia’s 36th birthday, a birthday she’s been dreading for years, and—what exactly has she been smoking?!

via GIPHY

In the new Netflix hit Russian Doll, Nadia Vulvokov finds herself inexplicably—and inextricably—stuck in a time loop. After living and violently dying one too many times, Nadia races to find answers, living out different scenarios of the same day and even meeting another prisoner of this curse.

If you love Russian Doll, all things time travel, time loops, and the metaphysical, the books on this list will entertain you, make you think, and perhaps provide some insight if you ever find yourself in a situation like Nadia’s.

via GIPHY

Image Source: Courtesy of Netflix

Life After Life

Life After Life

by Kate Atkinson

For another time loop tale, dig into Kate Atkinson’s historical mystery Life After Life. Like our Russian Doll anti-hero Nadia, Ursula Todd, the daughter of a wealthy family in early twentieth-century England, lives and dies...repeatedly. During the course of her many lives, Ursula witnesses two World Wars, inching closer and closer to her destiny each time. Will she use this curse (or power) to get to the bottom of this mystery and ultimately change the world? Or is she doomed to repeat this life until she gets it right?

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I'm Thinking of Ending Things

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

by Iain Reid

If you enjoy the dialogue in Russian Doll about the existential and the metaphysical, you have to read Iain Reid’s debut novel, a truly trippy reading experience. The premise is fairly simple—an unnamed girlfriend and her boyfriend, Jake, are on a road trip to meet his parents. Beside the fact that the girlfriend is thinking of breaking things off with Jake, something is amiss—she keeps getting phone calls, but no one is on the other end, and for some reason no one can explain, there’s an air of impending doom. During the uncomfortable drive, “Girlfriend” and Jake engage in philosophical conversation: questioning consciousness, free will, fear, and solitude. With twists you don’t see coming, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is the perfect philosophical thriller to get you thinking about life and your place in the universe.

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Asymmetry

Asymmetry

by Lisa Halliday

Some Russian Doll fans might argue that—aside from the wisecracking protagonist, Nadia—New York is the best character of the show. Russian Doll expertly showcases the diversity of the Big Apple with an acid-laced soundtrack, quirky characters, “cocka-roaches,” and the many hazards that could potentially (or in the case of this show, definitely) take one’s life. Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry is told in three distinct voices that intertwine—in a way that only disparate New York stories can do. In this novel, you’ll meet the many faces of NYC in the themes it touches on, such as wealth, talent, power, justice, and fame.

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11/22/63

11/22/63

by Stephen King

In Russian Doll, Nadia becomes fixated on solving the mystery of the dreaded time loop and saving herself from a permanent death. In Stephen King’s historical thriller 11/22/63, English teacher Jake Epping travels back in time to prevent a death that rocked the nation—the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. While Nadia’s motive might not be on such a grand scale, she and Jake both quickly learn that even the smallest changes in the past can have a large effect on the future. Life is like a box of timelines. Ya feel me?

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Tolani is a Marketing Associate at Simon & Schuster. A daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Tolani enjoys literary fiction about the tensions between cultures and classes. Her favorite book is Khaled Hosseini’s “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” which she’s made a pact with herself to revisit every three years. She also founded and runs her own blog, TolanisLifeLessons.com. Keep up with her current reads and favorite books on Instagram @TolaniHerShelf.