Orange is the New Black Readalong Part 2

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

Suzanne asks if the inmates are going to get second dinner like hobbits, Leanne and Angie reference both To Kill a Mockingbird and The Hunger Games as things heat up at Litchfield, and Red reads aloud from Bird by Bird – a book that her nemesis Judy King is seen reading earlier in the season. To celebrate the end of our Orange is the New Black marathon, here are the books we spotted the inmates and guards of Litchfield reading in episodes nine through thirteen.


Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

If we were forced to cook the pureed mystery meat that comes out of those MCC bags, we’d be dreaming of a new kitchen too. It made our little book nerd hearts flutter to see Red working through the copy of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking that Gloria gave her last season. Red has been using it as her bible throughout the season, turning to it whenever she needs guidance.  As well it should be! Marcella Hazan is often credited as introducing chefs in the United States and Great Britain to Italian cuisine, ultimately winning the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement award for her work. Unfortunately, Red doesn’t have the opportunity to utilize Hazan’s techniques at Litchfield. But if we know anything about Red it’s that she has her eye on the future.


It by Stephen King

If we’re being frank, we think CO Coates deserves the nightmares he’s bound to get from reading Stephen King’s It during the night shift.  Published in 1986, this coming-of-age horror novel follows the lives of seven children as they’re tortured by a terrifying being who shape-shifts to fill the body of whatever the children’s fear most. While It is usually seen as a clown, under this new regime at Litchfield It could be seen as one of the corrections officers – CO Coates included.


Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

After blazing through Bird by Bird and teaching herself Italian from a book, it’s comforting to see Judy King turn to a novel that was practically made for her: Kitchens of the Great Midwest. Judy is sure to relate to Stradal’s protagonist Eva and her once-in-a-generation palate. And don’t even get us started on the language in this novel. If she’s the voracious reader we know her to be, she certainly went back to re-read sentences – relishing in every clause. Stradal writes about tomatoes like they’re a piece of poetry.  No one can appreciate that more than Judy King.


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

We recognize that not everyone has finished the newest season of Orange is the New Black and we’re committed to keeping this post spoiler-free for you all. But without giving too much away, the fact that Alana Dwight is reading Lord of the Flies is nothing short of genius. First published in 1954, this allegorical novel took a long time to become the success it is today. In fact, the book sold less than 3,000 copies and went out of print by 1955. Today, the novel is required reading for most American students and has been adapted for film three times – twice in English and once in Filipino. So it’s kind of a wonder Dwight hasn’t read this novel yet. Or maybe she has and she’s taking solace in the similarities between what’s happening in the world of this novel and what’s happening in the world around her.