It’s Chris Pratt’s birthday on June 21 and all we want to do is sit around and binge Parks and Rec all day. But that would be ignoring his greater canon. (Oh wow just think about Andy Dwyer’s reaction to the phrase “greater canon.” Priceless.) So instead of playing Mouse Rat’s greatest hits until our brains explode, we’re sharing some Chris Pratt-specific book recommendations. Or should we say, book recommendations for our favorite Chris Pratt characters.
Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
In all seven seasons of Parks and Rec, we never saw Andy Dwyer pick up a book. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t interested in the world of fiction. Maybe he spent all his down time between shoe shines devouring War and Peace. We don’t know his life! But what we do know is that he was a big fan of his own band, Mouse Rat, and the band’s subsequent spin off Johnny Karate. So, we have a hunch he’d be a big fan of Grace and the Fever by Zan Romanoff. This stellar young adult novel would fulfill Andy’s rock star fantasy while simultaneously nudging him toward more female-centric narratives. Plus it has that can’t-put-it-down quality, so what’s not to love?
Paul in Her (2013)
The role of Paul in Her is so small it almost feels like an Andy Dwyer cameo taking over a Joaquin Phoenix vehicle. And what do you even recommend someone read when there’s an AI woman talking in your ear all day? Well, we’re glad you asked. We’re putting a copy of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans in Paul’s futuristic hands. It’s the perfect antidote to the bro-y tech world that permeates Her – simultaneously serving as a historical archive and a piece of inspiration for the future.
Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Even though Peter Quill is running around, um, guarding the galaxy, he certainly has time to read. What else can get him to wind down after a long day of action sequences and tape decks of '80s songs? We’re recommending The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber, a sci-fi novel that explores not only life on other planets, but other planets beyond our understanding of the universe. It’s also casually a meditation on marriage and Christianity, making this book an unlikely recommendation for a just as unlikely hero. But Peter’s no stranger to stretching himself beyond his comfort zone.
Emmet Brickowoski in The Lego Movie (2014)
When it comes to our book recommendation for Emmet Brickowoski, fan of the too catchy tune “Everything is Awesome,” we’re turning from one modular toy to another. The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon is sure to capture Emmet’s interest, even if he’s hitting us with a series of questions from the jump. Questions that include, but aren’t limited to, What’s a patent? What does it mean to sell an idea? What does it mean to steal an idea? Am I an idea? Can I be stolen? And does the Scottie dog have a name? Once Emmet has had a minute to cool down from all the excitement, we just know he’ll love The Monopolists and the opportunity to learn how a world like his – one filled with capitalism and play – can come to be.
Owen in Jurassic World (2015)
While it’s tempting to be super tongue-in-cheek and recommend Owen read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, we’re much more interested in his grasp of science and his likely tendency to read weighty non-fiction for pleasure. Which is why our actual book recommendation is Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall. First of all, we’re here to remind him that...
And by that we mean, women in STEM are rad. But more importantly, there’s a lot of science writing out there that ties our lives to prehistoric times. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs just happens to be our favorite.