So, you might have heard of a show called Ted Lasso? It won like a bajillion Emmys and is in its second stellar season on Apple+? If not—watch the trailer immediately and then go subscribe to Apple+ (their free trial is definitely worth it!) and be prepared to spend a few glorious hours of the coziest, wholesome TV on offer. You might even have a more optimistic outlook after the first episode or two.
If you have heard of Ted Lasso and binged the first season in too short a time, you might remember in season one, episode 3 “Trent Crimm: The Independent” when Ted gave the team carefully chosen books—from A Wrinkle In Time for Roy to Ender’s Game for Sam. It was a sweet moment and set up Ted as a coach who really observed his team and wanted to help, even with a small gesture as giving a book.
Fans have carefully scrutinized the book’s choices and it’s easy to see how perfect those two selections were. Choosing the right book for the right person is a skill that, along with nearly unshakeable optimism, Ted possesses. If I were to recommend more books for his team, here are the books that I could see each character gravitating toward.
Take A Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
Roy Kent is the perfect romance hero. Not only does he embody a beloved romance trope—the grump to Keeley’s sunshine—but his prickly demeanor just barely hides how insightful and kind he can be. I imagine that he’d enjoy some of the best contemporary romance—like Take A Hint, Dani Brown from Talia Hibbert—for the happy ever afters but also for the well-crafted and thoughtful writing. He’d get Zaf’s commitment to the game and his family, including his relationship with his niece too.
Big Magic: Creative Living Without Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
There’s not much you couldn’t conquer after reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s even and calm words and advice in Big Magic. As Roy embarks on the next part of his career, this book could be a comfort, though he’d never admit it! But he and Keely totally watched Eat Pray Love and he listens to Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast when he works out. That’s my headcanon.
Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
Hilarious and galvanizing, like Keeley herself, Luvvie Ajayi Jones’ book is the perfect extra dose of comfort and confidence that Keeley needs as she becomes an indispensable part of the AFC Richmond organization.
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
If Keeley and Roy embody the beloved sunshine and grump trope, so does the pairing in Lucy Parker’s Act Like It, the first in her stellar London Celebrity series. Roy and Richard would have much to grumble over together if these fictional worlds collided and would do a great job of being stand-offish, probably bordering on rude. Keeley definitely would find much to love about the unlikely couple of sweet actress Lainie and her crabby co-star.
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Where’d You Go Bernadette? is a fun and easy read about a harried woman and her sudden disappearance, told in emails and correspondence between her family and neighbors might be just the book for Rebecca to pair with a glass of wine after a day being her capable self.
A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
This book is a masterpiece and is about two people whose lives and actions have ripple effects on those around them. Like Sasha and Bennie in Goon Squad, Ted and Rebecca’s decisions affect so much more than just their own trajectories. If Rebecca never sought revenge on her ex, Ted would never have come to AFC Richmond and if it wasn’t for his sunny outlook and ability to shake things up, Nate might not have gotten a Coaching position, Keeley and Roy might not have started dating, and so on. Rebecca might not be as self-aware to see the good that her not-so-good-intentioned decision caused, but I have a feeling she might like this book.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
It’s easy to imagine Coach Beard spending his free time perusing the local Waterstones, getting recommendations from a local bookseller on popular British fiction. He’s worked his way through most of the contemporary classics: Kate Atkinson, Zadie Smith, and lands on this, the perfect book to read while eating at the pub: engrossing, gorgeously written, and devastating.
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Coach Beard would appreciate the humor and quirkiness of this novel. As someone who is both well-read and well-versed in pop culture, it’s not hard to believe that he likes TV adaptations but insists on reading the books first. The satire on display, along with the commentary on religion and morality, and its entertainment and intelligence would definitely appeal to Beard.
The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Like Ted Lasso is a warm-hug of a character, this is a warm hug of a book. Hopeful and bright, this universal fantasy about found family, love, and taking chances is honestly the most perfect book for Ted to read and enjoy. He might even get misty-eyed at the ending.
The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green
In a manner similar to Ted in the show, John Green approaches big changes in his world and the larger space around him with wisdom, wit, and grace. Listening to this book (because the audiobook is highly recommended), one could imagine Ted enjoying this book as much he loved The Fault In Our Stars (he definitely cried at the end and gave a copy to every person he knew).