Read Like a Simpson: Book Recommendations for Iconic Characters

Few shows have influenced primetime television and Western animation as much as The Simpsons. Since its debut 30 years ago, in December 1989, the show's humor and inventiveness have made it a pop culture cornerstone. And if you were a child of the 1990s, like me, catching the latest Simpsons episode was a Sunday night ritual. In celebration of the show’s anniversary, I’m recommending books for some of the show’s iconic characters.

Future U.S. president Lisa Simpson (Season 11, Episode 17) has a lot on her table any given day. She’s running environmental rallies. She’s binge-watching Itchy and Scratchy. And she’s keeping up with the latest bestsellers. That’s why I’d recommend The Hazel Wood, a dark fantasy novel following young Alice Prosperpine as she searches for her mother within the forbidden world of Hinterland—a world authored by her mysterious grandmother.

While Sideshow Bob was first known to the children of Springfield as Krusty the Clown’s wacky sidekick, the notorious criminal is also a proud connoisseur of fine art. I’m sure he’d appreciate Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an absorbing biography of the famed composer from his child prodigy days to his untimely death in 1791.

When you’re planning to invade Earth and rule over humanity, a few good books could seriously help. So I’d recommend Sapiens to Springfield’s annual enemies from outer space—Kang and Kodos. The acclaimed work explores how humankind evolved from several species into the singular homo sapiens we are today.

With his extensive knowledge of everything worth knowing, Comic Book Guy would tell me he doesn’t need book recommendations—especially Simpsons comic book recommendations. Yet, I’m confident even Comic Book Guy would be impressed with the Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium. This comic collection features Bart, Lisa, Homer, Marge and Maggie in unpredictable adventures—including the invention of a beer-flavored donut and interdimensional time travel.

Who's your favorite Simpsons character? What book would you recommend for them? Let me know in the comments!