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As a newbie to the Apple TV + show Ted Lasso, I was initially upset by all the recommendations swirling around from everyone. As soon as I watched, I totally got it. I am planning a trip to London as soon as I can and will be doing a Ted Lasso self guided tour. I’m also looking for books like Ted Lasso.
Not only is the show fun, there is a real investment in the characters and their needs as well as great scenes from the soccer game. Despite the fact that I agree with critics of the show who say a little bit of the narrative, “White man who knows nothing, comes to save the city and succeed when he still doesn’t know,” I disagree bring something different to be charmed by the team and the city (and Ted’s relentless confusion about British and American cultures). It’s like seeing Gilmore Girls for the town of Stars Hollow, not the Gilmores.
The show is so engaging, especially for those who have spent the past year dealing with terrible news every day, because it feels like a warm hug and each character gets a moment of success or personal growth. There’s a perfectly drawn love affair between Keeley and Roy as Ted uses his consistent ability to find the positives to help all players perform at their best in the game. The two main parts of Ted Lasso that resonated with me were the storyline for sports success and the story about fish out of the water. Moving to a new city is difficult anyway, but moving to a new country where the entire community rushes on you and calls you a “wanker” adds to that tension.
These books like Ted Lasso capture some of those feelings.
Well-being sports books like Ted Lasso
Running with Lions by Julian Winters
If you are looking for a sports reading with a super lovable protagonist and a trainer to back him up, this is the book for you. Sebastian is the goalkeeper for the Bloomington High School Lions soccer team and he’s doing amazingly well. However, when he comes to summer training, he meets his old rival Emir, who is not yet a fan. Sebastian is determined to do the best for the team. He gets in touch with Emir and realizes that the friendship can be revived and something more.
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Please check! Book 1: Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
You may have heard of this comic long since it was web comic days. Jack is an instantly lovable character (reminiscent of Sam Obisanya) whose softness clashes against the madness of college hockey. As with Ted Lasso, any kind of softness is welcome in traditionally male sports. Jack is a pastry-obsessed former figure skater who joins the Samwell University hockey team. It’s a lot more than he expected and Jack needs to learn how to play a much more intense game. First impressions aren’t what they seem, and a lovely relationship develops with Jack and his hardcore teammates.
Well played by Katrina Ramos Atienza
This is a pride and prejudice inspired romance from the perspective of a young college soccer player. Patrice is ready to start a perfect year dominating the soccer team and maybe having some time with her crush. However, she gets stuck in a semester-long partnership with Paul, who is arrogant and cold and not at all what Patrice wants. The residential environment is the perfect modern analog for pride and prejudice as they are all in the same social circle whether they like it or not which has the feel of a Regency ball to me. Paul is also the perfect Darcy in his absolute flop flirting technique.
The Infinite Noise by Lauren Shippen
It’s always fun to wonder what would happen if the X-Men just went to therapy, and this book is the answer to that. Although Caleb seems very normal, he is actually an atypical, feeling the emotions of everyone around him. When Caleb is overwhelmed by Adam’s domineering feelings, his therapist Dr. Bright plans to become friends with Adam to find out what binds them together so much. This is a story about mental health, connection, and the difficulty of being atypical in a society that is struggling to accept you.
Act your age, Eve Brown from Talia Hibbert
If you’re a fan of the other Brown Sisters books, you know Eve is a little bit everywhere. Eve Brown goes for an interview for a cooking position at a bed and breakfast, but the boss is the imperturbably unhappy Jacob Wayne, who no doubt tells Eve that she is not right for the job. After she hit him with her car and he breaks his arm, Eve helps Jacob at the B&B and he is worn down by her sunny, anarchic way of life. It’s a sweet book in which Eva manages to charm Jacob and everyone else with her positive attitude. There is nothing more Ted Lasso than that.
Alex in Wonderland by Simon James Green
Although Alex is going to be working in Wunderland in his hometown in this book, he is very shy and does it alone because his friends are gone for the summer. Wonderland is your typical beach town arcade and general entertainment space, and Alex quickly falls in love with his colleague Ben, but it gets complicated. Alex and the other Wonderland workers also take on the task of protecting the failing amusement park and come together as a team to win the big game other than Wonderland.
Well met by Jen DeLuca
Moving to a new city and getting involved in something that the people of the city hold dear to the heart? Check. Emily moves to Willow Creek to help her sister get back on her feet, but then she joins the local Renaissance fair and plays a woman alongside Simon. Simon hates her non-traditional approach to his family’s fair and makes it known how little he appreciates her strange ideas. Emily quickly finds unexpected joy and solace in Willow Creek, along with her burgeoning enemy-to-lover situation with Simon. It’s sweet, gripping read with two sequels to keep you occupied while you wait for season two.
Find super specific book recommendations
When we love something as much as so many people loved Ted Lasso, we become hungry for more media, just like what we loved so much. While we are all waiting for season two, the Book Riot TBR service has tons of Ted Lasso read alikes! TBR bibliologists are amazing at receiving hyper-specific referral and giving you tons of reading to quench your book appetite. If you’re starving for more books like Ted Lasso while waiting, TBR is the perfect place to get your media recommendations.
For even more books like Ted Lasso, we’ve covered books that seem like a warm hug, feel-good fantasy, and sports novels.