A rude customer buys “Franny and Zooey” on episode one of season one.
A rude customer can be seen buying “Franny and Zooey” from the bookstore on the first episode.
“He’s just pissed he has to buy Salinger to feel respectable,” Joe’s internal monologue says over the scene.
His rudeness might allude to Joe’s impression of Peach, the author’s fictional descendant on the show.
Joe lends Paco “Don Quixote.”
“The most valuable things in life are usually the most helpless. So they need people like us to protect them,” Joe tells Paco on episode one, season one.
This quote could be alluding to his obsessive overprotection of Beck through his actions.
Right after, he gives Paco (Luca Padovan) an old copy of “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes.
“It’s about a guy who believes in chivalry so he decides to be an old school knight,” Joe explains to Paco, adding that this book is one of his favorites.
Joe also lends Paco “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas.
Joe sees Paco reading on the stairs of their building and comments on how fast he’s reading “The Three Musketeers.”
Paco replies, “It reads quick. It’s good.”
“The Three Musketeers” follows d’Artagnan after he leaves home to join the Musketeers of the Guard, where he becomes friends with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.
Beck gives Joe “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown in Italian.
After he saves her from the train tracks, Beck comes back to the store and gives him “Il Codice Da Vinci” with one of her poems inside.
This book is a mystery thriller, the same genre as “You.”
Joe and Ethan set up for a debut of Stephen King and Owen King’s book, “Sleeping Beauties,” at their bookstore.
The morning “Sleeping Beauties” is released at Joe’s bookstore, Ethan (Zach Cherry) says, “Let’s give thanks to our Lord Stephen King who bestowed books so that our bookstores in third-dimensional locations may live.”
“Sleeping Beauties” revolves around the disappearance of women from the world.
It could be alluding to the women on “You” who disappear in one way or another: Beck, Peach, or even Candace (Ambyr Childers).
Joe gives Paco “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley to read next.
After Paco hates a werewolf novel the girls in his class keep talking about, Joe recommends “Frankenstein.”
He says, “The monster is really cool and scary, but also not really the monster.” The audience later realizes this is probably how Joe feels about himself.
“It’s cool how you get the monster’s POV, you understand why he does stuff,” Paco later tells Joe. “It’s weird because he’s bad, but not all bad.”
Joe then adds, “Well, I think it’s open to your interpretation.”
This could reference the format of “You” in and of itself and the audience’s potential perception of Joe.
Joe steals “Ozma of Oz” by L. Frank Baum from Peach’s house.
During Peach’s party on episode two, season one, Joe finds a collection of old and first-edition novels and pockets Baum’s “Ozma of Oz,” the third book in the Oz series.
The tale follows Dorothy Gale of Kansas as she makes a trip over the rainbow for the second time.
It’s also revealed that Joe used to read this book when Mr. Mooney locked him in the basement of the bookstore as a kid.
Joe turns to numerous books and authors to figure out how to get rid of a dead body.
Joe lists King and Caleb Carr as some authors he researched to figure out how to get rid of Benji’s body.
He takes a look at Carr’s “The Alienist,” a thriller about a ritualistic killer before he turns to a cookbook that explains how to butcher a chicken.
Joe follows Beck to a Charles Dickens festival.
Beck attends a Dickens festival with her family.
Here, everyone dresses up in Victorian-era clothing and participates in old-fashioned activities.
Joe recommends Paco read “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Dumas.
This real-life mural is located in Hollywood, and the books featured are all written by Charles Bukowski, a German-American novelist and poet deeply influenced by California.
The second season takes place in Los Angeles and the books could be foreshadowing Joe’s job as a bookseller at the high-end wellness store Anavrin just a few moments later.
During the first episode of season two, Joe whips out “Crime and Punishment.”
Joe takes the Fyodor Dostoyevsky book out of his bag during his job interview with the Anavrin employee Calvin (Adwin Brown).
“I just feel like it gets more relevant every day, right?” Joe tells him. ” … This guy’s struggling, trying to get past his mistakes, you know. I don’t like to get political but I will say our world is done for if we don’t think about that, how to be better.”
“I can’t believe you just did that, made a Russian novel sound like something I’d want to read,” Calvin tells him.
We later learn that Joe brought the book to secure his job at Anavrin when we see a flashback of Forty angrily lecturing Calvin for ordering a bunch of copies of “Crime and Punishment.”
“What? There’s a human alive who wants to read ‘Crime and Punishment?'” Forty tells Calvin.
That said, the book could also be a nod to Joe’s present state. The novel’s narrator struggles to overcome his past mistakes.
One of Joe’s first social-media posts is a photo of three books.
During season two, episode one, Joe takes a photo of three colorful novels.
The red book is “The Power” by Naomi Alderman, a sci-fi novel about women developing the ability to shoot electrical jolts from their fingertips, helping them to become the dominant gender.
This could allude to Love having the upper hand at the close of the season when locked Joe in his own cage.
The yellow book is “Gold Fame Citrus” by Claire Vaye Watkins, a novel set in the future in California.
Joe can be seen reading the book on his couch and later quotes it to Natalie.
However, he slightly changes the line, saying, “New friends can often have a better time together than old friends.”
Joe reads a classic children’s book to Henry.
After failing to entertain Henry with classic novels, Joe reads Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” book to him.
He mentions wanting to read Astrid Lindgren’s “Pippi Longstocking” to Henry next.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is mentioned throughout the third episode.
The third episode starts with Joe referencing “To Kill A Mockingbird” when he thinks, “Things are always better in the morning. At least that’s what Scout tells us, and who am I to argue with Harper Lee.”
Joe later says wants to be “steady like Atticus,” an impressive and wise character. He also calls the Engler residence “Boo Radley’s house,” which is surrounded by misery and mystery.
Joe lists the books he’s stolen and sold for Ellie.
Marienne (Tati Gabrielle) asks Joe if he knows where the library’s first edition copy of Henrik Ibsen’s drama “Peer Gynt” is, and mentions the play is worth $US2,500 ($AU3,369).
There are giant pages of the book and playing cards in the room, which also has chess pieces scattered around.
Most characters are dressed to resemble Lewis Carroll’s characters, with Sherry (Shalita Grant) as the Red Queen, Love as Alice, Cary (Travis Van Winkle) as the Mad Hatter, and Dante (Ben Mehl) as the White Rabbit.
The book Joe reads is a guide to ethical polyamory.