The show's resident bibliophile has no barriers when it comes to his TBR
Heartstopper fans know that bookish character Isaac Henderson is the reader we all wish we could be. With tastes ranging from contemporary teen YA to 1,500+ page classics to mind-boggling books about physics theory, it’s clear that the most reserved of Charlie’s friends has no barriers when it comes to his TBR. The show's executive producer Patrick Walters even stated that Isaac, played by Tobie Donovan, “seems to read at the speed of light," making his wide-reading tastes a kind of "running joke" on the show.
If you want to know everything that Isaac has read (at least up through season 2 of the Netflix show, which premiered August 3), check out the full list below:
Dune Messiah by Frank Hebert
Frank Herbert’s Dune series is basically science fiction royalty, and its recent movie adaptations, starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, have helped boost the books even more. Dune Messiah, the second of the six-book series, follows protagonist Paul Atreides’ continued reign as Emperor.
Naruto: Volume 72 by Masashi Kishimoto
The 72nd installation of the popular Japanese manga series has Naruto and Sasuke facing each other in a serious final battle.
Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman
A hard left from his previous reads, Isaac gets intellectual with this informative book about quantum mechanics. In episode 3, he appears to be reading it before bed, of all times.
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
YA thriller author Holly Jackson is a master at spinning gripping mysteries. Pip, a high school student, is determined to find out the truth about a local murder in this novel, which is the first of the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder trilogy.
Proud: My Autobiography by Gareth Thomas
Heartstopper’s first season shows rugby player Nick questioning his sexuality while on his school’s team. It mirrors Gareth Thomas’ memoir in many ways, as the author writes of his professional rugby career and his own coming out story.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
One of a few classics that Isaac reads throughout the series, Austen’s beloved novel about romance and differing social groups is a fitting read as he observes the development of Charlie and Nick’s relationship.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
This YA novel by Heartstopper author and show creator Alice Oseman, which Isaac reads at Charlie’s birthday party, perfectly describes teenage anxiety ahead of the college years. It’s also a clever nod to the Oseman literary universe, as Isaac’s character replaced Aled, one of Charlie’s friends and a protagonist in Radio Silence.
Gender Explorers: Our Stories of Growing Up Trans and Changing the World by Juno Roche
This honest collection of interviews with young transgender people, as well as their parents and caregivers, gives insight into their experiences. Isaac's friend Elle (played by Yasmin Finney) is trans, and shares her story throughout the series, too.
There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years by Mike Berners-Lee
Isaac shows that he isn’t afraid to fight against the ongoing climate crisis when he delves into this book by carbon footprint researcher Mike Berners-Lee in the season 1 finale.
I Love This Part by Tillie Walden
Isaac reads this quiet love story about two American girls as they begin to develop feelings for each other. This book is also a graphic novel, like the original Hearstopper series.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
A YA thriller about two students at an elite school and the anonymous cyber bully who targets them. Bullying, and its mental health effects, are prominent themes throughout Heartstopper.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Wilde, an Irish playwright and poet in the Victorian era, was massively famous in his lifetime, and was imprisoned for his sexuality, at a time when being gay was illegal. One of his best known scripts, the comedic Earnest follows two characters avoiding their obligations by using fake identities
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
This bestseller set in the publishing industry follows a book editor and a literary agent in an enemies-to-lovers romance.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The first of many books that Isaac reads while on the gang’s post-GCSE trip to Paris, Victor Hugo’s 19th century classic follows former prisoner Jean Valjean and his escapades across France. It’s also an infamously hefty book — over 1,000 pages — which shows Isaac isn’t daunted by a challenge!
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This short, philosophical French novella tells the tale of a young and curious prince from a different planet. The story and its illustrations have long been beloved by readers of all ages.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
The story of a New Orleans mother who yearns for something more, Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel was one of the first books that depicted female desire and autonomy.
We Are Okay by Nina Lacour
This YA contemporary novel details Marin’s grief as she navigates college after her grandfather’s death. Its realistic portrayal of mental health and young relationships is similar to that in many of Oseman’s books.
Where’s Wally: The Great Picture Hunt by Martin Handford
Isaac, Nick and Charlie peruse this seek-and-find book together. A childhood staple that we’ve all owned at one point or another (though Wally might have a different name depending on what country you’re from.)
The Outsider by Albert Camus
Camus’ absurdist novel follows a man who is unexpectedly drawn into a beachside murder. A fitting read if you’re up for an existential crisis.
Crush by Richard Siken
Siken’s 2005 poetry collection centers on themes such as obsession, heartbreak and love. Isaac reads this while at Tara’s surprise party in Paris.
Boy Erased by Garrard Conley
This powerful memoir follows author Conley’s experience in a conversion therapy program. The book was made into a 2018 film starring Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Journalist and LGBTQ activist George M. Johnson details coming of age as a queer Black man through a series of essays in this YA nonfiction collection.
We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
In this poignant memoir, Habib candidly shares their experience as a queer Muslim in Pakistan, and their journey toward self-exploration and identity.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Readers follow Rumi’s life in the aftermath of her younger sister’s tragic death, and how she begins to heal through music, in this moving YA contemporary.
Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen
In the season 2 finale, Isaac goes to the school library during prom and picks up this book by journalist Angela Chen, which gives an introduction to asexuality. It’s hinted that Isaac might read this to better understand his own sexuality.
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