Popular TV shows matched to books

Digital marketing manager Lian Hingee shares book recommendations for fans of popular TV shows.


If you love Game of Thrones

The HBO TV series of Game of Thrones has introduced millions of readers to George R.R. Martin’s novels. If you’ve already read all of the books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, then grab a copy of The Name of the Wind. This wonderfully-written novel charts the early years of the legendary magician Kvothe who is desperately trying to enjoy his retirement, incognito, as the barkeep in a tiny backwater town. Patrick Rothfuss is a master world-builder, and this is as entertaining as it is engrossing. Plus, The Name of the Wind is already destined for the screen, with both a feature film and a TV series coming under the helm of Hamilton creator (and long-time fan of the book) Lin-Manuel Miranda.


If you love The Handmaid’s Tale

Feminist sci-fi is enjoying a renaissance and there’s some fabulous books on offer including The Power, Future Home of the Living God and The Book of Joan. One novel that perfectly captures the current social and political climate around women’s rights is Red Clocks. Leni Zumas’s reproductive dystopia is set in a not-too-distant future in which the US has instated a new ‘Personhood’ law that makes abortion and IVF a crime. Like The Handmaid’s Tale, this novel follows the everyday life of women simply attempting to live their lives under this draconian new law: unhappily-married mother-of-two, Susan; Ro, a high school teacher who is desperately trying to get conceive a child; pregnant teenager, Mattie, whose promising academic future is now in doubt; and Gin, a homepath who illegally ends pregnancies with foraged herbs.


If you love The Crown

Netflix’s beautifully shot series about Queen Elizabeth is the most expensive TV show ever made. It has a brilliant cast of actors, stunning production values, and thoroughly lust-worthy period costumes. If you’re interested in reading something that captures the drama and excess of the British monarchy, look no further than Julia Baird’s brilliant biography of Queen Victoria. This compelling book has been praised for its attention to human detail, and Baird – one of Australia’s most respected political journalists – has done a masterful job of stripping away the layers of cobwebs and pomposity from Victoria’s reputation to reveal the influential, intriguing and surprisingly modern woman who wore the crown.


If you love The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel….

Amy Sherman-Palladino’s fast-talking, whip-smart, and acerbically funny series tells the story of ‘perfect’ 50s housewife, Midge, who carves out a career as a stand-up comedienne after her husband leaves her for his secretary. Nora Ephron’s semi-autobiographical novel Heartburn is based loosely (or not so loosely) on the breakdown of her own marriage and it’s chatty, accessible, brilliantly clever, and so so funny. Like Mrs. Maisel it’s about love, life, family and taking control of your own narrative – even when your story isn’t quite going to plan.


If you love Big Little Lies

In case you didn’t know, this slick HBO show is based on a book by Australian writer Liane Moriarty, and if you haven’t read it, then you definitely should because it’s brilliant. If you have read it, and you’re still hungry for more, grab a copy of Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This juicy domestic drama tackles big issues like class and privilege, mother-child relationships, dangerous secrets and suburban politics, and wraps it all up in a highly readable mystery.


If you love Twin Peaks

If you were obsessed with the 2017 reboot of David Lynch’s weirdly wonderful 90s drama series, Twin Peaks, check out The Town. This brilliant Australian debut by Shaun Prescott is the story of a small town in Central NSW that seems to be disappearing into nothingness, and the outsider who is determined to discover the cause. Populated with odd characters, surreal landscapes, and small unexplained mysteries, this darkly humorous book exposes the strangeness underneath the familiarity of small-town Australia.


If you love Younger

This delicious (if unrealistic) series about a 40-year-old Mum who fakes being a 26 year old to get a job at a publishing house is an absolute romp. Thinly veiled references to George R.R. Martin, H is for Hawk, Marie Kondo, and more, offer book-industry-based fans a thrill. (Rumour has it that they have a real-life New York book editor on staff as a writer’s consultant.) If you’d like to read another entertaining, gossipy book about the book trade take a look at Nina Stibbe’s memoir, Love, Nina. In 1982 Stibbe took up a position as nanny for the children of the London Review of Books editor, Mary-Kay Wilmer, and her refreshing, witty letters home to her sister are full of mentions of literati including Alan Bennett, Michael Frayn and Claire Tomalin.


If you love Stranger Things

Stranger Things is a love letter to the 1980s, and is jam-packed with sly references to everything from E.T. and The Ghostbusters, to The Shining and Michael Jackson. The story about a group of young misfits waging a war against supernatural evil in America’s heartland could have been stripped straight from the pages of a Stephen King novel. In fact, if you’re wanting to recapture the feel of a Stranger Things binge-watch then you should look no further than King’s classic horror, IT. A missing child? Tick. A band of primary-school aged social misfits determined to find said child? Tick. A malevolent creature terrorising a small town? Tick. The parallels aren’t accidental, either. The creators of Stranger Things are huge fans of Stephen King and before making this show had originally pitched a remake of IT.


If you love Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Don’t be fooled by its jaunty musical numbers and hyper colour set-design, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is probably one of the cleverest, darkest, most complex shows on television. This past season has addressed topics as heavy as mental illness, depression and suicide, but in a way that’s somehow still extraordinarily funny. In Furiously Happy, comedian Jenny Lawson details her struggles with depression and anxiety, alongside stories from her life that our reviewer promises will have you ‘curled over with laughter and gasping for breath’.


If you love The Expanse

The Expanse is to science-fiction what Game of Thrones is to fantasy: a smart, complex, deeply political series full of fascinating, multi-faceted characters set in a well-realised world. It’s based on a fairly epic book series in its own, but if you’re not quite ready to commit to 7+ books – or if you don’t want to spoiler yourself as the TV show has a lot of catching up to do – take a look at Ann Leckie’s standalone sci-fi thriller, Provenance. Like The Expanse it offers a story about politics, war, and class. There’s plenty of action, but at its heart it is a very human story.


If you love Riverdale

CW’s subversive adaptation of the Archie comics was a bit of a surprise hit last year. The show sexed up the wholesome storylines of the original comics, adding murder, drugs, corruption, affairs. Fans might like to check out One of Us is Lying, which has been described as The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. Like the show, this book revolves around the mysterious death of a popular teenager, and features a misfit cast of characters who work together to solve the crime.

 Read review
Little Fires Everywhere

Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng

$22.99Buy now

Finding stock availability...