Like This, Read That, Lists

Watch This? Read That!

When I sat down to write this list, the shows that immediately sprang to mind are ones that are based on literature already. Outlander, The Walking Dead, and Daredevil are fantastic, but if you want to read books like those shows, my best suggestion is to start with the source material. So I went with books without literary source material, but as I don’t watch that much television, I had to go with some of my longtime favorites (Keri Russell forever).


If you like Bloodline (Netflix)…

Read Gates of Evangeline // Hester Young. Runner up pairing: Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich. Both the show and the novel are set in the south with large families and complicated dynamics. When distant family members return, drama and death ensue.

If you like Firefly (Fox)….

Read Fortune’s Pawn // Rachel Bach. Set in the future, Fortune’s Pawn features the badass Devi Morris, working aboard a cursed ship. While Firefly has a slightly larger cast and less romance than the book, the show is intelligent and features strong female characters (much like Fortune’s Pawn’s Devi).

If you like Felicity (WB)…

Read The Marriage Plot // Jeffrey Eugenides. Set at Brown University and University of New York respectively, both the show and the novel feature a woman torn between two men, one staid and respectable, the other daring and a little wild. Add in coming of age themes, and it’s a near perfect pairing.

If you like The Americans (FX)…

Read The Hours Count // Jillian Cantor. Very different, though thematically similar, both The Americans and The Hours Count take an interesting look at a couple spying for the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

If you like Twin Peaks (ABC)…

Read Leather Maiden // Joe R. Lansdale. This novel has a very Twin Peaks feel – murdered, small town good girl tangled up in the wrong crowd… Although the novel lacks a bit of the quirkiness of the show, if Twin Peaks is one of your favorites, it is certainly worth a try.

Do you have any TV/book pairings that you’d suggest? For more lists, go here.

(Image via Netflix)


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  • Kate

    If I had more time in my reading life, I’d revisit The Marriage Plot. It just didn’t do it for me – did I miss something…? Because as you know, we’re in heated agreement over Felicity.

    • Rory O’Connor

      I’d say skip it, too many other good books out there. I liked The Marriage Plot, but didn’t love it, though I thought the love triangle made a good correlation.

  • Katie McD @ Bookish Tendencies

    Ahhhhh Felicity… MAN that was a good show back in the day. I also LOVE The Americans, so I’m going to check out that book pairing for sure!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Keri Russell rules television. That is all. And The Marriage Plot is pretty good. 🙂

  • Sarah (Sarah’s Book Shelves)

    Love this!! And completely agree with your Bloodline pairing…Bull Mountain was the obvious one to me, but Gates of Evangeline definitely makes sense in a less obvious way!

    • Rory O’Connor

      Both families own a hotel where image matters, both have a family return unexpectedly. I think there’s more superficial connections to Gates of Evangeline, but a closer feel to Bull Mountain.

  • Julianne – Outlandish Lit

    I’ve never heard of Leather Maiden, but I absolutely adore Twin Peaks! Clearly I should give this a try, even if it’s not as quirky. But like… is anything as quirky as twin peaks? haha

    • Rory O’Connor

      Haha, no. There’s not.

  • Kathy

    I really like this post! I haven’t seen Bloodline, but I loved Gates of Evangeline. I might have to Netflix Bloodline to see what I’m missing.

    • Rory O’Connor

      YES! You should (not that I’m biased).

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