Top Ten Tuesday – Movies/Shows and their Literary Counterparts

Posted April 29, 2014 by Bonnie in Top Ten Tuesday / 12 Comments

I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies really but when I find something I love watching I like to look into finding books that are similar. The following is a list of some of my favorite shows (and a few movies) and books that I think match up really well with them.


If you like Downton Abbey… Read Summerset Abbey and Bright Young Things
Summerset Abbey is a near clone to Downton Abbey as the story follows the lives of three girls in the early 1900s. It definitely lacks the glamorousness of Downton but is still one bound to be pleasing to fans. Bright Young Things once again follows the lives of three girls but this one is going to be good for fans of the more recent episodes, where the show is transitioning into the 1920s/flapper era.


Sherlock and Veronica Mars – The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King
Do you love Sherlock and the modern aspects? Love Veronica Mars? If the two came together you’d have Mary Russell. Mary Russell is a modern young woman who meets an elderly gentleman by the name of Sherlock Holmes and ends up becoming his protégée.


Charmed and Practical Magic – Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Garden Spells matches well with the modern aspects of Charmed and Practical Magic, following the story of two sisters that possess a special magic that runs in the family.

Walking Dead and World War Z – As the World Dies trilogy by Rhiannon Frater
The First Days is the story of two strangers, Jenni and Katie, who struggle to survive when the zombie outbreak occurs. It’s a perfect match-up to both the show and movie and will appeal to fans of zombies in general and post-apocalyptic fiction.

Dexter – I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
Jasper Dent (I Hunt Killers) is like a young Dexter. His father is a serial killer and he fears that he’s just like his father and has to figure out on his own how to control himself. Harper Curtis (The Shining Girls) is basically a much more twisted version of Dexter. Both books showcase what could’ve happened to Dexter if he didn’t have Harry Morgan.

Law and Order/CSI – Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffery Deaver
I love the legal aspects of Law and Order and love the technical work of CSI that goes into solving crimes and the Lincoln Rhyme series is a perfect blend of both. Lincoln Rhyme used to be a Detective for the NYPD before his accident where he became a quadriplegic. He now works as a Forensic Consultant and assists them in solving crimes with his (business and romantic) partner Amelia Sachs.

True Detective – Child of God by Cormac McCarthy and The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
For fans of the Southern Gothic aspects of True Detective, Child of God and The Devil All the Time are perfect matchups. These stories both focus less on the detective aspects and more on the crimes themselves but the terrible horror is no less prevalent.

Once Upon a Time – Fables by Bill Willingham and Indexing by Seanan McGuire
I enjoyed Once Upon a Time, to an extent. I found it to be a bit silly and I was looking for something a little more serious but still with that fairy tale aspect. The Fables graphic novel series is the perfect solution to that and feature all your well-known fairy tale characters in a modern setting. Indexing has the same fairy tale type setting with more of a mystery/detective aspect.

Top Chef and No Reservations – Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas and The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate
Sweet Nothings and The Love Goddess’ Cooking School both blend the romance of No Reservations and the cooking competition aspect of Top Chef. Both are extremely fun lighthearted reads.



12 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday – Movies/Shows and their Literary Counterparts

  1. Great list! I made the Once/Fables connection as well (and we’re probably not alone, since apparently there was a lot of Fables fan uproar back when Once came out…). I love that you included Veronica Mars! I’ve always wondered about the Mary Russell books — and if she’s anything like VMars, then I’ll have to give the one you recommend a try!
    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: You watch that? Then read this!My Profile

  2. Sara

    Great post! Great selections and comparisons. I will definitely have to check some of these out.

    I also included Once Upon a Time/Fables in my post. They are so similar in so many ways.
    Sara recently posted…Top Ten TuesdayMy Profile

    • Both of those reads are dark and disturbing (most especially Child of God) but then again, True Detective wasn’t a real happy show either. lol Hope you enjoy them!

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