search-icon

Fall TV Fever: What to Read Based on Your Favorite Show

by  | October 16

Television shows premiere year-round nowadays, it’s true, but there’s still something special about the fall TV season. Whatever your taste in genre—police procedurals, courtroom dramas, post-apocalyptic survival stories, sitcoms, teen soaps, you name it—there’s a juicy series vying for your attention. And starting a new TV show, like starting a new novel, means surrendering to a story that could take you absolutely anywhere. It’s thrilling and completely addictive, and once you’re invested, you want nothing more than to find out how it’s all going to end. Now, with a book, that’s no problem: you can read it at your own pace, reaching that last page as quickly or as slowly as you’d like. TV shows, though, are a whole different matter: unless you binge-watch the whole series after it wraps up, you’re in for a wait between seasons or even individual episodes.

Good thing that for every show making you wait for a new episode, there’s a book out there just waiting to be read. Here are our recommendations for what book to pick up next, based on your favorite fall show.

Mindhunter

Mindhunter

by John E. Douglas

Heather’s Pick for Prodigal Son

The son of a notorious serial killer grows up to become a hot-shot forensic profiler who solves crimes and catches murderers with the NYPD? Sure, why not?! Fox’s new police procedural with a ripped-from-the-headlines twist, Prodigal Son, was clearly designed for me and my fellow murderinos. Sure enough, it’s one of my favorite new shows of the fall. If it’s keeping you on the edge of your seat too, then I have just the book recommendation to help you fill the time between episodes: Mindhunter. Based on real-life cases from Douglas’s 25-year career as a psychological profiler for the FBI Investigative Support Unit, Mindhunter takes you behind the scenes of the hunt for sadistic murderers like the Green River killer and the Atlanta child murderer. You may never sleep again, but hey, you’d have something in common with Prodigal Son’s Malcolm Bright.

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Two Dead

Two Dead

by Van Jensen

Linda H. Codega’s Pick for Stumptown

So you like crime, mystery thrillers, procedural detective shows, and no-nonsense ladies who do what it takes to get to the truth? Stumptown, a new series airing Wednesdays on ABC, boasts Cobie Smulders as its practical but abrasive lead (finally!) and is looking to take over network TV. With a stellar supporting cast (including Michael Ealy, Jake Johnson, and Tantoo Cardinal) and a fantastic comic book to draw from, Stumptown is primed to blow us out of the water. If this sounds up your alley, take some time to check out Two Dead, a graphic novel by Van Jensen and Nate Powell, that follows two hard-hitting private investigators as they search for justice and truth in a small southern town. Set just after World War II, the issues of racism, sexism, and the rise of organized crime are all looked at from multiple perspectives. The book has the local flavor of southern towns paired with the struggles of individuals to do the right thing amid violence and terror. Stumptown and Two Dead are here to deliver all the slow-burn drama and fast-paced action you could want

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Mrs. Fletcher (Media Tie-In)

Mrs. Fletcher (Media Tie-In)

by Tom Perrotta

Cara’s Pick for Mrs. Fletcher

Of all the TV coming this fall, I’m so excited for Mrs. Fletcher to finally drop on HBO this month. With Kathryn Hahn starring in a much-anticipated adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s smart, sexy, knowing book by the same name, about a woman exploring her sexual identity after her son goes off to college, I know this is going to be great. If you haven’t already read the book, now’s the perfect time. Mrs. Fletcher premieres October 27.

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Last Castle

The Last Castle

by Denise Kiernan

Kristin’s Pick for The Crown

Patiently awaiting The Crown Season 3 to hit Netflix on November 17? Same here. Sadly, we have a few more weeks before the Windsors are back at Buckingham Palace. But lucky for us, there's something of an American equivalent that can keep us entertained in the meantime. The Last Castle tells the true story behind the Vanderbilts and the Biltmore Estate, the largest private residence in North America. This book will take you back to society in the Gilded Age, where the wedding of Edith Stuyvesant Dresser to George Vanderbilt was the event of the century. Get lost on the Vanderbilts’ 125,000-acre North Carolina estate and live the high-society life through the World Wars, the Jazz Age, and the Great Depression, meeting the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Teddy Roosevelt, and Edith Wharton along the way. Now we’re thinking about who we’d cast if this book becomes a TV series next. (Hey, Netflix, are you listening?)

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Typhoon

Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead: Typhoon

by Wesley Chu

LJ’s Pick for The Walking Dead

The world of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead is expanding with Typhoon, an international spin-off of the hit TV and comic series. In China, three protagonists find themselves caught in a typhoon as it roils the most populous country in Asia, and the trio become among the survivors known as walkers (jiangshi).

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

Molly’s Pick for Looking for Alaska

If you’re like me and have devoured John Green’s entire books catalog, you can’t wait for the upcoming Looking for Alaska TV show, which lands on Hulu on October 18. And if you and I are the same person, you’re wondering what other book will move you to your core and stick with you for years. That book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It’s more than your typical coming-of-age story and not for the faint of heart —it’s heartbreaking and haunting and so, so beautiful. An epistolary novel, Perks follows high school freshman Charlie as he navigates new friendships with an eclectic group of older students after the loss of his middle school best friend and his aunt. It’s a frequently challenged book due its heavy subject matters of sexuality, abuse, trauma, abortion, drug use, and body image issues, but it’s these exact subject matters that make it a must-read. (Plus, let’s be honest: if a novel is on a banned books list, it usually means it’s worth reading.) Perks is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, so there’s no better time to immerse yourself in this classic. It’s what John Green would want.

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoBookshop logo
Last Ride to Graceland

Last Ride to Graceland

by Kim Wright

Heather’s Pick for Bluff City Law

No one is more surprised than me that Bluff City Law—an NBC series about a civil rights attorney, Sydney, who comes home to rejoin her father’s Memphis law firm after the unexpected death of her mother—is on my list of must-see TV. I don’t normally tune into legal dramas, so I blame the charisma of actor Jimmy Smits for making me try it and the emotionally resonant writing for getting me hooked. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good family drama, which is exactly what you’ll also find in Kim Wright’s Last Ride to Graceland. Winner of the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, the novel follows blues musician Cory as she struggles to process her own mother’s passing by traveling to Graceland. While she hits the road in search of answers about her father’s identify and her mother’s past as a backup singer for Elvis Presley, she ends up learning just as much, if not more, about herself. It’s a big-hearted novel perfect for fans of Bluff City Law.

Amazon logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!