Loved streaming a series? Get your hands on the book that inspired it

You, The Stranger, The Witcher and more.

Books that inspired TV shows

by Jade Moscrop |
Updated on

The world of streaming services has exploded with brilliant new shows over the past few years, and that's largely thanks to the incredible books that inspired them.

From Big Little Lies to Orange is the New Black, You and The Stranger, we've been blessed with amazing content that we've binge-watched in a matter of hours. The only problem with that, though, is that we often have to wait AGES for a new series, leaving us feeling lost and alone without our favourite shows.

Well, there's a solution. Diving into the books that inspired your favourite shows is a great way to not only keep up with your favourite characters, but to potentially learn more about them, get intricate details that weren't included in the series version and, of course, pay homage to the authors whose minds dreamt up these incredible stories.

We've rounded up a selection of books from the most popular series in the past few years. Let us know how many you tick off!

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Books that inspired your favourite shows

The Stranger, Harlan Coben1 of 15

The Stranger, Harlan Coben

Viewers have been hooked on the story of Adam Price, who becomes becomes entangled in a mystery as he desperately searches for answers about a claim regarding his wife.

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood2 of 15

The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

Despite only recently enthralling fans of the show, The Handmaid's Tale was originally published in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. The story of June and the dystopian hell she finds herself in has stood the test of time.

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood3 of 15

The Testaments, Margaret Atwood

Yet another award-winning book from Margaret Atwood, The Testaments continues the story more than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale.

You, Caroline Kepnes4 of 15

You, Caroline Kepnes

You sent shockwaves through Netflix viewers, creating discussions, memes and so much more. Delve into the story on a deeper level with the CWA New Blood Award nominated novel.

Hidden Bodies, Caroline Kepnes5 of 15

Hidden Bodies, Caroline Kepnes

Joe Goldberg returns for the second instalment of the tantalising You series in Hidden Bodies, with even more twists and turns than the original.

The Witcher Series Collection 8 Books Set, Andrzej Sapkowski6 of 15

The Witcher Series Collection 8 Books Set, Andrzej Sapkowski

Andrzej Sapkowski's The Witcher series has been made into a film, TV show and games, owing to its immense popularity. It all started, though, with the books.

Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher7 of 15

Th1rteen R3asons Why, Jay Asher

13 Reasons Why forced us to look at some very difficult topics in a candid light, causing controversy and plenty of discussion. Though heart-breaking and upsetting, the book is an even more heart-wrenching version of the story of Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker.

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison, Piper Kerman8 of 15

Orange Is the New Black: My Time in a Women's Prison, Piper Kerman

We've laughed, cried and loved with the characters of OITNB, but the book paints a very different picture of Piper Kerman's time within a real woman's prison.

Archie Vol. 1, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples9 of 15

Archie Vol. 1, Mark Waid and Fiona Staples

Riverdale is actually based on the characters of one of the longest-running titles in comic book history - and it's actually REALLY different to the TV show.

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds, Gwenda Bond10 of 15

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds, Gwenda Bond

OK, so Stranger Things isn't based on a book, but fans of the show have to get their hands on this official prequel, which tells us about the life of Eleven's mother.

Alias Volume 1 TPB: v. 1, Brian Michael Bendis11 of 15

Alias Volume 1 TPB: v. 1, Brian Michael Bendis

If you want to know more about the character of Jessica Jones and why she is the way she is, this comic is a must-read!

Big Little Lies, Lianne Moriarty12 of 15

Big Little Lies, Lianne Moriarty

Big Little Lies filled the Desperate Housewives shaped hole in our lives and we're forever grateful. This book is the perfect holiday read, bringing back our favourite characters but with some plot changes.

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman13 of 15

Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Amazon Prime's hit mini-series Good Omens is based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Sadly, Pratchett passed away before he could see the series come to life, but he always wanted it to be on the big screen.

Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite, Gerard Way and Gabriel Bu00e114 of 15

Umbrella Academy Volume 1: Apocalypse Suite, Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá

Written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame, Umbrella Academy is an award-winning comic book series that was brought to life for Netflix in 2019. The series has stayed mostly true to the books, but it's worth having a read for the brilliant illustrations.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa15 of 15

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Based on another Archie comic book, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was born after the character of Sabrina was featured in an issue of Afterlife with Archie and received a positive reception.

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