How is your 50 Book Pledge going, readers? Admittedly, mine is off to a slow start. I just moved into a new apartment and finally set up my own Netflix account. Unfortunately, this means I’ve spend too many cold winter nights binge-watching television shows instead of reading. Yikes!
That being said, some of the shows I’ve been watching have inspired me to add new books to my To Be Read shelf! Below are my recommendations for great reads inspired by (or similar to) great TV. And stay tuned! The Savvy Reader will be sharing Watch That? Read This! recommendations all year, so check back again next month. Do you have a book that reminds you of one of your favourite shows (or vice versa)? Share it with us on Twitter @SavvyReader.
Sherlock is a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock Holmes and stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor John Watson. The series itself is captivating: the third season is the UK’s most watched drama series since 2001 and viewers worldwide (binge)watch the 9-episode series on Netflix. For those who did, and enjoyed Holmes’ conflict with his arch-nemesis Jim Moriarty (played Andrew Scott), then bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s Moriarty is for you. Moriarty plunges readers back into the dark and complex relationship between Holmes and Moriarty in the aftermath of their fateful struggle at the Reichenbach Falls.
Like Jennifer Robson‘s bestselling novels, Downton Abbey is set in the post-Edwardian era, and viewers watch how the great events of the time effect the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family. While Robson’s first novel, Somewhere in France, is most comparable to the first season—both were set during the outbreak of the First World War—the second series features the traumatic events of England during the interwar years. It is during this period of uncertainty that After the War is Over is set; Charlotte must find her place in the new society.
During its 5-season run, Breaking Bad was nominated for 58 Emmy Awards, and won 16 (including Outstanding Drama Series in 2013 and 2014). In 2013, it also was named No. 13 in a list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series of All Time by the Writers Guild of America. With these credentials, it’s no surprise that a spin-off has been created for one the show’s most memorable—and most ridiculous—characters. Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad, and the series will focus on Saul Goodman’s life before he became Walt’s lawyer. The show premieres on February 8th, but you can get a sneak peak in Better Call Saul: The World According to Saul Goodman.
Okay, this is an easy one. But the CBC adaptation of Lawrence Hill‘s The Book of Negroes, which is airing now on Wednesday nights at 9:00, is SO GOOD. Starring Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Ben Chaplin, the series is a faithful adaptation of Hill’s 2007 bestselling and award-winning novel. For those who are unfamiliar, the novel follows Aminata Diallo, and young girl who is abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle—a string of slaves—before she is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina.
And, to end on a high-larious note, the gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a sitcom that follows a group of five depraved underachievers) has written a self-help book. Though, to be honest, we can’t promise that the advice in the book won’t get you arrested, maimed, or killed.
Happy reading (or watching!),