For some, fall means foliage tours, for others pumpkin spice lattes, and for still others it heralds the return of fall T.V. And, even the most dedicated readers will be tempted by this year’s lineup, packed with anticipated series premieres like The Alienist and new seasons of beloved favorites like Stranger Things. Now, you can read the books that inspired—or were inspired by—some of the most popular shows. Take the leap to the printed page with these T.V. tie-in reads!
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
Alias Grace, now streaming on Netflix
In Alias Grace, the bestselling author of The Handmaid’s Tale takes readers into the life of one of the most notorious women of the nineteenth century.
It’s 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.
An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories?
Riverdale Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; illustrated by Alitha Martinez and Joe Eisma
Riverdale Season 2, now airing on Syfy.
From Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the writers of the CW’s Riverdale comes the first collection of the comic book set in the universe of the TV series.
Learn the secrets and hidden tales from the summer before the eternal love-triangle begins. Featuring four stories focusing on the major players and events in the Riverdale series: Spend some time at Archie’s summer construction job and learn how it leads him to a fateful encounter with the alluring music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Discover the truth about Betty’s Los Angeles romance. Find out more about Veronica’s mysterious life in New York, before the shocking event that would send her family scrambling. And meanwhile, there’s Jughead, on the fringes of Riverdale, a witness to the terrible event that sets everything in motion: A tragedy that befalls Jason Blossom.
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
Queen Sugar, two-night premiere October 3-4 on OWN.
The inspiration for the acclaimed OWN TV series that will have you cheering for its heroine, Charley Bordelon, an African American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life amid the complexities of the contemporary South.
When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.
The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke
Lore, series premiere October 13th on Amazon.
From the host of the hit podcast and the inspiration behind the upcoming Amazon series, Lore, this book serves as a guide on a fascinating journey through the history of the monsters that are part of our collective psyche, exploring not only the legends but what they tell us about ourselves.
They live in shadows—deep in the forest, late in the night, in the dark recesses of our minds. They’re spoken of in stories and superstitions, relics of an unenlightened age, old wives’ tales, passed down through generations. Yet no matter how wary and jaded we have become, as individuals or as a society, a part of us remains vulnerable to them: werewolves and wendigos, poltergeists and vampires, angry elves and vengeful spirits.
Whether these beasts and bogeymen are real or just a reflection of our primal fears, we know, on some level, that not every mystery has been explained and that the unknown still holds the power to strike fear deep in our hearts and souls. As Aaron Mahnke reminds us, sometimes the truth is even scarier than the lore.
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
The Durrells in Corfu Season 2, premieres October 15th on PBS.
The first book of Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy: a bewitching account of a rare and magical childhood on the island of Corfu, that is now the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece PBS.
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals is a delightful account of Durrell’s family’s experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.
The Book of Barb by Nadia Bailey; illustrated by Phil Constantinesco
Stranger Things Season 2, premiere’s October 27th on Netflix.
For the Barb in all of us—a guidebook for the kind and tragically uncool. While few people were surprised that the Netflix series Stranger Things was a smash hit, no one expected that one of the show’s minor characters, the nerdy, faithful underdog Barb, would break the internet. But Barb resonated with us—the chill, bespectacled BFF and her unjust abandonment hit a collective nerve. It turns out, in a world of Nancys, we are all Barb.
Get Barb’s hot tips on makeup and eyewear, as well as her do’s and don’ts of party attendance. Learn what she would put on her dream mixtape. And find out whether or not you really are a Barb (maybe you’re actually a Nancy, a Steve, or a Jonathan) with the “Which Hawkins High student are you?” quiz.
The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1: Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, and the Making of a Young Queen (1947-1955) by Robert Lacey
The Crown Season 2, premieres December 8th on Netflix.
The official companion to the Emmy-winning Netflix drama chronicling the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and written by the show’s historical consultant, royal biographer Robert Lacey, The Crown: The Official Companion: Volume 1 adds expert and in-depth detail to the events of the series, painting an intimate portrait of life inside Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. Here is Elizabeth II as we’ve never seen her before.
Elizabeth Mountbatten never expected her father to die so suddenly, so young, leaving her with a throne to fill and a global institution to govern. Crowned at twenty-five, she was already a wife and mother as she began her journey towards becoming a queen.
As Britain lifted itself out of the shadow of war, the new monarch faced her own challenges. Her mother doubted her marriage; her uncle-in-exile derided her abilities; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; and her rebellious sister embarked on a love affair that threatened the centuries-old links between the Church and the Crown. This is the story of how Elizabeth II drew on every ounce of resolve to ensure that the Crown always came out on top.
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
The Alienist, coming soon to TNT.
This modern classic continues to be a touchstone of historical suspense fiction for readers everywhere and is now soon to be a TNT original series.
The year is 1896. The city is New York. Newspaper reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned by his friend Dr. Laszlo Kreizler—a psychologist, or “alienist”—to view the horribly mutilated body of an adolescent boy abandoned on the unfinished Williamsburg Bridge. From there the two embark on a revolutionary effort in criminology: creating a psychological profile of the perpetrator based on the details of his crimes. Their dangerous quest takes them into the tortured past and twisted mind of a murderer who will kill again before their hunt is over.
Fast-paced and riveting, infused with historical detail, The Alienist conjures up Gilded Age New York, with its tenements and mansions, corrupt cops and flamboyant gangsters, shining opera houses and seamy gin mills. It is an age in which questioning society’s belief that all killers are born, not made, could have unexpected and fatal consequences.
Read Along with PBS’s The Vietnam War