Don’t Miss Out on these Must-Watch TV Shows Based on Books!

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The book is better.” It’s a phrase that you often hear when we’re talking about book advances for the screen and it’s certainly seldom true. The importance of books in our life is truly vast, but sometimes watching the story of the book on tv can be fun too. However, as book readers, many TV adaptations are as good as books, and some (and you could murmur this) are even more enjoyable than the reference material.The long-form of TV implies that it can be adapted better than films, where you have everything to pinch into a few hours. Here, for your reading and viewing delight, are 15 TV shows based on books.

Must Read: Best Books by Edgar Allan Poe

List of TV Shows Based On Books

We have made a list of top 15 tv shows based on books. Not only were they perfect examples of excellent adaptations but the acting by the performers was on point. You can check out the list here:

  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Game of Thrones
  • Mindhunter
  • Fresh off the Boat
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Witcher
  • Looking for Alaska
  • Orange is the New Black
  • You
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Sharp Objects
  • Normal People
  • Gossip Girl

Let us quickly dive deeper into the storylines of these fabulous shows, so that you can pick the one you love most to binge watch with friends and family!

The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

TV Shows Based On Books - The Queen's Gambit
Image source: Lifestyle Asia

Genre: Historical drama
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Marielle Heller

First on our list of tv shows based on books in The Queen’s Gambit. Based on the book of the identical name by Walter Tevis, “The Queen’s Gambit” accompanies orphan Beth Harmon as she progresses through the levels as a US victor chess player. This TV show is set up in a 1950s orphanage, where a young girl unveils an extraordinary knack for chess and opens an unlikely quest to stardom while fighting with addiction.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017)

A Series of Unfortunate Events  - Netflix Original based on a book
Image source: Netflix

Genre: Gothic fiction, absurdist fiction, mystery, comedy-drama
Starring:Neil Patrick Harris,Patrick Warburton,Malina Weissman

The eccentric children’s novels by Daniel Handler, who wrote under the anonymous Lemony Snicket, were remade into a darkly charming Netflix show in 2017.  This is one of the most popular TV shows based on books. It is about the extraordinary Baudelaire orphans who encounter trials, afflictions, and the wicked Count Olaf in their portentous quest to unlock long-held family mysteries.

Game of Thrones (2011)

Tv Shows Based on Books - Game of Thrones
Image source: My poster collection

Genre: Medieval fantasy, Serial, drama, tragedy, thriller
Starring: Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Aidan Gillen, Nikolaj  Coster-Waldau, Charles Dance, and Maisie Williams.

Grounded on the best-selling “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R. R. Martin, the TV show “Game of Thrones” is a classic. It became prevalent and is one of the landmark tv shows based books.  The show is segmented into three major plot courses. The first plot incorporates the clash between the lords of the continent of Westeros — most prominently constituents of the Baratheon, Lannister, and Stark families — committed to the Iron Throne struggle. The second tracks the ascent of Daenerys Targaryen, the last segment of an ostracized family as she creates a militia in Essos to reclaim the throne. The third plot occurs in the North of Westeros amongst the Night’s Watch, an equipped assemblage that safeguards the 300-mile-long, 70-foot-tall wall that shields the remainder of the continent from the mythological beasts that prowl there. The show’s language uses some old, confusing words, but you will only end up improving your vocabulary after watching this show! 

Mindhunter (2017)

Netflix Series - Mindhunter
Image source: Netflix

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Psychological thriller, Crime film
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

Next on our list of tv shows based on books is Mindhunter. This Netflix series took stimulus from rescinded FBI attorneys John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker’s nonfiction crime book “Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit.” This TV show is about the late 1970s,  where two FBI agents extend criminal deftness by probing into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily intimate to all-too-real monstrosities.

Fresh Off the Boat (2015)

Tv shows based on Books - Fresh Off The Boat
Image Source: The Stae Press

Genre: Sitcom, comedy
Starring: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Constance Wu, Forrest Wheeler, Ian Chen, Lucille Soong, Chelsey Crisp, Ray Wise

Spurred by Eddie Huang’s memoir, ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” reflects the Huang family as they move from Washington DC to Orlando, Florida, searching for the “American dream.” This TV show is set up during the 1990s when a non-native Taiwanese family endeavoured to adapt to the US’s socio-cultural and socio-economic actuality. It is one of the most popular Tv shows based on books. 

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

The Haunting Of Hill House - TV Shows Based On Books
Image Source: Pinterest

Genre: Horror, Drama, Occult Fiction
Starring: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton

Next on our list of tv shows based on books is The Haunting of Hill House. The TV series is based on the same name The Haunting of Hill House, a 1959 gothic horror novel by American author Shirley Jackson. It is about the flashing between past and present, a fractured household that defies haunting reminiscences of their former home and the terrifying mishaps that drove them out.

The Handmaid’s Tale (2017)

Margaret Atwood's Book - The Handmaid's Tale - TV Shows Made On Books
Image Source: The Conversation

Genre: Utopian and dystopian fiction, Speculative fiction, Tragedy
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski, Alexis Bledel, et al.

Based on the feminist dystopian fiction by Margaret Atwood, “The Handmaid’s Tale” is set in an oppressive aristocracy that views fertile women as chattel. This Hulu tragedy TV series based on the book has been applauded for its outstanding performance and, its scheme divergences have enabled the program to go on way past its book closing. This tv show will make you think hard and is an exemplary example of tv shows made on books. 

The Witcher (2019)

The Witcher - Netflix Original
Image Source: Netflix

Genre: Fantasy
Starring: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan

Based on the book of the identical name by Andrzej Sapkowski, “The Witcher” is a Polish-American TV series created by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich. This TV show based on the book is about Geralt of Rivia, a mutated monster-hunter for hire, who journeys toward his fate in a chaotic world where people often prove more sinister than beasts. It is a must-watch and thrilling to the bones. It is one of the best tv shows made on books. 

Looking for Alaska (2005)

Looking for Alaska - Tv Shows Based On Books
Image Source: Rolling Stone

Genre: Drama
Starring: Charlie Plummer, Kristine Froseth, Denny Love

Next on our list of tv shows made on books is Looking for Alaska. Looking for Alaska is an American tv drama streaming TV miniseries produced by Josh Schwartz. Predicated on John Green’s young adult fiction, “Looking for Alaska” brings to life the intricate essence of teenage life via the lenses of Miles “Pudge” Halter. Miles is a freshman at Culver Creek Boarding School who, in the crusade for a “Great Perhaps,” becomes infatuated with a bewildered girl named Alaska Young. 

Orange Is the New Black (2013)

Comedy Drama Show - Orange In The New Black
Image Source: YouTube

Genre: Crime, Comedy-drama, Drama, Television comedy, Comedy
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon

Predicted on Piper Kerman’s memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” is Netflix’s first successful TV program. This TV show is based on a novel about a furnished New Yorker who ends up in a women’s jail when a former crime catches up with her, where she promptly makes friends and enemies. This show gained a lot of popularity as it portrayed the real condition of jails and the violence against women there. It is one of the most realistic tv shows made on books. 

You (2018)

TV Shows Based on Books - You
Image Source: YouTube

Genre: Crime, Psychological thriller
Starring: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Victoria Pedretti

Moving forward on our list of tv shows made on books, we have You. The narrative of this show is based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes, who accompanies Joe Goldberg as he illustrates that he would do anything for love by seeking out anyone that persists in his way. This TV show based on the book is about a precariously charming, profoundly obsessive young guy who goes to the farthest heights to interpolate himself into the lives of those he is fascinated by.

Boardwalk Empire (2010)

HBO Television Series - Boardwalk Empire
Image Source: Decider

Genre: Suspense, Drama, Historical
Starring: Steve Buscemi, Kelly Macdonald, Michael Shannon

Boardwalk Empire is based on the book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City by Nelson Johnson. This television program based on the book is a period show centering on Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, a federal personage who stands to prominence and dominates Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the Repudiation period of the 1920s and 1930s.

Sharp Objects (2018)

HBO Series - Sharp Objects
Image Source: Rolling Stone

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Starring: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen, Matt Craven, et al

Based on the fiction “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn, this gothic HBO mystery tracks Camille Preaker, an investigative journalist with eerie history and private links to her town’s deaths. This television program based on the book is about a crime reporter Camille Preaker, who after nursing her mental disorder, she returns to her hometown to unravel the killing of two young girls. Though, she is compelled to confront and deal with her beasts too. It is one of the most well made tv shows made on books. 

Normal People (2020)

TV Shows Based On Books - Normal People
Image Source: The New Yorker

Genre: Psychological fiction
Starring: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Paul Mescal

Next on our list of tv shows made on books, we have a tv show called Normal People. Predicated on Sally Rooney’s best-selling fiction, Normal People is an exquisite, modern love story about how an individual can surprisingly transform someone else’s world and about how complex intimacy can be. This television program based on the book is about Marianne and Connell over many years. Both are from a small west of Ireland town, but from very diverse settings—as they board on an on-again/off-again amour that begins at school and proceeds through college, questioning their connection as they traverse various variants of themselves. 

Gossip Girl (2007)

Teen Drama - Gossip Girl
Image Source: Wonderwall

Genre: Romance, teen drama
Starring: Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford, Taylor Momsen, Ed Westwick

Last but definitely not the least on our list of tv shows made on books, we have the tv show, Gossip Girl. Based on Cecily von Ziegesar’s book of the identical name, “Gossip Girl,” an American teen drama, directs you through the luxurious, upper-class lives of New York. This TV show based on the book is about Gossip Girl, a wicked and ambiguous blogger who exposes intrigues about the teenagers in the upper east side of New York. Amidst passions and heaps of mysteries lurking away for Gossip Girl to notice, this program is assured to bring the upper east side and its excitement into our lives.

Explore: Movies for IELTS Listening

You can spend episodes on television, discover about personages and their journeys and get an authentic sense of the realm in which they relish through these book-based TV shows. Stay tuned with Leverage Edu for more such must-watch recommendations.

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