Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite TV Shows and Movies
Hello everyone! How are you all doing? I'm a person who loves to watch TV shows and movies on the occasions when a book feels like too much of a commitment. I've definitely watched my fair share of amazing shows, sometimes multiple times, and I'm always discovering new ones to watch while I work. I also have habit of immediately comparing the tv shows and movies I watch to books I've read almost unconsciously.
Serpent & Dove? That's a little like the show Legacies.
Red, White & Royal Blue? It reminds me of the revival of One Day At A Time.
So today, I'm back with another post to share some books recommendations based on your current favorite TV shows and movies. Here I'll be providing recommendations for people who loved Mare of Easttown, Only Murders In The Building, and The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Disclaimer: This blog post will contain affiliate and referral links. I may earn a small commission to feed my book hoarding tendencies if you use these links to make a purchase. This in no way impacts my opinions of the books listed - they are all my own.
Mare of Easttown
Recommendation: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Show Description 1: A teenage single mother, Erin McMenamin, is found dead in the local creek, with her body naked and head savagely wounded. As Mare investigates the case of a missing girl, Katie and a dead girl, Erin, the narrative peeps into the secretive life of its character.
Show Description 2: As her life crumbles around her, a small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) investigates a local murder. The series explores the dark side of a close community and provides an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present.
Mare of Easttown, the now Emmy award winner, is a crime drama limited series. Starring the likes of Kate Winslet and Evan Peters, it follows the lead detective on a young woman's murder, Mare, as she tries to solve the case. The story intertwines with Mare's personal life in irrevocably devastating ways, both directly and indirectly. As it should, the entire story centers upon the murder of Erin McMenamin as the events of the show orbit around it. From Mare's custody battle with her grandson to a secret illicit affair to a shocking revelation that will destroy the families of Easttown forever.
I can't claim to have found an exact matching recommendation for Mare of Easttown given its original synopsis, but I've done my best. If you enjoyed Mare of Easttown, I think you'll also find yourself enraptured in The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.
The Family Upstairs is a thriller novel that follows a similar family focused mystery. Within its pages, you can find a more gritty portrayal of a detective story that isn't supremely watered down. In Mare of Easttown's case, you follow a seasoned if not coarse detective whereas The Family Upstairs tells the story of a woman trying to learn more about her family. Both get more than they bargained for in the end.
While they're both solid mystery novels in their own right, I feel like what they do really well is the humanity aspect of storytelling. The humanity of these kinds of shows and books can be lost in our manic thirst for MORE REAL MURDER STORIES. Where enough is never enough and the public craves detailed descriptions of gruesome crimes to watch as they snack on popcorn. Neither of these books spare on the harsh reality of it, but they definitely bring to life a unique perspective through their respective narrators Mare and Libby.
The Family Upstairs Description: Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.
Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.
The can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
Only Murders In The Building
Recommendation: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
Show Description: Only Murders in the Building follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one.
Only Murders In The Building is a mystery show that airs on the side of comedy. It stars an all star cast of Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez who are three opposite neighbors determined to solve the mystery of a murder in their apartment building.
My Recommendation for people who loved Only Murders in The Building is The Cousins by Karen M. McManus. Not only do both rag-tag groups travel in three's, but the humorous perspective can be found in each. Murders in The Building follows a group of neighbors who are essentially strangers trying to solve the mystery of a murder in the building. Whereas The Cousins follows a group of cousins who are essentially strangers trying to solve a decades long family mystery. You'll find heart in both and a good chuckle or two, but they still keep pace as solid crime solving stories.
The Cousins Description: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each other, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised... and curious.
Their parents are all clear on one point—not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious—and dark—their family's past is.
The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over—and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Recommendation: The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Show Description: The story tells of a young au pair hired by a man to look after his niece and nephew at the family country house after they fall into his care. Arriving at the Bly estate, she begins to see apparitions that proceed to haunt the premises
Okay, hear me out: sapphic ghost stories. Intrigued yet?
The Haunting of Bly Manor, which is the sequel to Hill House, follows the hiring of a new au pair at a spooky estate. Not only does a horrifying tale of the house's past surface but also a beautifully written sapphic romance. The romance almost feels too delicate given the kind of story it is meant to be, but it works in this context.
The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh is my recommendation for lovers of The Haunting of Bly Manor. It contains amid all the spooky elements, an intimate love story at its heart. The eeriness of their respective settings, Bly Manor and Arrington, sets the stage for a formidable horror story. All while describing sapphic love stories that rival any in the romance genre, though with a few more scares and heartbreaks than you'd find elsewhere.
Description: The Conjuring meets Sadie when seventeen-year-old podcaster Dare takes an internship in a haunted house and finds herself in a life-or-death struggle against an evil spirit.
Dare Chase doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Privately, she’s a supernatural skeptic. But publicly, she’s keeping her doubts to herself—because she’s the voice of Attachments, her brand-new paranormal investigation podcast, and she needs her ghost-loving listeners to tune in.
That’s what brings her to Arrington Estate. Thirty years ago, teenager Atheleen Bell drowned in Arrington’s lake, and legend says her spirit haunts the estate. Dare’s more interested in the suspicious circumstances surrounding her death—circumstances that she believes point to a living culprit, not the supernatural. Still, she’s vowed to keep an open mind as she investigates, even if she’s pretty sure what she’ll find.
But Arrington is full of surprises. Good ones like Quinn, the cute daughter of the house’s new owner. And baffling ones like the threatening messages left scrawled in paint on Quinn’s walls, the ghastly face that appears behind Dare’s own in the mirror, and the unnatural current that nearly drowns their friend Holly in the lake. As Dare is drawn deeper into the mysteries of Arrington, she’ll have to rethink the boundaries of what is possible. Because if something is lurking in the lake…it might not be willing to let her go.
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