From 'Little Fires Everywhere' to 'Outlander': 10 Books to Read Based on TV Favorites

8:30 AM 4/1/2020

by Lexy Perez

Though a trying time, the beginning of April also marks a new chapter in spring reading, with new books offering similar storylines to current popular shows.

Little Fires Everywhere_Black Monday_Outlander_Split - Publicity - H 2020
Erin Simkin/Hulu; Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME; Jason Bell/Starz

As the novel coronavirus has forced the country to practice social distancing and stay home, streaming platforms have been the major beneficiary.

According to data from Nielsen, time spent on streaming platforms grew by 34 percent over two weeks at the beginning of March. "Streaming is a big part of a lot of consumers' lives right now. We have seen a tremendous growth in just how much streaming is going on over the last few weeks as COVID-19 becomes more prevalent across many parts of the country," said Scott N. Brown, head of TV product at Nielsen.

But apart from binging shows, books can also offer a welcomed escape. Though a trying time, the beginning of April also marks a new chapter in spring reading, with new books offering similar storylines to current popular shows. 

Whether hoping to have a mystery similar to that of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere (streaming on Hulu now) or wanting a a chilling tale such as that in Netflix's Haunting of a Hill House, below The Hollywood Reporter has compiled a list of the books readers can read based on binge-worthy shows. A handful of books are already available to order. 


  • If You Love 'Outlander'…

    Book to Read: A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers (Redhook, Available now) 

    For fans of the Starz series Outlander, Sayers' A Witch in Time allows readers to leap through centuries. The book centers on Helen Lambert, who has lived several lives dating as far back as Paris in the 1890s. In each of her lives she is cursed to relive the tragic events that lead to her ultimate demise. With each rebirth, she develops powers that may save her from her fate, but can she master her powers before her time is up?

  • If You Love 'Little Fires Everywhere'…

    Book to Read: Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald (Gallery Books, Available now) 

    If you've already power read through Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere and are binging the Hulu adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, then dig into Christina McDonald's mystery Behind Every Lie. The book centers on Eva Hansen who, after waking up in a hospital bed after being struck by lightning, discovers that her mother has been brutally murdered and police say all evidence points to her as the killer. In an effort to defend her innocence, Eva travels to her mother’s London home to search for answers only to find more secrets and violent memories.

    Eva's journey to recover her missing memories is similar to Little Fires Everywhere's Elena Richardson's quest to uncover the mysterious history of her new tenant, Mia Warren.

  • If You Love 'Hillary'…

    Book to Read: Four Faces of Femininity by Barbara McNally (She Writes Press, April 7) 

    Hulu’s new documentary Hillary takes the audience through Clinton's life from her earliest years to her husband's infamous affair as president with then-intern Monica Lewinsky and election night 2016. McNally's upcoming book Four Faces of Femininity coincides with the telling of women stories divided into four sections, with female figures placed in Mother, Lover, Warrior or Sage. The book chronicles the countless ways that women have influenced the world and the importance of having representation and role models for young girls.

  • If You Love 'Motherland: Fort Salem'...

    Book to Read: We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry (Pantheon, Available Now) 

    Freeform's Motherland: Fort Salem is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years before by cutting a deal with the government to fight for their country. In Barry's We Ride Upon Sticks, Danvers High School's all-female field hockey team is unafraid to do whatever it takes to make it to the state finals — even if that means getting in touch with the mysterious and dark magic that surrounds their town in Massachusetts. 

  • If You Love 'Home Before Dark'...

    Book to Read: Little Secrets by Jennifer Hiller (Minotaur Books, April 28) 

    Apple's Home Before Dark, which scored an early season two renewal, revolves around a young girl who unearths a cold case that everyone in town tried hard to bury. Hiller captures the same kind of thrilling mystery in her book Little Secrets, which follows Marin, a woman whose perfect life is turned upside down after her son is kidnapped. As the FBI search grows cold, the media interviews come to a halt, and her son has yet to be found, Marin loses all hope. But two years later, she’s made a new discovery, but in her marriage rather than her son’s case. After discovering that her husband has been having an affair, Marin becomes determined to stop at nothing to make sure she doesn’t lose her husband like she lost her son.

  • If You Love 'Black Monday'...

    Book to Read: Greedy Heart by A.P. Murray (Tule Publishing, April 7) 

    For readers who are fans of Showtime's Wall Street period drama starring Don Cheadle, Murray follows the same timeline in her book Greedy Heart. The book centers on Delia Mulcahy, who, while biding her time in Florida paying off her student debt in 2006, predicts not only the looming market crash but how to make billions off of it. Because of her intelligence, the two top hedge funds in New York City want her on their team. What they don’t know is that Delia has some devious intentions of her own.

  • If You Love 'A Million Little Things'...

    Book to Read: Brunch and Other Obligations by Suzanne Nugent (She Writes Press, May 5) 

    In the opening moments of ABC’s A Million Little Things, Jon (Ron Livingston), a successful and beloved real estate titan, shocks his loved ones by committing suicide, and his close-knit circle of friends is left to pick up the pieces after losing him. Nugent's Brunch and Other Obligations also tells a heartfelt story of common loss centering on Nora, Christina and Leanne, who seemingly have nothing in common. Nora is a quiet bookworm, Christina is a high-profile attorney, and Leanne spends her days carrying on mom duties. Despite being different, the glue that holds them all together is their best friend Molly, who leaves them one dying wish — to meet for brunch every month for a year. 

  • If You Love 'Mrs. America'...

    Book to Read: Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Moment Forgot by Mike Kendall (Viking, Available Now) 

    FX's upcoming limited series Mrs. America starring Cate Blanchett may not be out until April 15, but the series has already been teased as one that centers on the true story of the feminist movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment led by conservative Phyllis Schlafly. Readers can get a taste for the 1970s fight for women's rights in Kendall's Hood Feminism: Notes From the Women That a Moment Forgot. Throughout her book, Kendall emphasizes the idea that feminist movements don’t always support those fighting for basic needs. While some feminists fight for equal rights and benefits in the workplace, Kendall argues that others are fighting for fundamental rights like access to education, food and safe neighborhoods.

  • If You Love 'Haunting of a Hill House'...

    Book to Read: Hairbrush and the Shoe by Jeanne D. Stanton (SparkPress, April 21) 

    Fans of the paranormal and shows like Netflix's Haunting of a Hill House will find many similarities in Jeanne D. Stanton's chilling true ghost story. The author becomes a ghost-hunting detective after hearing numerous claims that her family’s 150-year-old townhouse is haunted. She stops at nothing to uncover the truth including spending a sleepless night in an allegedly haunted bedroom, creeping along the edges of rooms in search of cold spots, and more. Using her knowledge as a Harvard Business School case writer, she uses her wit, research and the counsel of noteworthy professionals to debunk the age-old question, "Do you believe in ghosts?" proving Halloween can still be celebrated even in spring.

  • If You Love 'Sandition'...

    Book to Read: The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow (Henry Holt and Co., Available now) 

    Sanditon, the unfinished Jane Austen novel written just months before the author's death in 1817, was adapted for television in the PBS/ITV series. The series tells the story of the spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her relationship with the charming and slightly wild Sidney Parker. Meanwhile in Hadlow's book The Other Bennet Sister, the author explores a different future for the middle Bennet sister, Mary, from Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Instead of her following the path everyone else wanted her to take, this historical fiction read gives her a new ending — one where she finds a fulfilling life and learns to love herself.