Friday, October 18, 2013

Books to the Small Screen: TV Shows Based on Literature

The old argument is "Is the book better than the movie?" Now, there are so many TV shows based on books that we can ask "Is the book better than the TV show?" Here are some new and returning TV shows that are based on literature...and some related titles you might enjoy!

New Shows

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Set in the "Marvel Cinematic Universe", this TV show follows the adventures of the agents of Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division.  You can read more about S.H.I.E.L.D. in The Marvel Comics Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to the Characters of the Marvel Universe, edited by Alastair Dougall.


The library catalog features many Dracula titles, inspired and/or related to Bram Stoker's original novel. How about: Who Was Dracula?: Bram Stoker's Trail of Blood by Jim Steinmeyer; Dracula In Love: The Private Diary of Mina Harker by Karen Essex; Bram Stoker's Dracula: The Graphic Novel adapted by Gary Reed; or Stoker's Manuscript by Royce Prouty?

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

This series will be based around Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, but is set in a "present-day Wonderland". Those interested in Wonderland might want to check out The Alice Behind Wonderland by Simon Winchester; The Mystery of Lewis Carroll: Discovering the Whimsical, Thoughtful and Sometimes Lonely Man Who Created Alice in Wonderland by Jenny Woolf; and All Things Alice: The Wit, Wisdom, and Wonderland of Lewis Carroll by Linda Sunshine.

Sleepy Hollow

Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman are relocated to Sleepy Hollow, New York, circa 2013.  Ichabod must team up with 21st century police to help them catch the Horseman. If you like Washington Irving's story, put him in perspective with The American Fantasy Tradition anthology, or read about America's "first man of letters" in Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving by Andrew Burstein, or find out more about his era with Explorers, Fortunes & Love Letters: A Window on New Netherland edited by Martha Dickinson Shattuck.

Returning Shows

The Carrie Diaries

Based on the young adult novel by Candace Bushnell, a prequel to Sex and the City. Want to know what it used to be like in New York City?  Try The Forbidden Apple: A Century of Sex & Sin in New York City by Kat Long, but though racy it's probably more for the history buffs.


A contemporary update of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, set in the United States. If you love Holmes, you might be interested in Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova.

Once Upon a Time

A drama series that sets characters from fairy tales in a "real" town in Maine. The characters have forgotten their lives before due to the Evil Queen's curse, and only the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming can break the curse. Philip Pullman's Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version might give you some helpful backstory; Fractured Fairytales are always fun to revisit; and there are more fairy tale retellings available for kids and adults. Or just check out Once Upon a Time: Shadow of the Queen by Dan Thompson and Corrina Bechko, based on the TV series!

The Vampire Diaries

Based on the original young adult series by L. J. Smith.  Check out Love You to Death: The Unofficial Companion to the Vampire Diaries by Crissy Calhoun [eBook] if you are a fan!

Inspired by the article "The 2013 Fall TV Lineup: Shows Based on Books" from Book Riot.

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