Best Television Show Adaptations from Books (Book Club Recommends)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Paper Bindings | Best Television Show Adaptations from Books (Book Club Recommends)
Books have always received a lot of love from the silver screen. Whether you loved the book first and then dived into the show, or vice versa, here are a few of our favorites that we would recommend:


The 100 (2014-)
Where to find it: The CW; Season Three to air in 2016; DVD & Netflix

The Dead Zone (2002-2007)
Where to find it: DVD

Tisha: I've already discussed my feelings on The 100 book and show (review), but for The Dead Zone, I watched the show and loved the angst ridden story of Johnny Smith, a teacher, who wakes up from a coma to find that not only has he been asleep for six years, but he can now tell the future just by touching someone. Honestly, the show got increasingly boring, but the first few seasons are excellent! The book is not nearly as exciting as the show and leans more heavily on plot than the characters - as the show does.

Carrie: While I have never read the book, I absolutely love the TV show (The 100). I was super doubtful this was going to be good after so many recent failures, so I initially skipped it. It took Jo's and twitter's urging to convince me to tape the marathon. I do not regret a second of my Bellarke time.

Tracy: I've only watched three or so episodes of The 100 and I really liked it. It's on my depressingly long list of shows to finish. I haven't read the book though and from what Tisha has said, I'm not missing much.

Oh, The Dead Zone. That one brings me back. I loved the TV show the first few seasons and agree that it got very boring and predictable by the end. Still, for a while it was great.

Pretty Little Liars (2010-)
Where to find it: ABC Family; currently airing season 6A on Tuesdays; DVD & Netflix

Tisha: I never read the book, but got a detailed description from a friend and from what I can tell I do not like it. In any case, the tv show is great, and now that I know the end is coming (season seven will be the last) we are finally getting some answers! Defintely a good binge watch.

Carrie: I DNF the book Pretty Little Liars myself. But I've never given the show a try. I've heard good things, so I'll be sure to check it out.

Tracy: I'm with Jo on the book version of Pretty Little Liars. I don't think it's something I would like. The TV show though? I'm in. It's twisted, nuts and just a fun watch. I recommend it.




Bitten (2014-)
Where to find it: Syfy; Season Three to air in 2016; DVD & Netflix

Carrie: I enjoyed the book, but it was not entirely what I was looking for in a paranormal story. But when I saw the television show, I absolutely fell for the characters all over again. Now I have to reread the book.

Little Men (1998-1999)
Where to find it: DVD; periodically on Netflix

Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983)
Where to find it: Hallmark weekdays; DVD

Tisha: I love historical fiction, so it's no wonder that Little Men and Little House are two of my favorites. For Little Men, though it did not last very long, it's a cute story about Jo March all grown up running a school. While there are several differences from the book (Fritz is dead in the show), it's as good as 1990s sentimental family dramas gets. And Little House, both the book and the show are just iconic. I definitely prefer the later seasons and love more "Mary" story lines than "Laura." Plus there's Matthew Laborteaux ("Albert"). He's still good looking by the way.

Tracy: Tisha and I had some great times obsessing over Little Men. I've written fanfiction for it and even a website for the TV show way back when. It's also one of my very favorite books and the main character, Nat, holds a special place in my literary heart. If I ever have a son, I'll probably name him Nathaniel. It's much the same with the television show Little House on the Prairie. I even wrote part of my masters thesis on the show (I kid you not.) I don't have as fond a love for the book series though, I'll admit. I'm much more of a Mary fan than Laura's and since Laura's more of a focus in the books, I never picked them up to read besides a few chapters here and there. Also I got into Little House in my teens and I've always associated Little House on the Prairie book with younger readers. I've assumed I'm too old to like it.

Stephanie: I remember enjoying these books as a kid. I think my elementary school librarian (or maybe a teacher) read them aloud to the class. I liked the show a bit less than the books, though I'm not sure why...


Turn: Washington’s Spies (2014-)
Where to find it: AMC; Season Three to air 2016; DVD & Netflix;

Call the Midwife (2012-)
Where to find it: PBS or BBC One: Season Five to air in 2016; DVD & Netflix

The White Queen (2013; miniseries)
Where to find it: Starz; DVD

Outlander (2014-)
Where to find it: Starz; Season Two to air in 2016

Carrie: Despite owning two different versions of Outlander, I have not read it yet. But the television show is wonderful. I love the setting, I love the acting, I love the plot. A+++ without a question.

Tisha: While, season one of Turn started off to a slow start (and I still think it should be called Turncoat instead) it definitely can be counted on for some good twists and intrigue. Call the Midwife is another British import that quietly awesome. Even though they lost their main star at the start of last season, Midwife can still be counted on to give you a new insight into life in the 1950s and 1960s. I did not know to much about the English War of the Roses until I saw the miniseries The White Queen and now I keep picking up nonfiction and fiction books about it (though I still have not read the books that the show is based off it). While, The White Queen, lost a little bit of steam towards the end of the series, it's still a well acted and great show. Lastly, I've had my copy of Outlander since the early 2000s and kept meaning to read it. The show is great - I love how it never goes the way you think it is going to.

Tracy: I was so happy to finally see a American Revolution based television show on TV when Turn premiered. It is a show that you really have to pay attention to and the first season is very slow but it's worth the effort. I'm hoping to finish the book version this summer.

I keep hearing great things about Outlander both the TV show and book but I'm a bit eh on it. I've watched it here and there with Jo and it's okay. The premise is one of those that will bug me, I think. Why is she time traveling? What's the point? Why someone from the 1940s? Why to Scotland? What about her poor husband back in the '40s? Ugh. I don't think I can do it.

Game of Thrones (2011-)
Where to find it: HBO; Season Six to air in 2016

The Lost World (1999-2002)
Where to find it: DVD

Carrie: I own four of the books of The Game of Thrones because my mother bought them and I confiscated them. I have yet to start this series because I am not pleased with the wait time between books. They are massive and so much happens in a single TV season, that I can imaging I'll forget some details during the wait.

Tisha: Both Game of Thrones and The Lost World are two shows that I would never think I would watch - I am not really a Sci-fi, fantasy kind of person. However, I love the idea of how one event (the death of a king in Game of Thrones and getting lost in a prehistoric world in The Lost World) can change a person. The Lost World was one of my favorite shows back in high school/middle school - I even had a website! (You can see the old version of it here)

Tracy: I agree with Tisha again with these. Both are not normally up my alley. In fact I kept Game of Thrones from Netflix for nearly a year before I watched it. However, one episode in and I was hooked. I do want to read the books but it seems so daunting.

The Lost World was another of my high school favorites. It's so unbelievably campy looking back now but I still love it.

Stephanie: I loved this show, but am a sci-fi delinquent in that I haven't read the book. I was a huge Roxton fangirl, which is unusual because I don't usually go in for the "bad boy".

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? What are your favorites?
author image


As an INFJ Tisha doesn’t like she obsesses. Luckily, she has television, film, and books to keep her busy. Although YA is her favorite, she loves all types of books especially historical fiction. This resident Gryffindor also enjoys traveling and seeing where her wanderlusting nature will take her. Twitter


  1. To be honest, I wasn't a fan of Bitten. I watched a few episodes and then gave up on it, lol XP

    1. Which is funny because I enjoyed it more than the book. XD

  2. Outlander ! I saw a review of that book very recently and I couldn't completely figure out why it sounded familiar, I just thought that I had seen the book on Goodreads, but no ! It's because I've heard people talking about the show ! The 100 is so good and it made me want to read the book but I've seen so many negative reviews and generally people prefer the show so I don't know ... The TV show is more than enough for now.

    1. Yes, The 100 is so good! Definitely one of my favorites on TV right now. Have you watched Outlander?

      Thanks for stopping by!


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