Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Summer TV Shows with a Book Tie-In

Wayward Pines, starring Matt Dillon, is adapted from a mystery/science fiction
trilogy by author 
Blake Crouch. 

I really enjoy movies that have a book or graphic novel tie-in, but then so do a lot of people. That’s why I decided to focus on television shows that have a book or graphic novel tie-in. TV shows are very accessible since many people have either local television channels, cable television, Netflix, or Hulu. This summer, while you are watching your favorite TV shows, visit Birmingham Public Library's website to access the catalog and reserve the book, e-book, or audiobook copy of the tie-in. I hope the rest of your summer will be filled with comedy, drama, fantasy, mystery, romance, non-fiction, and science fiction. Perhaps the following shows and their tie-ins will get you started.

Aquarius (NBC, 13-part series, and renewed for a second season) This series is loosely based on historical events in 1967 Los Angeles. David Duchovny stars as LAPD detective Sam Hodiak who is investigating the disappearance of a young woman named Emma. Emma, as it turns out, is staying with infamous Charles Manson and his family. If you want a nonfiction read about Charles Manson after watching this series, try the classic Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry available in book form or audiobook on CD.

The Last Ship (TNT, 13-part series, and renewed for a second season) Post-apocalyptic series in which a global pandemic has killed over 80% of the world’s population. The crew of the USS Nathan James is trying to find a cure. This series is based on a book with the same name by author William Brinkley.

Poldark (PBS Masterpiece Theater, Alabama Public Television) After fighting for the British in the American Revolution, Ross Poldark returns home to Cornwall to find his father dead, his fiancée married to his cousin, and his finances in ruin. If you’ve been following this series on Masterpiece Theater, you may want to check out the series of twelve books written by Winston Graham. This is the second BBC adaptation of Poldark; if you are interested in the books and both BBC series adaptations, filmed in 2015 and 1975, see what is available here.

Powers (PlayStation Network, 10-part series, and renewed for a second season) Based on the Powers graphic novels by Brian Michael Bendis, people with superhuman abilities are called “Powers” and live among normal humans. Once a well-known Power superstar, Detective Christian Walker’s powers have been taken from him and he now investigates crimes, committed by Powers, with his partner Deena Pilgrim.

Rizzoli & Isles (TNT, 13-part series, and renewed for a seventh season) For all of you who have watched the TV series, don’t forget that author Tess Gerritsen has written eleven Rizzoli & Isles novels. When you want more of the detective and medical examiner duo, please remember to check out these books.

TUT (Spike TV, three-part miniseries) This miniseries is a historical drama based on the life of Egyptian king Tutankhamun. I enjoyed this series but felt it was not as historically accurate as it could have been. This series can still be viewed on Spike TVs website. If you are interested in nonfiction, try these books about King Tutankhamun.

Wayward Pines (FOX, 10-part series) U.S. Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon, is stuck in small town Wayward Pines and can’t get out. There’s no communication with the outside world and trying to escape will get one executed. Wayward Pines is based on a trilogy of books: Pines, Wayward, and The Last Town by Blake Crouch.

Whispers (ABC, 13-part series) Childhood accidents that could appear random are investigated. The children involved in these “accidents” all claim to be communicating with an imaginary friend who gives rewards for playing games. Whisper is based on Ray Bradbury’s short story “Zero Hour” from The Illustrated Man. Also, reserve a copy of the book Chocky by John Wyndham if you are interested in the idea of childhood imaginary friends who can influence children for good or evil.

ZOO (CBS, 13-part series) I’ve been watching this series and it’s only on the fourth episode. So far, I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to upcoming episodes. Scientist Jackson Oz is concerned about the strange behavior being exhibited by animals around the world. He becomes part of an unofficial investigative team secretly funded by the French government. Zoo is based on a book with the same title written by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge. It’s also available as a graphic novel, audiobook on CD, and downloadable e-book and audiobook.

I hope you enjoy reading the books that inspired these television series. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Maya Jones
West End Branch Library

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