On the shelf

10 books to replace your favorite TV shows

If you buy books linked to on our site, The Times may earn a commission from bookstore.orgwhose fees support independent bookstores.

No deal (until now) to end the strikes that have close hollywood, many of your favorite shows, not to mention must-see events like the Emmys, are on hold. Which means you may be looking for fun elsewhere. (Well, unless your thing is true crime or reality.) However, if you take your stories in two dimensions, you’re in luck. Fall is the season for great new books and this year is no exception. If you want to adapt your reading to make up for what’s missing from your screen, here are 10 books that are worthy substitutes (or even better options) for your favorite shows.

If you missed: “Yellow Jackets”
Read: “Girls on fireby Robin Wasserman

When we leave our cannibalistic teenage soccer players and their adult counterparts in “yellow jackets”, things were getting deliciously deranged. Fortunately, YA novelist Robin Wasserman’s 2016 adult debut, “Girls on fire”, features a superfluity of violently intense female friendship that will carry us through season 3. Wasserman’s novel is a creepy, lucid and incredibly intelligent story of teenagers: their obsessions, their infatuation, their need to dominate and submit to each other . Perhaps more realistic than “Yellowjackets” but just as dark and satisfying.

"The exorcism of my best friend" by Grady Hendrix

If you missed: “Stranger Things”
Read: “The exorcism of my best friendby Grady Hendrix

The 1980s? Demonic possession? Teenagers? Camper horror? Check. Check. Check. Check. Hendrix’s 2017 cult classic offers a story straight out of the duffer brothers‘ playbook (or maybe it’s the other way around). Full of humor, nostalgia, and horror, “The Exorcism of My Best Friend” is a perfect placeholder until we can go back to the other way around.

If you miss: “Andor” or “The Mandalorian”
Read: “Star Wars: The High Republic” series

Great books aren’t usually what come to mind when we think of the Lucasfilm empire. And yet, for a while now, Lucasfilm Press has been publishing novels and stories by interesting writers (Alex Segura, Charles Yu, Adam Gidwitz) who have reinvented and revitalized the film genre. An outstanding chronicle, the satisfying young adult “High RepublicThe series takes place between 350 and 50 years before the Skywalker saga; It’s exceptionally well-crafted, offers a variety of voices and moods, and easily fills the Death Star-shaped void where your “Star Wars” spin-offs should be.

"All day and one night," by Alafair Burke

If you missed: “Law and Order”
Read: the Ellie Hatcher seriesby Alafair Burke

Yes, yes, there are reruns, of course. So many. But nothing satisfies as much as a “Law“You haven’t seen before, except perhaps a book of Alafair Burke, whose knowledge of New York City is second to none. His exceptionally clever and twisted Ellie Hatcher series is a perfect replacement for Dick Wolf’s long-running shows. While the crimes are Burke’s invention, you’d swear they were ripped from the headlines.

If you missed: “The House of the Dragon”
Read: “Hilda” by Nicola Griffith

Who needs those dragons When you have a 12-year-old psychic wielding an axe? Such a fantasy would have been gilding the lily in Nicolas GriffithThe brilliant 2013 novel “Hild,” a fictional reimagining of the young life of the girl who would grow up to become Saint Hilda. There’s not much holiness here, but there is plenty of blood and betrayal as Hild navigates the warring kingdoms of 7th century Britain at the dawn of Christianity. Griffith’s novel is mystical, beautiful and poetic, radiant in its adventures and the reverence of it.

"Pharmacy open all night," by Ruth Madievsky

If you miss: “Euphoria”
Read: “Pharmacy all night”by Ruth Madievsky

As much as I loveEuphoria”, sometimes the show’s exploitation of teen addiction and sexuality gives me chills, or rather, makes me feel like shit. Fortunately, Ruth MadievskyThe heady neo-noir has all the heart and humor “Euphoria” lacks. Set in a dark, dark Los Angeles cityscape, “All Night Pharmacy” follows a young woman struggling with sobriety, sexuality, and the disappearance of her very complicated sister. Madievsky’s prose crackles like a live wire throughout this sometimes hilarious, always heartbreaking novel.

If it fails: “Compensation”
Read: “The blindsby Adam Sternbergh

SternberghThe speculative Western suspense novel traverses the same landscape as “Breaking off – an experimental reality where people are governed by rules that go beyond their understanding. It’s sometimes difficult to understand exactly what’s at stake in “The Blinds.” but that is precisely the goal and delight of this remarkably original novel about good, evil, and human experimentation.

'Reproduction', by Louisa Hall

If you missed: “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Read: “Reproductionby Louisa Hall

Bruce Miller fans award-winning adaptation The authors of Margaret Atwood’s novel need only read the news to receive a daily dose of government interference in women’s bodies and rights. But if you’re looking for something more poetic (and more grounded) about the body horrors of fertility, “Reproduction” will terrify and surprise. Hall’s almost surreal meditation on pregnancy, childhood, parenthood, and a planet on the brink of collapse has enough real-world horrors that you won’t miss the slightly speculative televised ones.

If you missed: “The Penguin”
Read: the series “Gangsterland”by Todd Goldberg

Many of us have been waiting patiently Craig ZobelHBO’s stylish gangster series featuring Colin Farrell as Batman’s villain and mob boss. Fortunately, Goldberg has been in this unusual gangster game for a while now. With the recent publication of “Gangsters don’t die” concludes the most improbable and notable mafia fiction series ever written (featuring a mafia boss hiding out as a rabbi). As always, Goldberg’s latest book is funny, violent, and a little flashy. In other words, like the best DC villains.

If you miss: “The Last of Us”
Read: “Our part of the night”, by Mariana Enríquez

“Our Share of Night” is a completely imperfect book: overloaded and overextended with psychic cults, parallel universes, Argentine political turmoil, and even the AIDS crisis. But when Enríquez’s novel has you in its grip, it’s hard to put it down. As “The last of us”, follows a flawed father figure who attempts to protect an anointed child from those who fear him or wish him harm. Despite the over-the-top horrors and supernatural violence, the book has a beating heart more than capable of ripping yours out.