Friday, January 11, 2013

TV Show Read Alikes

We've created read alike posts for popular books that became popular movies (or less so). We've also written about the literary inspirations behind popular television programs. Today we're going to try our hands at suggesting read alikes for three humorous television shows that weren't based on books.

Big Bang Theory
This geek chic comedy by the creator of Dharma and Greg and Two and a Half Men is currently in its 6th season. The series focuses on the misadventures of science minded grad students and their one non-geek friend.

If you enjoy the humor and friendship of Leonard, Sheldon and pals, but have more in common with Penny, you should pick up a book by Nick Hornby. He writes about the foibles and loves of eccentric young people with humor and thought, and several of his novels have become big screen hits.

If you're the type of viewer more tickled by geeky elements, like Wil Wheaton's reoccurring role, you might enjoy Redshirts by John Scalzi or Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If you've read Andrew's review of Cline's debut, you already know that Wheaton is the audio book's narrator.

Modern Family
An update to the family sitcom currently in its 4th season, and whose cast includes veteran sitcom actor Ed O'Neill. Despite being a scripted comedy, the show is filmed as a mockumentary, a style that evokes reality tv, a la The Office or Parks and Recreation.

Kevin Wilson takes the quirky family one step beyond quirky in his darkly humorous first novel, The Family Fang. You can read more about it in Sarah's staff review, or check it out for yourself!

Lisa Lutz’s funny, fast-paced mystery stories feature a large cast of colorful characters. The Spellman Files is the first in her upbeat series following Izzy Spellman and her work at her dysfunctional family’s detective agency.

British author Hilary McKay writes for kids and tweens, but her witty series about the Casson family of artists has charmed many an adult reader. The series starts with Saffy's Angel, and it is told from the perspective of the Casson family's second-oldest daughter.

Warehouse 13
Take one part wacky adventure, one part supernatural mystery, add a dash of steam punk style, and a quirky band of misfits, and you'll have something similar to Warehouse 13. The breakout hit of the rebranded SyFy network, this show appeal to viewers who normally wouldn't touch science-fiction. If you're anxiously awaiting the conclusion of season 4, never fear because new episodes will resume airing on April 4th.

If the artifacts, those seemingly everyday items imbued with impossible powers, are what tickle your fancy, try Libriomancer by Jim C Hines or Seven Deadly Wonders by Matthew Reilly. Libriomancer is the story of a Midwestern librarian whose powers are based on the power of the written word. That's right, it's a world where every cool thing you've read about in the fiction section can become non-fictional. Seven Deadly Wonders has a touch of Indiana Jones, as the characters race to find seven ancient artifacts that could destroy the world.

If the conspiracy is more your thing, try The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, with offbeat humor, a fast-paced plot, and a far-reaching cover-up of the supernatural. You can read more about it in Sarah's staff review.

Please stop by the Recommendations Desk on the first floor, check out NoveList Plus on the library's website, or visit W. 11th & Bluff next week for more reading suggestions. Or submit a Personal Recommendations request, and we'll create a reading list just for you!


  1. This is way cool! Great post.

  2. Thank you! We're working on a suggestion list for more dramatic TV series read alikes.