After a long day of staring at my screen and working, I usually like to wind down by staring at my screen for a bit longer and watch something mindless, or something I’ve already seen before. And based on the viral craze around anything new that’s posted to Netflix, I’m not alone in my binge-watching bringing me comfort. But what do you do once your comfort show is done? Start over again? Wait a year or two for another season? With everything that’s going on right now, I’m definitely in need of some instant gratification and something to entertain me right away.
With that in mind, here are some book recommendations for some of the top shows streaming shows currently on Netflix.
Number One in Canada today: The Last Dance
Readalike: The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith.
If you’ve seen The Last Dance, you know that the book The Jordan Rules by reporter Sam Smith features prominently. For one thing, it drove a wedge between Michael Jordan and teammate Horace Grant, who was suspected to have leaked information to Smith. And it revealed to the world more about the win-at-all-costs mentality that made Jordan into the superstar he is now. For me, that was one of the most compelling parts of the series. There’s no way you can get to his level of success without having the drive that he does. However, at the time, his competitive mentality is something Jordan may have wanted to keep from the public. Well – read the book at the centre of all the drama, instantly available on Hoopla.
Number Two in Canada today: Sweet Magnolias
Readalike: Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
This heartwarming new drama on Netflix is based on a book series by Sherryl Woods – which makes this readalike recommendation almost way too easy. So I’m going to steer clear from that recommendation – although you should know that the series is available on Hoopla if you need some more Sweet Magnolias content before Season 2 comes out. Instead, I’m going to suggest Evvie Drake Starts Over by debut author Linda Holmes. It has a similar small-town setting to Sweet Magnolias, a supportive cast of secondary characters, and a feel-good romance. NPR also named it one of their favourite books of 2019.
Number Four in Canada today: History 101
Readalike: Anything by Yuval Harari
History 101 offers up 20-minute episodes about social issues and major topics like AIDS, Plastics, The Space Race, and Feminism. While the title of the show suggests that it may cover world history, for now it seems to mostly encompass hot button issues from the 20th century. Because of the wide scope that this series encompasses, it’s difficult to say what your appeal factor is here – maybe you found the episode on Plastics the most interesting, in which case I would encourage you to contact us and request a specific book recommendation. But if you’re looking for an overview of history and how it’s shaped who we are as humans today, I’d suggest you read anything by Yuval Harari. He made waves with his first book, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, which is characterized as a biological, anthropological, and economical exploration of how humankind was shaped. His next book, Homo Deus, investigates some future challenges humans might face. And then his most recent book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, is more of a look at some current, contemporary issues and the greater implications they have for humanity.
Number Five in Canada today: White Lines
Readalike: Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
White Lines is a brand-new murder mystery set in Ibiza – a tropical setting that combines glamourous pool parties and beaches with backstabbing, drug cartels, and murder. In White Lines, a woman travels to Ibiza to investigate her brother’s disappearance 20 years earlier. However, it was surprisingly difficult to find a readalike for this series, trying to incorporate the tropical setting and wealth with a noir murder mystery. It seems like a perfect combination – and considering the popularity of White Lines, I’m sure any book with the same appeal factors would be a hit as well. (If this has your brain turning – join our Virtual Writer’s Room program and start writing!). I’m going to suggest Saint X for fans of White Lines. In Saint X, Claire is haunted by her sister’s murder while on a family vacation in the Caribbean, and years later has the opportunity to discover the truth about who her sister was and what happened.
Number Six in Canada today: Dead to Me
Readalike: The Accident by Natalie Barelli
Dead to Me, starring Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate, is a dark comedy about two women who bond during grief therapy, and the secrets they’re keeping from each other. Once you’ve finished binging Dead to Me and you need something more like Jen and Judy’s twisted friendship, read The Accident by Natalie Barelli. In The Accident, due to an egregious lack of judgement, Katherine ends up making a fatal mistake. But the only witness was Katherine’s friend Eve, and Eve can keep a secret… right?