22 Fictional Books From Movies and TV Shows We Would Really Like to Actually Read

1. Station Eleven, by Miranda Caroll

Station Eleven (HBO Max, 2021 – 2022)

Kristen reads "station eleven"

Clearly the most influential and resonant graphic novel of all time, this rare and piece of dystopian literature is at the center of one of the best television programs ever made. I am dying to read it.


2. Lez Girls, by Jenny Schecter

The L Word (Showtime, 2004 – 2009)

Phyllis reading "Lez Girls" by Jenny Shecter

Jenny Schecter’s thinly fictionalized tome of lesbian life and romance in turn-of-the-century Los Angeles started a scandal and inspired an immediate film adaptation. While it’s likely that reading Lez Girls would be like reading my L Word recaps without jokes, it would still be a wild ride.


3. Charlotte Light and Dark, by Dr. Gareth Feinberg, PhD

Six Feet Under (HBO, 2001 – 2005)

Charlotte Light and Dark

It was a discussion of this piece of problematic psychological lit that inspired me to make this list in the first place — the book Brenda Chenoweth’s parents wrote about her, the book that haunted and defined her forever, the book that apparently involved a lot of barking.


4. The Wrong Side of the Bed; Corruption, Cover-Ups and a Crisis of Culture on America’s #1 Morning Show, by Maggie Brenner

The Morning Show (Apple TV, 2020 -)

Bradley reading the Maggie Breneerman tell-all in her study

This tell-all threatened to ruin Alex Levy’s life and Bradley couldn’t put it down!


5. Anne Boleyn: Life and Death of a Martyr by Phillip W. Margate

Spencer (2021)

I love books that come with the ghost of Anne Boelyn visiting you in your bedchambers, like a little bonus gift.


6. Summer Storm by Melody Valentine

Riverdale (The CW, 2017 – )

Melody valentine holding up "Summer Storm"

Rising queer Black author Melody Valentine dropped out of law school to write this novel that was so good Tyler Perry immediately wanted to option it.


7. One Trick Pony, by Diane Nguyen

Bojack Horseman (Netflix, 2014 – 2020)

bojack horesman at a one trick pony signing

Netflix

The unfortunate assignment that started it all.


8. Shadow Dreamers and the Second Sister, by Jane Caldwell

Happiest Season (2019)

Jane at her book signing

Hulu

It takes a long time to build a world!


9. Don’t Ask Alice, by Alice Piesecki

The L Word: Generation Q (2019 – )

Alice and Tom posing with her book

(L-R): Donald Faison as Tom and Leisha Hailey as Alice in THE L WORD: GENERATION Q “Launch Party”. Photo Credit: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME.

Although the brief excerpt Alice read from this book at her launch party in an underground bunker was objectively terrible, the rest of the book may very well be chock full of hidden gems and behind-the-scenes secrets.


10. Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town, by River Song

Doctor Who (The BBC, 2005-)

"Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town"

Melody Malone: Private Detective in Old New York Town might not be River Song’s most famous book (spoilers!), but it did double as both a devil-may-care noir with a classy badass dame protagonist and also a world-saving guide for River Song’s future parents (it’s a long story).


11. Maloja Snake by Wilhelm Melchior

Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

Val and Maria in the mountains reading a play

Named after a cloud formation that winds its way through the Alpine pass like a river, this psychological drama featuring a homoerotic relationship between a troubled older woman and a manipulative younger woman sounds right up our alley.


12. Chronicles of a Fed-Up Millennia and January 22nd by Arabella Essiedu

I May Destroy You (HBO, 2021)

January 22nd in the store window of "I may Destroy You"
First, the book largely sourced from her personal, clever, zeitgeisty twitter account that garnered her the lucrative publishing contract she struggles to meet throughout the season. Second, the book she eventually writes and publishes independently telling the story she had to tell, which she’s about to read from when the series ends. “It’s a beautifully cathartic moment, a summation not just of the work she’s now sharing, but of the internal work that most people will never see,” writes Vulture.


13. Vampyr, by Multiple Authors

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)

Buffy and Giles reading VAMPYR Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This book contains important information that helps people become powerful I think.


14. Snow Falling, by Jane Villanueva

Jane the Virgin (The CW, 2014 – 2019)

Jane rading from her romance novel, "Snow Falling"

Jane Villanueva’s inspiration is Isabelle Allende, which is already setting a high bar, but a lifetime of watching telenovelas and eating peanut butter sandwiches — I just know Jane can sell a romance, even if it’s a straight one.


15. The Time Hump Chronicles by Suzanne Warren

Orange is the New Black (Netflix, 2013 – 2019)

Suzanne Warren with her manuscript

All of Litchfield was buzzing about it!


16. Trust? Who Needs It? An Agoraphobic’s Memoir, by Peyton Lombard

Elena Undone (2010)

Honestly the very existence of this book and its presentation in the film is the closest thing this movie did to “telling a joke.”


17. Sleep and Longevity, by Sarah Roberts

The Hunger (1983)

Sleep and Longevity by Sarah Roberts

I think what’s important here is that sometimes your research on sleep and longevity can lead you into a homoerotic relationship with a vampire, and we are generally supportive of that life path


18. Call Me Gabe: Memoir of the Decade, by Gabe Parrish

Shrill (Hulu, 2019 – 2021)

Gabe holding the memoir of the decade

I mean, according to The Times, “Parrish writes brilliant tales of punk rock lunacy and sex, his pulsating words grab the reader by the balls and whispers I dare you to fuck with me.” Based on Gabe’s overall deal as a person, it will probably be a hate read, but so are a lot of things, really.


19. Love Hurts, by Catherine Woof

Basic Instinct (1992)

Love Hurts being read in 'Basic Instinct'

via reddit

The author psuedonym for problematic bisexual character Catherine Trammell was “Catherine Woolf” and I cannot imagine the effed up twists that likely lie within.


20. Princess Cydney, by Miranda Ruth

Princess Cyd (2017)

It’s so sweet when Cyd realizes she was named after this book that she vaguely remembers reading and loving and it sounds like a great book so!!!!


21. How to Know the Person You Love Loves You Even Though They Don’t Act Like It Most of the Time by Vincent Bubbles

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)

This was basically the book I wanted to read during a relationship that involved me googling a lot of unhinged questions like “ok to be bothered that girlfriend goes out every night and never sleeps at home?”


22. “A Woman’s Place by Serena Joy Waterford

The Handmaid’s Tale (2016 – )

Serena stands before a college audience to discuss "A woman's Place"

(that’s Elise Bauman as “Jenny” walking offstage as Serena takes her place onstage!)

I just feel like it is really ripe for a like, “15 Most Accidentally Homoerotic Sentences from Serena Joy’s “A Woman’s Place” article, you know?


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Riese

Riese is the 39-year-old Co-Founder and CEO of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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17 Comments

  1. One of the best things to me about the Station Eleven novel was that there was a loose page – supposedly from the original graphic novel – tucked in between the pages of the book. It was a great moment to find this Easter egg, especially since I was reading a library copy and after 20 or more people had read it, this completely loose page was still in there!

  2. The fake book title that always sticks in my mind for some reason is “Through the Looking Glass: Senescence in Retrospect” i.e. Jamie Lee Curtis’s book in the Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan from the 2000s 😂

  3. well it’s not a book but i really want to take “capes and capers: gender deconstruction and the criminal mastermind” (or whatever it’s called)(i’ve heard it’s a very popular class) and write my term paper on the dreamy supervillain who i later fall in love with

  4. Melody Malone: The Angel’s Kiss is a real book! I think it’s technically a prequel to the one in the episode? I also have a copy of that other kidlit Amelia Williams book they reference.

    and I too am absolutely dying to read Station Eleven

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