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Morpheus from Netflix's The Sandman. Right: Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton from Bridgerton.

Morpheus from Netflix's The Sandman. Right: Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton from Bridgerton.

Liam Daniel | Netflix

'Tis the season for new content? With the weather turning colder, it may be time to look through your watchlist and prepare it to keep you entertained for the long winter months ahead.

These days, there's no shortage of tv content based on books and while some of these shows have been around for several seasons, some are new to platforms and audiences. Either way, these recommendations will give new heat to the debate about whether the book is always better.

So settle in, because whether you opt to check out the book, the show, or both, these series are sure to spice up your winter watchlist.


With two wildly popular seasons under its belt, and the third currently filming, there should be no surprise that Bridgerton is on this list. The newest Shonda Rhimes success is based on the bestselling romance books written by Julia Quinn.

Like each of Quinn's books, each season will centre around a different member of the Bridgerton family "finding love" and has become popular for its casting, costumes and orchestral Taylor Swift covers.

The Queen's Gambit

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit.

Phil Bray | Netflix

Did you know that this pandemic hit was based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Walter Tevis? The Queen's Gambit (2020) follows Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor Joy) in a "coming of age story" as she climbs her way to the top of the chess world.

Whether you're actually chess obsessed, or just in it for killer decade outfits and overall vibes, you'll have a hard time not watching in just one sitting. And, if you can't get enough, grab the book to compare and contrast!

Where to watch: Netflix

The Sandman

Newer to Netflix Canada queues is the latest adaptation of Neil Gaiman's work. Based on the famous DC comic series, audiences follow Morpheus aka Dream (Tom Sturridge) on his adventures.

The show is proving immensely popular with new, and existing, fans and features a wildly talented cast portraying various anthropomorphic and fantastical creatures. For fans who can't get enough of Gaiman's work, I recommend checking out the screen adaptations of his novels Good Omens & American Gods.

Where to watch: Netflix

Shadow and Bone

YA books make great TV and the first season based on Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse seems to be no exception.

Based on the characters from the Shadow and Bone trilogy as well as the Six of Crows duology, audiences can expect fantastical adventures, witty banter and compelling magic systems from both the show and the books.

Where to watch: Netflix

Station Eleven

Based on the book written by Canadian author Emily St. John Mendel (back in 2014), Station Eleven follows several characters during the downfall and aftermath of civilization from a pandemic.

The show came out in 2021 but if the topic hits just a little too close to home, audiences should know that both the book and the show centre around themes like hope, community, beauty and art. So maybe more uplifting than it actually sounds?

Where to watch: Crave

The Handmaid's Tale

A classic book that's spawned a now-classic tv show, The Handmaid's Tale is a must-watch/read.

The show's taken the premise and character OfFred, from Margaret Atwood's novel,l and built a sprawling dystopian universe filled with complex characters and compelling performances. The fifth season is currently filming, and it was just announced that the sixth season will be its last. So hurry to get in on the story before it ends.

Where to watch: Crave

House of the Dragon 

HBO looks to have pulled out all the stops with the Game of Thrones prequel based mostly on George R. R. Martin's Fire & Blood novel.

Viewers don't have to know the original blockbuster GoT show (or books) to get caught up in the show's infighting between members of the Targaryen Dynasty for control of the realm. If slogging through the dense Martin literary canon is not of interest, then this prequel (or the original show if you've somehow missed it) is a great introduction.

Where to watch: Crave


This HBO miniseries is loosely based on the world established in Alan Moore's acclaimed graphic novel.

Starring Regina King, the show takes concepts and ideas explored in the comic and keeps both newcomers and fans of the original by expanding explorations of racism, justice, history and morality started by the original. Who watches the Watchmen?

Where to watch: Crave

Conversations with Friends

The latest adaptation based on phenom Sally Rooney's debut work Conversations with Friends. The story follows Frances (Alison Oliver) and her ex and best-friend Bobbi (Sasha Lane) as they get involved in messy relationships with a married couple.

But if you haven't already fallen in love with Rooney's other adapted work Normal People, where've you been? Both the show and the book follow Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar-Jones) on their journeys of self-discovery while together and apart.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Little Fires Everywhere

Another literary phenomenon yields yet another star-studded mini-series, but who are we to complain? Little Fires Everywhere sees Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington star in this story about motherhood, family and the toll of secrets.

While Kerry Washington is no stranger to spinning success (umm Scandal anyone?), Reese Witherspoon sure knows how to adapt a book into a killer show —see Big Little Lieson HBO for reference.

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Modern Love

Maybe a lesser-known gem, but Modern Love is an anthology series not based on a book but on the iconic New York Times column of the same name. Each episode introduces and follows different sets of characters as they fall in and out of all manners of love.

This series currently has 2 seasons out and features powerhouse stars like Anne Hathaway, Dev Patel, Tina Fey, Kit Harrington, Andrew Scott, John Slattery, Christina Milloti, Andy Garcia and so many more.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

This article has been updated since it was originally published on January 14, 2021.

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