11 Books That Inspired Emmy-Winning Shows in 2019
The book is (almost always) better than the movie, but does the same hold true for TV shows? We say YES!, obviously, but we’re willing to let you decide for yourself. We’ve gathered up all the books we’ve got on Scribd that inspired an Emmy-winning series this year. If you want to get the disappointing eighth season of Game of Thrones out of your mind, here’s a great place to start.
Fire & Blood by George R.R. Martin
HBO’s Game of Thrones won 12 Emmys for its final season (on a whopping 32 nominations), including outstanding drama series. This prequel to George RR Martin’s series is mandatory reading for any fan of GoT. Martin imbues every line with his trademark character and dry humor. If you want to learn more about Aegon the Conqueror, the Dance of Dragons, Aegon III (also known as “The Boy King”), and so much more that’s only alluded to in the main story, this is the book for you.
Codename Villanelle (Killing Eve) by Luke Jennings
Killing Eve star Sandra Oh lost the Emmy for lead actress in a surprising upset to her co-star, Jodie Comer (Oh has now been nominated for an Emmy eight times without a win). This novel inspired all the edge-of-your-seat spy action that Oh and Comer bring to life on TV.
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Marlon Bundo and Jill Twiss
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver won for best variety talk show (yet again) and for best writing for a variety series. In support of the LGBTQ community, Oliver and company created this children’s book about a gay bunny. It works well as both a cutting political commentary and adorable bedtime story.
Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich
HBO’s Chernobyl — which won the Emmy for best limited series — is largely based on the recollections of those who lived in Pripyat and relayed in this Nobel Prize-winning book. Hear about the devastation in the words of those who experienced it — and continue to deal with the fallout — first hand.
Fosse by Sam Wasson
It’s only appropriate that a show about Bob Fosse (Fosse/Verdon) was nominated for a spate of Emmy Awards (Michelle Williams won the outstanding actress in a limited series or movie category for her portrayal of Gwen Verdon). The biography Fosse, which provided the basis for the show, is also swimming in accolades, having made many “best book of the year” lists after its release. A riveting account of one of our most creative personalities.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale wasn’t in contention for the Emmys this year, yet still managed to garner 11 nominations for three specific episodes due to a special “hanging episode” rule from the Academy. (Bradley Whitford won for best guest actor, and Cherry Jones won for best guest actress.) Look, we’re a bit confused, too, but we do know that Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic is a must-read in today’s political climate, where abortion laws are being hotly debated and rolled back. (Plus, it’s a necessary reread before starting the recently released sequel, The Testaments.)
Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life
Queer Eye won the outstanding structured reality program Emmy for the second year in a row. Jonathan Van Ness may have missed the Primetime Emmys ceremony, but you can catch up on all things Fab Five with this behind-the-scenes guide to living your best life.
Workin’ It! by RuPaul
RuPaul's Drag Race won the Emmy for outstanding reality show. After you follow RuPaul’s acceptance speech directive to go register to vote at vote.gov, come back here to read his fabulous advice on how to show off your most stylish self.
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain won two Emmys posthumously for his series, Parts Unknown. The beloved personality made exotic food more attainable and the subculture of being a chef more relatable. He was a wonderful storyteller, and inspired people to learn more about the world around them. This is the book that launched Bourdain’s TV career.
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell by W. Kamau Bell
In case you couldn’t tell from the ridiculously long subtitle, comedian W. Kamau Bell’s thoughts are all over the place. No matter what he’s talking about, though, he’s thoughtful and funny. Bell’s United Shades of America won its third consecutive Emmy in 2019 for outstanding unstructured reality program.
Star Trek: Discovery: Desperate Hours by David Mack
Trekkies must be feeling pretty good about Star Trek: Discovery’s win, even if it was in the very specific category of prosthetic makeup for a limited series, movie, or special. The books, starting with Desperate Hours, are all-new stories that expand the “Star Trek” universe.
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