16 Books to Read After You Binge Watch 'Stranger Things'

Posted by Hayley on October 26, 2017
Grab your Eggo waffles, dear readers. Stranger Things has officially returned to Netflix. The wildly popular supernatural series, which is equal parts charming and spooky, celebrates the pop culture of the 1980s and features a cast of lovable kid adventurers and otherworldly monsters.

If you abandon your reading to binge the new season, we won't blame you (because we might be doing the same thing). But when you finish the final episode, your bookshelf will be waiting.

We asked you on Facebook and Twitter to share the books that Stranger Things fans would love. Check out the top answers below.

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What book would you recommend to fans of Stranger Things? Share it with us in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Best Young Adult Books of October
24 Books that Won NaNoWriMo
Two Centuries of Frankenstein's Monster

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)


message 1: by John (last edited Oct 27, 2017 08:16AM) (new)

John Mclain Boy's Life simply has to be included on this list--a magical coming of age story and murder mystery set in the sleepy 60s south. Arguable McCammon's finest work.


message 2: by Morgan (new)

Morgan This list needs more Lovecraft.


message 3: by Katrina (new)

Katrina John wrote: "Boy's Life Simply has to be included on this list--a magical coming of age story and murder mystery set in the sleepy 60s south. Arguable McCammon's finest work." I realllllly enjoyed Boy's Life, a really rich and immersive read -totally believable even when things veered into the deeply weird.


message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark Rough How about Dandelion Wine or Something Wicked This Way Comes? Two of my favorites.


message 5: by Bree (new)

Bree Bingeing it right now, I needed this list


message 6: by Char (last edited Oct 27, 2017 08:47AM) (new)

Char John wrote: "Boy's Life simply has to be included on this list--a magical coming of age story and murder mystery set in the sleepy 60s south. Arguable McCammon's finest work."

I agree with John!
Boy's Life by Robert McCammon


message 7: by Alexiaperez (new)

Alexiaperez cant wait to go home and binge watch stranger things 2 !!!!!!!


message 8: by Heather LitChick4ever (last edited Oct 27, 2017 08:57AM) (new)

Heather LitChick4ever I know what I will start watching tonight!! Can’t wait for Season 2


message 9: by Jaimie (new)

Jaimie Mark wrote: "How about Dandelion Wine or Something Wicked This Way Comes? Two of my favorites."

YES! And From the Dust Returned.


message 10: by Fox (new)

Fox I'm surprised not to see Firestarter on this list - but highly agree with the Bradbury, Lovecraft, and Boy's Life -those are all must needed inclusions.


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Lynne One recommendation I have is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s not horror but it does have one thing in common with Stranger Things: the 80s nostalgia and references.


message 12: by Dara (new)

Dara THE SILENT END by Samuel Sattin came out before STRANGER THINGS, but has a similar vibe-

In a mist-covered town in the Pacific Northwest three teenagers find themselves pitted against an unearthly menace that dwells beneath the foundations of their high school…

The Silent End


message 13: by Jim (new)

Jim C I binged this show during the summer. After the first two episodes I saw similarities with Dean Koontz Watchers by Dean Koontz with the lab and the two entities having a connection to the lab.


message 14: by Idania (new)

Idania Mentana I'd also recommend The Key to Midnight by Dean Koontz.


message 15: by Silva (new)

Silva Ruth Anything by Murakami really.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Morgan wrote: "This list needs more Lovecraft."

YES!!!!!


message 17: by Deanne (new)

Deanne Devine I agree with everyone who agreed with Boy's Life by Robert McCammon Boy's Life, Dandelion Wine (Green Town, #1) by Ray Bradbury Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2) by Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes!


message 18: by Carol (new)

Carol No Carrie or Firestarter?


message 19: by Patrick (new)

Patrick John wrote: "Boy's Life simply has to be included on this list--a magical coming of age story and murder mystery set in the sleepy 60s south. Arguable McCammon's finest work."

That's definitely on my to-read list along with Swan Song.


message 20: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Hilary wrote: "I'm surprised not to see Firestarter on this list - but highly agree with the Bradbury, Lovecraft, and Boy's Life -those are all must needed inclusions."

Agree! Exactly what I thought of when I first saw this show last year. A combination of Firestarter, It & ET.


message 21: by Pato (new)

Pato I'm part way through the first episode of Stranger Things, and it really reminds me of Demon Road (Demon Road, #1) by Derek Landy .
It's set in a road trip in modern america, where a the three main characters meet a selection of horror movie inspired monsters and psychopaths.


message 22: by Clive (new)

Clive Reznor Michelle wrote: "Before telling me what to read "After You Binge Watch 'Stranger Things'" maybe you should tell me why I should watch it in the first place. From what I hear of it it sounds like somebody combined R..."

Stranger Things isn't about being original, it's about nostalgia and King-esque storytelling. It's a great series if you approach it minus bias.


message 23: by Abbi (new)

Abbi Conklin Great list! I would add The Tommyknockers by Stephen King as well!


message 24: by Haley (new)

Haley Boys Life by Robert McGammon and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury!


message 25: by Amelia (last edited Oct 27, 2017 09:04PM) (new)

Amelia Mangan Richard Laymon's The Traveling Vampire Show springs immediately to mind. Oh, and Dan Simmons' Summer of Night.


message 26: by Rivven (new)

Rivven My Best Friend's Exorcism needs to be on this list. It's so 80's and perfect and just go read it, because the power of friendship!


message 27: by Etienne (new)

Etienne Morgan wrote: "This list needs more Lovecraft."

Absolutely!!


message 28: by Figgy (new)

Figgy Raeleen wrote: "Also Paper Girls, Vol. 1!"

Rivven wrote: "My Best Friend's Exorcism needs to be on this list. It's so 80's and perfect and just go read it, because the power of friendship!"

Did you guys read the list? Haha, these books are both already there!


message 29: by David (new)

David House of Leaves is absolutely one of the best books I've ever read. I guarantee you've never read anything remotely like it. If you only read one thing from this list...

Neverwhere is one of Gaiman's weakest novels, imo. Probably has something to do with him writing it as a TV series first and then novelizing it. I would've picked Coraline or The Graveyard Book, personally. Not only are they better books, but they're about children, which fits the Stranger Things theme.


message 30: by Paul (new)

Paul Harmon Ive read almost every one of these already including Meddling Kids Most of the others are on my shelf.


message 31: by Hope (new)

Hope Ashley wrote: "One recommendation I have is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s not horror but it does have one thing in common with Stranger Things: the 80s nostalgia and references."
Yes!!! That was the first book I thought of for this list!


message 32: by Maddy Leon Max (new)

Maddy Leon Max I binge watched Stranger Things s2 yesterday and I needed this. Thanks.


message 33: by Jacob (new)

Jacob van Berkel Personally, since the show is based on 'the Montauk Project' (the show was originally named 'Montauk'), I'd like to maybe read The Montauk Project: Experiments in Time someday ... kooky though it may be.


message 34: by Silvia (last edited Oct 28, 2017 02:40PM) (new)

Silvia Turcios John wrote: "Boy's Life simply has to be included on this list--a magical coming of age story and murder mystery set in the sleepy 60s south. Arguable McCammon's finest work."

Agree! Boy's Life is wonderful and now that I think about it, the group of friends and the mystery, it really can be a very enjoyable book for a fan of Stranger things.


message 35: by Mayke ☕️ (new)

Mayke ☕️ All I needed after finishing Stranger Things!


Love of Hopeless Causes Is this a paid promotion? Why is Amazon shilling for Netflix?


message 37: by Figgy (new)

Figgy DNF with Jack Mack wrote: "Is this a paid promotion? Why is Amazon shilling for Netflix?"

Uhm, it's a blog post?

And yes, goodreads is owned by Amazon, but just because something isn't on their streaming service doesn't mean they can't engage in the discussion, especially when that discussion might lead to selling more books, right?

I also feel that pretending Stranger Things doesn't exist just because it's on a streaming service would be silly. There's no way to profit on pretending it doesn't exist, but people might buy the books listed above through Amazon if they DO discuss it.


message 38: by Robin (new)

Robin Gipson One of my faves is the Dan Simmons novel Summer of Night.


message 39: by Cat (new)

Cat Springer What, no Lovecraft?


Love of Hopeless Causes Figgy wrote: "DNF with Jack Mack wrote: "Is this a paid promotion? Why is Amazon shilling for Netflix?"

Uhm, it's a blog post?

And yes, goodreads is owned by Amazon, but just because something isn't on their ..."

I thought this was goodreads not Goodwatches. Blogger might as well have said, "Stop reading, fill head with garbage, then continue reading." I don't want to be exposed to this stuff in a book space. Too many blogs about movies plus books. Everything competes with everything. Hold yourself to a higher standard and think before you post.


message 41: by Julia (new)

Julia Simpson-Urrutia Please include The Lady on the Rooftops by Francis Coco. The narrator is a 14-year-old and the book is creepy as all get out!


message 42: by Figgy (new)

Figgy DNF with Jack Mack wrote: "I thought this was goodreads not Goodwatches. Blogger might as well have said, "Stop reading, fill head with garbage, then continue reading." I don't want to be exposed to this stuff in a book space. Too many blogs about movies plus books. Everything competes with everything. Hold yourself to a higher standard and think before you post."

For someone whose profile says their "focus is books that are easy to read and finish." you're certainly passing a lot of judgement here. Just to be clear, I'm not judging YOU for saying that, but rather pointing out the irony of saying "Hold yourself to a higher standard" when you're consuming entertaining media like the rest of us.

The post is for people who DO watch Stranger Things and want books along a similar line (because consumers of media often consume many kinds, and it's great to find stories with a similar vibe but within a different medium), not to tell people they SHOULD go and watch it. Although, yes, it does work the other way in that if someone has read and loved these books they might enjoy the show, but that's not the main goal of the post.

If you don't want to be "exposed to this stuff in a book space", then ignore the blog, no one's making you read each post. The rest of us enjoy being "exposed to" titles we might not have found otherwise, so we find value in these posts.

If you can't not click through on everything you see on the right side of the page, you can set your magnification of the page a little higher and that whole side-panel will move over to the bottom of the left side of the page and not be so noticeable.


message 43: by Tommy (new)

Tommy Hancock For what it's worth, I found a good two or three books I wouldn't have looked at without this. And now I will likely read them. So this post has inspired me to watch zero TV shows, and to read three books.

I'd call that a success, at least where I stand.

The post could have been called "16 books you might like if you loved Stranger Things". In my opinion it's less grabbing and, ergo, a worse title. Any hoots, now we're arguing semantics and taking it further from books than the title ever did.

Either way, I hope all who read this enjoy their books. And for the lesser, lower standards types folks, their TV shows <3


message 44: by Nathalie (new)

Nathalie Hilary wrote: "I'm surprised not to see Firestarter on this list - but highly agree with the Bradbury, Lovecraft, and Boy's Life -those are all must needed inclusions."

Agree!!


message 45: by West (new)

West Summer of Night by Dan Simmons should be here. I mean it has a group of kids fending off nasty creatures. It definitely helped my Stranger Things addiction after finishing the show. Boys of Summer by Richard Cox is an interesting read, recommended to me when I looked up books like IT (there were a lot more lists involving that book than ST when I was looking, and IT would fit the bill had I not read it a billion times before). It's not quite like IT or Stranger Things but worth the read.


message 46: by Barondestructo (new)

Barondestructo I would add Dan Simmons' Summer of Night and Jeffrey Ford's The Shadow Year.


message 47: by karen (new)

karen this list is the result of a poll, not compiled by a person, so all of the "RARRRRRR, where is the book iiii would have included??" responses are kind of funny. but as someone who makes booklists for fun and formerly for profit, the reality is that not every book that works as a readalike is going to make every readalike list, especially if it is so obvious a match that it's not even worth mentioning, to make room for one that is more surprising or lesser-known. that's how i do it, anyway. i made a stranger things reading list myself - https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/237783, and there were plenty of books i COULD have put on it, but i didn't want to mirror all the other ST lists out there. (and before you start yelling at me about the books i didn't include, know that i put many of the titles mentioned here as being "missing" on the list i made for IT readalikes https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/231925, so ppbblltt!) i love booklists (even when they are just poll-responses), and the best ones, for me, are the ones that don't have the books i would have personally chosen (as long as they are still appropriate matches), because it makes me see those titles in a different way, and see how the connections are being made.


message 48: by Andreas (new)

Andreas You can't talk about Stranger Things without mentioning the music. I'd throw in books like Touching from a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division. Musically; the Joy Division sound fits the show perfectly.


message 49: by Richard (new)

Richard Dolan I can not say that I am a big fan or reader of this literary genre, but the first two books made a very positive impression on me. Thank you for such a recommendation. I can say with confidence that you are very good book report writer and I'd like to read all of your reviews.


message 50: by Nathan (last edited Oct 31, 2017 12:18AM) (new)

Nathan Carson Well since my novella Starr Creek has been sitting at #1 on this list (IT is #2) for most of 2017, I'll toss it in the ring.

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1...

You'll find a lot of Stranger Things comparisons in the following reviews, though my book was written in Nov-Dec 2015, quite some time before Stranger Things came out.

Starr Creek by Nathan Carson

Nathan Carson is a musician, writer, and Moth StorySlam champion from Portland, OR. He contributes arts and culture writing to Willamette Week and The Oregonian. Carson is widely known as co-founder and drummer of the internationally touring doom metal band Witch Mountain. In recent years his original fiction has appeared in a steady stream of anthologies and magazines. His first standalone book Starr Creek enjoyed one of the best-attended releases at Powell’s on Hawthorne in 2016, and currently sits at #1 on the Goodreads list of “Books Like Stranger Things.” – www.nathancarson.rocks

"STARR CREEK is a phenomenal weird fiction debut. Laird Barron meets Jack Ketchum in David Lynch's TWIN PEAKS. I loved it!" - Brian Keene, best-selling author of THE COMPLEX and THE RISING

NATIONAL PRESS

Barnes and Noble - ‘While Carson’s gift for sickening imagery and fever-dream levels of berserk narrative is evident, the crowning achievement of Starr Creek is that it follows its own tight internal logic, ensuring that no matter how off the rails the plot goes (and we are talking Monty Python levels of off the rails) it coherently communicate its thrills.”

Vice “…a fittingly and gleefully weird macabre piece of fiction… the perfect blast of backwater Lovecraftian lore for our Trumptastic moment.”

Rue Morgue Magazine - “A love letter to the era of denim jackets, D&D, and evil hiding in the woods…a fun, fast-paced read that's as satisfying as it is speedy.”

Decibel Magazine - “…macabre fun…Carson has a keen eye for detail as a writer as well as a vivid imagination, and those two characteristics are a big reason why this briskly-paced novella works so well.”

LOCAL PRESS

The Oregonian “…a fever dream of the '80s set in rural Oregon that ricochets among bikers, acid-tripping teens, a pair of backwoods siblings named Puppy and Kitty, and a mysterious entity that is clearly not of this world.”

Portland Mercury - “…a strange and vivid sci-fi story set in the rural Oregon wilderness.”

Willamette Week - “…a trippy, Lovecraftian “weird fiction” novella…”

Portland Monthly - “a nostalgic jaunt into 1980s rural Oregon featuring heavy metal teens, Christian biker gangs, and, naturally, aliens.”

Eleven PDX Magazine - “Carson’s Lovecraftian vision is alive and well in Oregon, with his vividly detailed account of life in the forest deep in the central Willamette Valley.”

Albany Democrat Herald - “For a book mostly written in 60 days, “Creek” bears no traces of expediency. It’s a confident work, with vivid characters, memorable sequences…and a solid flow. Its setting is an authentic, recognizable ’80s, deftly executing a delicate balancing act of evoking a period without pining for it.”

BLOGS

The Grim Reader - “‘Starr Creek’ has appeared at a time when shows like ‘Stranger Things’ are rekindling an interest in the 1980s, but it doesn’t feel like Carson is simply someone jumping on the bandwagon. Instead ‘Starr Creek’ feels like a book written by somebody with a good memory of times past, somebody who walked in those shoes and somebody who enjoyed the freedom of youth. A really great read.” 4.5/5

Horror Talk - “…eerie, strangely touching, packed with awe and innocence, and entertaining in the way all alien stories should be.” 4/5

Ginger Nuts of Horror - “…a wild adventure that involves alien creatures, unbridled violence and a strange commune. The writing is rich and very clearly from the heart--as the best writing should be. He has an unwavering eye for nostalgia, for the interaction between youth and adults and events, all realistically painted.”

Fast n Bulbous - “…crisply economical but with an evocative atmosphere…”

Horror Fiction Review - “…pretty brain-bending to say the least…a meander down a psychedelic memory lane of Dungeons and Dragons, heavy metal music, classic arcade games and television ... with nods and winks at everything from Lovecraft to E.T. ... yeah, STARR CREEK will take you places, whether you were an 80's kid or not!”


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