Hulu’s ‘Normal People’: Watched it? Read these!

By Collection Management Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

Whether you read it when it first came out, want to read it before you start the new series, or just finished the series and want the source material, we’ve got you covered. Hulu’s Normal People, based on Sally Rooney’s book, tackles the damaging effects of secrets and miscommunications. 

You can find all of the title suggestions below available in your digital library through Media on Demand and Libby and/or Hoopla.

Normal People read-alikes


Normal People by Sally Rooney

Why you should try it: You can’t go wrong with the original.

Description: The unconventional secret childhood bond between a popular boy and a lonely, intensely private girl is tested by character reversals in their first year at a Dublin college that render one introspective and the other social, but self-destructive.

Stream & Download: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

One Day by David Nicholls

Why you should try it: This unique take on the love story shares themes of miscommunication between lovers.

Description: Falling in love on the eve of their 1988 college graduations, Dexter and Emma embark on a heady relationship marked throughout subsequent decades by their disparate personalities, conflicts, and misconceptions, in a tale told on the anniversaries of the day they met.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Why you should try it: Both novels share a relationship where economic differences play a big role.

Description: Falling in love while attending a competitive 1980s performing arts high school, David and Sarah rise through the ranks before the realities of their family dynamics and economic statuses trigger a spiral that impacts their adult lives.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Why you should try it: Both novels tackle the many ways friendships can change and morph into something unexpected.

Description: Forging a powerful bond in the mid-1970s that lasts throughout subsequent decades, six individuals pursue challenges into their midlife years, including an aspiring actress who harbors jealousy toward friends who achieve successful creative careers.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Why you should try it: Both novels deal with domestic abuse and the ripple effects to others.

Description: After she discovers that her husband has been reading her diary, Irene America turns it into a manipulative farce, while secretly keeping a second diary that includes her true thoughts, through which the reader learns of Irene’s shaky marriage, its effect on her children and her struggles with alcohol.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook)

The Gunners by Rebecca Kauffman

Why you should try it: Both books share the theme of secrets between former friends.

Description: Reconnecting with his group of childhood friends after one of them committed suicide, thirty-year-old Mikey needs to confront dark secrets from his past involving his father to overcome his current emotional stupor

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook and digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (ebook and digital audiobook)

Librarian Dontaná McPherson-Joseph

About Dontaná

Dontaná is a Collection Management Librarian who was born with an unending reading list. She is almost always reading two books simultaneously and is easily distracted by cool covers.  

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