Photo of a man lounging on a couch with his laptop watching shows.

Spring break is a great time to catch up on shows, read something fun or simply relax on the couch. Here are some recommendations to check out if you enjoy…

Historical fiction

Calling all history buffs (pun intended). If you’re interested in the past and how small acts could have resulted in a very different future, these recommendations are for you.


Title: Violeta
Author: Isabel Allende

As Violeta del Valle approaches her hundredth birthday, she recounts the story of her life to her grandson, Camilo, beginning at the start of the Spanish flu and ending amidst the modern pandemic.

More titles: The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks, Yonder by Jabari Asim, Daughters of a Dead Empire by Carolyn Tara O’Neil


Title: The Great
Service: Hulu

The Great recounts the (sometimes true) story of Catherine the Great as she rose from outsider to the longest-reigning female ruler in Russia’s history.

More titles: The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime), Alias Grace (Netflix), Vikings (Hulu)


Title: The King
Service: Netflix

In the aftermath of his brother’s death, a young Henry V encounters deceit, war and treachery as he ascends the throne to become the King of England during the 15th century.

More titles: The Physician (Amazon Prime), Midway (HBO), The Professor and the Madman (Netflix)

Suspense or thrillers 

If your Netflix list consists of serial killer documentaries, thrillers or suspense, these recommendations are for you. 


Title: How High We Go in the Dark
Author: Sequoia Nagamatsu

An archeologist arrives at the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter only to find that the secrets held within the melting permafrost have been unleashed. 

More titles: Cultish by Amanda Montell, The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang, Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka


Title: Archive 81
Service: Netflix

Based on the podcast Archive 81. This supernatural, sci-fi mystery follows Dan Turner, a video archivist, as he restores a collection of videotapes belonging to a college student who disappeared over a decade ago. As Dan digs deeper into the origins and content of the tapes, he finds himself in the crosshairs of a sinister cult.

More titles: Station Eleven (HBO Max), Homecoming (Amazon Prime), Dark (Netflix)


Title: The Devil All the Time
Service: Netflix

A young man in rural Ohio must combat corruption and brutality in order to protect the ones he loves most. This modern crime film follows the stories of saints and sinners as their lives intertwine with devastating consequences.

More titles: The Invisible Man (Netflix), Doctor Sleep (Hulu), Kimi (HBO Max)

Science fiction

If you’re a fan of rockets, robots or relativity, these recommendations are for you.


Title: Mickey7
Author: Edward Ashton

Mickey7 is a disposable android on a human expedition to explore the ice world of Niflheim. After a mission gone wrong, Mickey7 finds his crew facing dire circumstances on the ice giant. 

More titles: Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes, The Institute by Stephen King, Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky


Title: Raised by Wolves
Service: HBO Max

Two androids travel to a mysterious new world, tasked with building a future and raising human children in an attempt to escape religious persecution. As religious differences create mounting conflicts, the androids realize that attempting to temper human beliefs is a dangerous task. 

More titles: Devs (Hulu), Altered Carbon (Netflix), The 100 (Netflix)


Title: Annihilation
Service: Hulu

Based on the book Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer. Lena, a biologist and ex-soldier joins an expedition team to uncover the secrets of “Area X” that is expanding across the coastline. However, as her team moves deeper into the unknown, they discover much more than they bargained for.

More titles: Tenet (HBO Max), Arrival (Hulu), The Martian (Hulu)


Whether you’re a helpless romantic or enjoy romantic comedies as a guilty pleasure, these recommendations are for you. 


Title: Party of Two
Author: Jasmine Guillory 

Dating is the last thing on Olivia’s mind. She’s in the middle of moving and starting her own law firm when a chance meeting with a handsome stranger turns into a whirlwind affair that has everyone talking.

More titles: The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms


Title: High Fidelity
Service: Hulu

Based on the novel High Fidelity by Nick Hornby. Robyn, a music connoisseur and record shop owner, attempts to navigate life after love by recounting her five biggest breakups. One night she bumps into her recent ex-fiancé (and his new partner) sending Robyn into what can only be described as a tailspin.

More titles: Love (Netflix), Pam & Tommy (Hulu), Virgin River (Netflix)


Title: The Big Sick
Service: Amazon Prime

This movie is based on the true story of Kumail, a Pakistani comedian, who meets a graduate student, Emily, at one of his stand-up shows. Their relationship quickly spirals as Kumail faces arranged marriage proposals and Emily’s health leaves her in a coma.

More titles: About Time (Netflix), Crazy Rich Asians (HBO Max), Palm Springs (Hulu)


If you’ve been longing to cast a spell or escape to another world over break, these recommendations are for you. 


Title: Black Leopard, Red Wolf
Author: Marlon James

What might happen when a mercenary adapts his keen hunting skills to track down a missing child? Drawing from African history and mythology, Marlon James examines the cost of truth, power and ambition.

Additional titles: The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson, Song of the Forever Rains by E.J. Mellow


TV show: The Witcher
Service: Netflix

The Witcher follows the story of a monster hunter, Geralt, who struggles to find his place between the worlds of beasts and men. As destiny unfolds, Geralt is hurled into the unknown alongside a young sorceress and princess whose gifts rival his own.

More titles: Shadow and Bone (Netflix), The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime), His Dark Materials (Hulu)


Title: A Monster Calls
Service: Netflix

Based on the book A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Connor’s mother has fallen gravely ill and his father is nowhere to be found. As Conor navigates the troubles of the world alone, he comes across an unlikely ally when a monster appears in his bedroom window one night.

More titles: Princess Mononoke (HBO Max), The Spiderwick Chronicle (Netflix)