Every Tuesday we spotlight a current television show–and the books that you just might like if you watch it. Here are this week’s reading suggestions based on…
With openings that regularly scare the bajeezus out of me, Supernatural follows the life of two brothers, Dean and Sam Winchester, who hunt supernatural beasties for a living. Even as each episode drops us into a different life-death-undeath mystery, the long-term plot trajectories pull me (and the Winchesters) into tense stand-offs against demonic powers, soul-stealing devil deals, Armageddon-hungry angels, and ancient pagan gods.
Well into its seventh season, the show maintains a great balance of kick-butt action, character growth, development, and angst (yes!). More than that, the show isn’t afraid of flat out making light of itself in between the heavy doses of loss, disillusionment, and self-deception.
So if you watch Supernatural, here are a few books you just might wanna stock up on for the coming apocalypse:
Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
Two brothers solving mysteries. Need I say more? Since The Tower Treasure launched the franchise in 1927, kids all over the world have enjoyed nearly 450 Hardy Boys mystery books, 40 of those released in the last five years (compare to the 144 episodes of Supernatural in the last seven years). The message is pretty clear: crime-fighting brothers never go out of style.
And hey, think of what you can do with some 500 mystery paperbacks. It’s both an anti-zombie door barricade and a back-up for your post-apocalypse bunker stove.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
You can’t have a novel (or an episode of Supernatural) without atmosphere. And Gaiman excels at creating just that. When Richard Mayhew helps a bleeding, forgettable girl, Door, off the London sidewalk, he is pulled into her world through the cracks in reality. The young businessman finds himself in the abandoned subway stations and sewers of the city–and in the dark world that is not here, not there, but neverwhere.
Just like the Winchester family had been plunged into the darkness and chaos of a shadow world of demons in Supernatural (it was a girl’s fault there too), so does Richard find himself fading into the world of the dark London Below.
Soon there will be no going back–assuming Richard survives the assassins, that is.
Supernatural’s Dean Winchester drives a black 1967 Chevrolet Impala. Joanne Baldwin from Ill Wind owns a black Ford Mustang Mach 1. So, here’s the real question: which car would you want to meet the end of the world in?
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
None of us has actually read this book (I suspect due to the seriously boring cover that I will not inflict on you), but we hear it’s supposed to be about the rock music business. And who doesn’t love themselves some rock music? Dean would approve (for more on the topic, see Youtube clip above).
Plus–boring cover aside–it did win a Pulitzer. So it must be pretty great.
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
Since we all know that the real reasons to watch Supernatural are the hot leads (if you’re female/gay) and the violence and creepy gore (yesplease), this chick-flick-meets-paranormal-detective series by Kim Harrison may seem a little out there. But character Rachel Morgan, white witch, takes a Supernatural-esque dive into the pool of moral ambiguity and the inevitable mayhem that ensues when she starts thinking for herself.
Along with a strong set of secondary characters, Rachel solves mysteries, makes terrible deals with evil powers, and can’t seem to keep a love interest for very long–a complaint shared by Sam and Dean whose girlfriends tend to die off with impressive regularity.
And to top it off, we even get to see some demon drama in the later Hollows books!
Haven’t found your next read yet? You may also like:
- Life’s That Way: A Memoir by Jim Beaver (the actor who plays Bobby in Supernatural)
- Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Love Supernatural too? Do you have any reading recommendations for me?
- Last week’s TV Tuesday feature: Fairly Legal
- Book Review: Low Town by Daniel Polansky
- Book Review: Thinner by Stephen King
- Best and Worst: The Perfect Amount of Darkness
- Halloween Week: Scary Stories
- Book Review: Ghost Story by Jim Butcher