Showing posts with label john connolly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john connolly. Show all posts


Book Style: Samuel Johnson VS The Devil

The Gates

The Infernals

The Creeps

John Connolly's Samuel Johnson Vs. The Devil series1 has been described as Terry Pratchett meets Douglas Adams and I couldn't agree more. In each book, poor Samuel must foil the Great Malevolence2 and his right hand demon Ba'al's attempts at bringing about the end of the world. Luckily, Samuel has the help of his best friends, his loyal dachshund Boswell, a pair of hapless policemen, and a not-so-evil demon named Nurd3. The second two books also feature a band of surly, thieving, but very genuine dwarfs and the put-upon Dan the Ice Cream Man. These books are pure genius and I will not listen to any naysayers on the subject. Like Connolly's The Book of Lost Things, the first and third book in the Samuel Johnson series feature gorgeous covers. I'm not a huge fan of the weird 3D style art on the second title, but I didn't want to just leave it out entirely either4.
  1. The Gates: I wanted to capture the essence of Samuel here, mismatched sneakers and all. The dachshund bag is the perfect nod to Boswell and the hot rod shirt is my subtle nod to Samuel's father's prized car that Nurd drives back into Hell to save the day. A devil necklace seemed appropriate and I thought the PBR bracelet could stand in for some of Spiggit's highly combustible brew.
  2. The Infernals: Some ice cream heels help make this outfit a bit dressier while still keeping it playful. The moon sweater is an ode to the peculiar shape of Nurd's head and, of course, a cuff bracelet for Biddlecombe's bravest constabulary. Boswell gets blinged out on a necklace this go round.
  3. The Creeps: I figured a dressier outfit was in order to attend the grand opening of Mr. Grimly's toy store as a guest of honor. That t-shirt features Einstein's physics formulae5 and the seat belt clutch could be of some use to Nurd in his job6. Boswell is silver-plated and wrapped around your finger this time and goes nicely with those viking ship earrings. Some celestial/moon themed nails tie the whole look together. Oh, but try not to squish any nosferatu eyeballs with those killer crepe wedges.
1. I honestly didn't know this was the full title of the series until I finished the third book a couple of days ago. I just referred to it as "Connolly's Samuel Johnson series" because I didn't think it had a proper name at all.
2. He is never actually called the Devil, calling into question whoever named the series... I'm looking at you Mr. Connolly.
3. And Wormwood, Nurd's oldest friend and assistant. Even if Nurd would never admit the friend part out loud.
4. Because I'm a nice person, that's why. Don't argue. I am very nice.
5. Perhaps the scientists at CERN should have looked at a few of them before they went fiddling about with the fabric of the Universe.
6. Turns out an immortal, but reformed demon with a penchant for fast cars makes an excellent automotive safety test dummy.


Book List


I've been seeing tons of direct and not so direct requests everywhere on my plethora* of social media accounts recently for book recommendations. Now I know that the majority of the askers do not actually share my taste in literature but I have personally discovered great new literary loves in several ways over the years, so I will be giving my personal recommendations today; this is not a reading list designed to coddle the masses. I've already outlined my favorite series, and I must remedy the fact the I neglected to include Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series at the time, so I will be focusing more on stand alone novels this go round. Let the top** 20 recommendations commence:

  1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  2. Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
  3. Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk
  4. The Colour of Magic & The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett (These two are the beginning of the Discworld series, but the rest of the books almost all stand alone.)
  5. Black Swan Rising by Lee Carol (This is also the start of a series, but I was not as enamored with the sequel.)
  6. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  8. Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde (Also the first in a series, the sequel is not due out until this year.)
  9. One Hundred Percent Lunar Boy by Stephen Tunney
  10. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
  11. Eating the Cheshire Cat by Helen Ellis
  12. The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss
  13. In the Woods by Tana French
  14. Macbeth by William Shakespeare (I recommend the No Fear versions for all Shakespeare reading.)
  15. From Russian With Love by Ian Fleming (Clearly part of the James Bond canon, but the books all stand alone.)
  16. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  17. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  18. Having Our Say by Sarah L. Delany & A. Elizabeth Delany
  19. Confessions of a Teen Sleuth by Chelsea Cain
  20. Jar City by Arnaldur IndriĆ°ason (This is actually the third book in a series, but I found it stood alone just fine and I haven't managed to read the prequels or sequels yet.)
Have you read any on the list? What should I read next?

*Fun Fact: This was my first favorite "big word". I am certain that I wedged it into inappropriate sentences far too often in middle school.

**More likely the first 20 that pop into my head. I've read so much I often forget titles but never plots!