September 13, 2019

Supernatural reads

The Last Slice (of Pie): What should the cast of Supernatural read?

The record-breaking television series Supernatural is launching its final season, and fans are bracing for final goodbyes. Saying farewell is bittersweet, but brothers Sam and Dean Winchester deserve retirement more than any other hunky monster-battling duo we know. Maybe they’ll finally have time to settle back with a good book — one that isn’t bound in human skin or written in a madness-inducing eldritch tongue? Just in case, we’ve chosen a few books these fan-favorite Supernatural characters might enjoy whether they find their toes in the sand or their bacon roasting back in a soul-cage you-know-where. Share these books with your monster-hunting patrons as you’re consoling each other at the reference desk. 

Sam Winchester 

If anyone’s a reader in this crew, it’s Sam: brooding, introspective, and highly intelligent, he had law school dreams (and we know he’d have picked up a women’s studies elective because he’s woke like that). Librarians got you, boo!

The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English, translated by Edward Viljoen (Jun 2019)
Part of the epic Sanskrit poem Mahabharata, the Gita’s verses capture key ideas of Hindu philosophy: Dharma, Moksha, and various yogic practices. It is a timeless source of wisdom, inspiring philosophers and revolutionaries alike in the millennia since it was written. This accessible translation is perfect light reading for Sam.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (May 2018)
Years after growing up in the care of a group of mysterious protectors who served in unspecified ways during World War II, a young man endeavors to piece together the truth about his parents and the alternative education he received. An unconventional, dramatic, and literary coming-of-age story.  (Sam will try to get Dean to read it too – but we’re not getting our hopes up there.)

Dean Winchester 

10/10 will want a personal tour of the special collections. If you know Dean, you’ll know we can’t suggest his usual NSFW preferred reading fare. We’re hoping this adventurous, rock ‘n roll-loving hunter might expand his reading horizons a little with these instead.

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Mar 2019)
When singer Daisy Jones meets Billy Dunne of the band The Six, the two rising 70s rock-and-roll artists are catapulted into stardom when a producer puts them together, a decision that is complicated by a pregnancy and the seductions of fame. Reading fare to be enjoyed with a slice of pie and a cold one.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
Narrated by “Sal Paradise,” one of Kerouac's alter-egos, this thinly veiled autobiographical novel immortalizes his friends, lovers, and fellow travelers on a cross-country bohemian odyssey that has penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture. Nobody loves a road trip like Dean, and we can see him cruising with this on audio in the Impala.


Cas has made being an angel trapped in human form look…well, mostly really awkward (but in that charming, soulful way). Here are some reading ideas for the sensitive creature who’s capable of leveling warehouses full of evil, yet still able to be sucked into a good Netflix binge.

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea (Mar 2018)
Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle to celebrate the lives family patriarch Miguel “Big Angel” De La Cruz and his mother, recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore. Despite tragedy and danger, a father’s love guides his efforts to protect and redeem the children he loves.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (Jun 2010)
Discovering in childhood a supernatural ability to taste the emotions of others in their cooking, Rose Edelstein grows up to regard food as a curse when it reveals everyone's secret realities. At different points both feelings and food have thoroughly baffled Castiel, so he can relate.


Finally, we know Supernatural fans love to read — here are some books we think your patrons will enjoy in the spirit of this beloved series.

The Devil's Detective by Simon Kurt Unsworth (Mar 2015)
In The Devil's Detective, Hell takes the form of a really, really unpleasant city, marked by bad smells, dim light, bizarrely terrible public transit, and worse. Although there are no real consequences for rule-breaking in Hell, it's Thomas Fool's job to catalog Hell's rules and track violations. However, when an especially nasty murder happens occurs right after a delegation from heaven arrives, there's Hell to pay – and only one Fool to solve the crime. An appealing, believable noir-style protagonist combined with richly conceived world-building makes this hardboiled horror mash-up a devilish delight. (Book 1 of the Thomas Fool novels)

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (Oct 2019)
Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend — and he’s learning that lots of people aren’t who they seem in his tiny rural town. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Grip of It by Jac Jemc (Aug 2017)
Julie and James settle into a house in a small town outside the city where they met. As they settle into their home and their marriage, the house and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. Together the couple embarks on a panicked search for the source of their mutual torment, a journey that mires them in the history of their peculiar neighbors and the mysterious residents who lived in the house before them.

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix (Sep 2018)
A has-been heavy metal artist discovers that her failed band's lead singer sold their souls in a Faustian exchange for his solo-career fame and fortune.

If you’re looking for other ways to engage your pop-culture vulture patrons, watch a replay of our of webinar “Unlocking pop culture to improve your readers’ advisory.”  And Kathy Stewart has some tips on turning Stranger Things and search alerts into great readers’ advisory.


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Kim Burton is a Readers’ Advisory Librarian for NoveList and member of the Book Squad. She is currently reading The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson.

Lori Reed is the Marketing Specialist for NoveList. She is currently listening to Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. 


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