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The Burning Soul by John Connolly

The Burning Soul by John ConnollyWithout checking, I think I can safely say that John Connolly is the most-mentioned author on this blog.  But that’s for a very good reason – he’s one of my all-time favorite authors and people.  Plus he’s been kind enough to publish two books per year recently and still finds the time to tour and do interviews to talk about them.  So we, in turn, keep reviewing his books and posting his interviews.

Normally I don’t like to review books in a series, unless it’s the first title.  I’m the kind of person who has to start a series from the beginning, and unfortunately I often abandon some series because they have too many books and I too little time.  This being the 10th Charlie Parker PI novel that Connolly has put out, I can understand that it’s easy for people to feel overwhelmed if they haven’t read any of his previous mystery novels.

Have no fear.  You can start the series at the beginning, with Every Dead Thing, and enjoy your way up to the newest installment.  But The Burning Soul, more than any of the others in the series, I believe, can be read on its own without the preceding books.  Of course, once you’re done, I still recommend spending the next year reading the series from the beginning in anticipation of his next release, but hey – I’m biased.

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Guest Interview posted at Jenn’s Bookshelves

Murder, Monsters, MayhemWe’re proud to be participating in a month of Murder, Monsters, and Mayhem over at Jenn’s Bookshelves!  Our contribution has just been posted – another interview with blog favorite John Connolly.  This time we asked about the dark side of his writing.

See the guest interview here.

Read our previous interview with John here.

Thanks to Jenn for hosting us!

 
 

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John Connolly and Stuart Neville at Centuries & Sleuths

Neville and Connolly

Stuart Neville and John Connolly with BwoB admin Rachel

As most of you know, we are huge John Connolly fans around these parts.  When we heard he was going to be in town with fellow Irish crime writer Stuart Neville, we were excited!  We got to spend some time with them during the day and live-tweeted during the event itself.  Here are some tweets and pictures for any of you who were not able to attend in person.

@BksellerExpats: What a beautiful day for a book signing in Chicago! We’ll have @jconnollybooks and @stuartneville updates all day – keep checking back.

@BksellerExpats: “What I realized is that, by and large, my readers would prefer it if I died, as opposed to Charlie Parker.” – @jconnollybooks

@BksellerExpats: (We are live-tweeting the @jconnollybooks@stuartneville event tonight, in case you forgot.)

@BksellerExpats: Ooh, @jconnollybooks is reading the first chapter of the next Parker novel! Nice.

@BksellerExpats: “I’m usually about a third of the way into a book before I find out what kind of shape it’s going to be.” – @stuartneville

@BksellerExpats: “I can’t even read in a car, and I don’t think Rachel wanted a car covered in vomit.” – @jconnollybooks on writing on tour

(NOTE: We have it on good authority that no, she did not.)

@BksellerExpats: “Art comes out of hacking away on all those days when you want to be doing anything else.” – @jconnollybooks on having a writing schedule

@BksellerExpats: “Sometimes you just need an alleyway. And then you think, as far as my books are concerned, I’m God.” – @jconnollybooks on fictional alleys

@BksellerExpats: “After you read a book, you’re never the same person. You just can’t be.” – @jconnollybooks

Connolly / Neville signing

Connolly / Neville signing

Connolly / Neville signing

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2011 in Events

 

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Five Minutes with John Connolly

John Connolly

John Connolly

John Connolly is the internationally bestselling author of 14 books (15 later this year).  He is one of our favorite authors around these parts, mostly because his books are some of the best we’ve read, but also because he was kind enough to hold a signing at our store (back when we had a store in which to do that kind of thing).  He graciously agreed to answer some questions for our blog about his newest book, Hell’s Bells, released in the UK earlier this month.  (It will be out in the U.S. in October as The Infernals, but you’ll want to get your hands on it as soon as possible.)

[Booksellers Without Borders]: Why should anybody buy your book?

[John Connolly]: I have no idea why anyone picks one of my books over another.  I feel I should cling to their legs in an embarrassing show of excessive gratitude if, and when, they do.  That’s not false modesty: most authors have this weird ego/self-doubt inner battle going on.  When it comes to The Infernals/Hell’s Bells, or, indeed, The Gates, the answer is the same as for any other of my books: because I’ve done my best to ensure that you put the book down when you’ve finished it and think, gosh, that was actually kind of fun. I wouldn’t mind doing that again…

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Hell’s Bells by John Connolly

Hell's Bells by John ConnollyFirst a quick note: John Connolly’s latest book was released yesterday in the UK with the title Hell’s Bells.  In the US, it will be released in October under a different title: The Infernals.  Who can wait another 5 months, though?  I recommend ordering a copy from the UK today, although this should in no way interfere with your plans to buy the US edition in October.  You can thank me later.

Connolly is best known for his crime fiction series (starring PI Charlie Parker) and the previously-reviewed The Book of Lost Things.  The Samuel Johnson books, however, are more humorous and adventuresome and generally not as dark.  Read these with tongue fully in cheek!

Hell’s Bells is a sequel to The Gates, featuring a boy named Samuel Johnson and his trustworthy dachshund, Boswell.  In The Gates, the Great Malevolence and his minions tried to invade Earth, but found themselves thwarted by young Samuel, the ever-loyal Boswell, and a very minor demon called Nurd.  Hell’s Bells sees Samuel and Boswell lose the home court advantage as they are transported to Hell by a demon who has fallen out of favor after the failed invasion. Along for the ride are a group of notorious dwarfs, a couple of policemen, and an ice cream truck.  Throughout, Samuel’s ordinary life problems (divorced parents, unattainable girls, and the like) are superseded by the demons he encounters and the battles he witnesses.  His perseverance and continued good humor keep these books light, despite heavy subject matter.

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Of Things Lost and Found

The Book of Lost Things

The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

My colleague and partner in crime posted some of her favorite books this evening, including The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.  Since this is one of my all-time favorite books, too, I thought I should elaborate.

A short synopsis, first: David, a young boy growing up in London during WWII, loses his mother and turns to books of fairy tales and mythology for solace.  He soon begins hearing the books whispering to him and catches glimpses of things which don’t belong in his world.  He is eventually transported to a world woven from these stories – but never in quite the way you would expect.

On the surface, this book could be unremarkable.  It’s been done before, many times, this coming of age tale in a fantasy world.  The Book of Lost Things, however, has enough unique and imaginative characters and plot twists to make revisiting the form more than worthwhile.  It is all around well-conceived, well-structured, and well-written.  My kind of book!

In the end, all you really need to know about the book is this: I made the mistake of starting to read it during lunch one day.  My copy still has a large stain on page 6, by which point I was so engrossed that I missed my mouth and dropped a piece of pineapple on it.  If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, drop what you are doing (or eating) and get yourself a copy.  You can thank me later.

 

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From My Library…

What I loved about the lively world of a Book store, was the feeling each day to see what brilliant minds had written. Like a birthday… opening a new book felt like a gift. I am quite opinionated and you will learn more about that later. (But books I recommend looking up are worth buying in hard cover.) Here are some books from my library……

Opening TOO LOUD A SOLITUDE a novel by Bohumil Hrabal changed my life….. “Because when I read, I don’t really read; I pop a beautiful sentence into my mouth and suck it like a fruit drop, or sip it like a liqueur until the thought dissolves in me like alcohol, infusing brain and heart and coursing on through the veins the root of each blood vessel.”  Totally FAB!   Buy It!

So………..

FAB FAVES for Adults:

  • FORESKIN’S LAMENT a memoir by Shalom Auslander
  • THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by  John Connolly

FAB FAVES for kids:

  • THE BEEJUM BOOK by Alice O. Howell
  • THE PALACE OF LAUGHTER The Wednesday Tales No.1 by Jon Berkeley

That’s all for tonight.

HARDBOUNDandGAGGED

(The former bookseller known as Colby)

 
 

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