Smokin’ Summer Read


I’m an 80s kid at heart and I love a good compilation, so when I read that Joe Hill created a playlist of songs he listened to while writing his now bestselling novel, The Fireman, I had to give it a listen. Any compilation including Elvis, Bowie and Nine Inch Nails is fine by me, but throw in some dark Chim-Chim Cher-ee and I’m really sold!

Check out his list here. 

Much like when I read Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, I’m savoring this one and reading it when I have those quiet moments to myself (these are rare moments, mind you, as an easily distracted stay-at-home-mom). So far, The Fireman has really drawn me in and left me thinking about it even when it’s not in my hands (or when I’m not listening to Kate Mulgrew’s sizzling narration through my headphones).

Joe Hill is excellent at weaving supernatural landscapes in each of his novels and The Fireman is no exception. I’m finding myself really empathizing with Harper and her need to find the silver lining in every situation. She’s entertained by classic Disney, is drawn to taking care of others and tries to remain an optimist even in the worst of times. All things you might find in my personal carpetbag, methinks (I wonder if she gets laughing jags after 10pm, too?) But The Fireman is certainly not all rainbows and little drops of sugar. It’s an eerie, cinder-ridden backdrop of fear and flame, an apocalypse unfolding as we follow Harper on her journey.

I’m not sure where that journey ends yet (NO SPOILERS, folks!) but I’m happy to have Joe Hill’s soundtrack to accompany me on my adventure. I’m taking my time with this one, because with every book, when it’s complete, there is a sense of bittersweet.