Stripmalling – Jon Paul Fiorentino: God, this book is funny. It kind of has everything: a mix of personal essays, dispatches, reminisces, jokes and comics. Jonny once worked at a Shill Station in Winnipeg, fooled around with his drug dealer, dated, moved in and had a baby with a fellow stripmaller, moved to Montreal, had an early-thirties life crisis, etc. And there’s more! You should read this.

See You Later – Christopher Pike: Shut up. Yes, that is the Christopher Pike you may remember from your youth. In the spirit of documenting everything I am reading in 2009, I couldn’t not mention a book I read while in Toronto a few weeks ago, visiting my parents and, therefore my childhood book collection. Usually when I’m home I like to flip through my old things, and this trip I chose “See You Later”. This was my favourite back then and I wanted to see if it stood the test of time. IT TOTALLY DID. Christopher Pike wrote some fucked up shit (Um, “Whisper of Death”? Or “Scavenger Hunt” where it turns out that two of the students were LIZARDS?, and then he started doing weird sequels of books, which I never got into), but “See You Later” was sort of sweet compared to the rest, and more sci-fi than horror. When these characters go on dates they eat ice cream and ride oil rigs. And there are characters from the future and telepathic aliens and most of all there is a love story. So yeah. A good one.

Watchmen – Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons: While on that same trip to Toronto, we caught a screening of “Watchmen”. I wasn’t expecting to love it so much, but I did. The characters fascinated me (I can’t decide who I liked more: the serene yet disconcerting blue-glowy Dr. Manhattan or Rorschach, with his shape-shifting mask and unwavering conviction). I bought the comic soon after and tore through it. I think the movie was an excellent adaptation of the comic – there were some panels that were recreated perfectly in the movie. Surprisingly, I preferred the movie ending to the book – the movie was just more powerful to me – but they are both equally excellent.

So, thumbs up all around! Maybe next I will finally write about “The Savage Detectives”, which I am absolutely loving, but for some reason taking forever to get through.

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