Our next Summer Reading List is courtesy of superstar Mariko Tamaki. Please send us your list.

Summer Reading

My name is Mariko Tamaki. Amongst other things, I write comic books.

My most recent published works are Skim (with Jillian Tamaki) and Emiko Superstar (with Steve Rolston). I also have a short story illustrated by Pete Friedrich in the Top Shelf anthology Awesome 2: Awesomer, and a little scary story in an upcoming book from Harper called Half Minute Horrors.

Most of my reading this summer is catching up on stuff that’s been out for a long time. I’ve been pulling things off my sadly overwhelmed and underappreciated bookshelf and slowly working my way through a bunch of different books. I’m trying to spread myself out a bit accross genres.


Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman (novel): I’m a huge fan of everything Klosterman writes. He is the king of pop culture as far as I’m concerned. So I’m looking forward to digging into this – what I think is his first – significant work of fiction.

Stripmalling (graphic novel) – I recently read at a literary event with Evan Munday and he was hilarious, so, you know, I’m hoping that will translate into this collaboration with Jon Paul Fiorentino, who I will be performing with at the Kingston Literary Festival in September.

Graphic Novels: Everything you need to know (novel) Paul Gravett. I’ve been working my way through this massive book for ages. It’s tricky because it’s almost the size of my torso and, hence, it’s too big to take with me on the TTC, where I do most of my reading. But this summer I’m going to make it my porch read and finish it up.

No Comment (graphic novel) by Ivan Brun: I picked this up in Barcelona. It’s an incredibly eerie and disturbing wordless comic – lots of iconography, lots of gut wrenching stuff. I’m reading it during the day.

The Orchid Thief (novel) by Susan Orlearn: I fell in love with Susan Orlean through a short essay I read of hers in this anthology called The New Kings of Non-Fiction. It took forever to find this book – which none of the big corporate retailers had in stock, nor my indie favourites. Now that I’ve finally got a borrowed copy I’m savouring every chapter of this book on orchids and other things. It’s lovely writing.


Never Learn Anything From History (graphic novel) Hark! A Vagrant (online comic) – I’m not going to put money on it or anything, but I’m fairly sure Kate Beaton is the funniest thing in Canada right now. I hope no one goes after her because I said this…. It’s not a competition or anything (although, you know, she did win a Doug Wright Award this year).

Dragon’s Head (manga): Thanks to Peter from the Beguiling for the recommend. I shivered my way throught the first installation of this series by Minetaro Mochizuki. I was sitting in the bright sunshine the whole read and I feel like I was being buried alive. Supah cool.

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