Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fine Literature From My Childhood

If you clicked on the link above, you'll hear the Masterpiece Theater music, and what more appropriate tunes to listen to while you read this blog post on the literature that I used to read as a child? All of it still holds up today, and I'd put it up there with anything Shakespeare has ever written. Yes, even Titus Andronicus. So sit back and enjoy, and maybe even pick up one of these books today. They're all classics. Now, where's my pipe?

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Worlds of Power: Blaster Master

Sure, Blaster Master was a great game and all, but you know what was even better? The novelization of said game. I remember reading this on the bus one morning, bumping up and down and almost barfing all over my L.A. Lights sneakers, and being totally enthralled about a boy's quest to save his frog. Riveting. When I finished it (Which was probably still on that very same bus ride since it was pretty short) I totally wanted to play the game when I got home, only to realize that I would never look at it the same again. And thus opened my life to the world of reading.

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Say Cheese and Die!

Seriously, who DIDN'T read R.L. Stein's Goosebumps series back in the day? I'm putting this one on the list specifically because it was the first Goosebumps book that I ever read and I really dug the cover. The sequel, Say Cheese and Die...Again! didn't make any sense since it brought up the whole idea of being reborn, which was a pretty Catholic concept for a story involving a camera that could see dead people (That's what the story was about, right?). But it was great all the same. R.L. Stein is still the best living author that we have today. Since Kurt Vonnegut died, of course.

You think I'm joking.

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Prima Games Strategy Guides

I have no idea why, chalk it up to me being a nerd or something, but I seriously used to READ strategy guides when I was younger. And while, yes, a lot of people used to use strategy guides before the advent of the internet, let me restate what I mean. While yes, I used to USE strategy guides on occasion for games that I had, I actually bought and READ strategy guides for games that I didn't have, just because I liked reading about video games. So, yeah, like I said, I was a nerd. One of these strategy guides that I could distinctly remember reading was Sonic and Knuckles, which I hadn't gotten the game for a whole YEAR after I had read the guide cover to cover. I really liked video games a lot, you see.

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Where's Waldo

Would Where's Waldo really be considered literature? Well, whether it was or it wasn't, I still did an entire, one page book report on it back in third grade and took my F like a man. Where's Waldo was seriously EVERYWHERE when I was younger and it was one of the few series (Besides Goosebumps of course) that you would always see some young geeks pining over when the Scholastic Book Fair leaflets would come out. I had pretty much all of them, and the one where it was a whole PAGE full of Waldo impersonators made my eyes go cross. I'm pretty sure that my eyeglasses prescription had to go up that year (Sad face).

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Magic Eye books

Here's the truth, I never HAVE ever seen a 3D image with those damn posters. I'm like Ethan Suplee in the movie, Mallrats, forever tortured by them. His reaction in the movie was so true to my life. It was irritating beyond belief not being able to see anything when everybody else could.

But here was why the books were so great--The "answers" were always in the back of the book. So what I always used to do to impress my friend(s. Aww, who am I kidding? No plural, I only had one friend) was look in the back of the book and see all those strange, gray 3D figures and then, match them up with the page number. Then, I'd say, "Hey, Scott, you want to check out this Magic Eye book with me?" and he'd say yeah, only for me to stare at the page for about 30 seconds and say, "Hey, found it! It's a dolphin!" Yep, didn't I say before that I had no life? I didn't? Well, I'll say it now then, I had no life, which is why I'm so charming today. So says my mom.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

No, Timmy's First Gay Bar wasn't one of the books in this excellent series, but I definitely would have read it if it was. I read all of these. What I used to love to do with these books is always choose the worst outcome and then say out loud, "No, I didn't mean that!" and flip back to the page where I could make my decision so I didn't have to fall down a hole or drown. It was video games with multiple paths before there actually were video games with multiple paths. It was groundbreaking. I wonder if they still have them. I'd TOTALLY pick one up today. Totally.

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AOL Chat rooms

When AOL first came along, it totally dominated my life. I would spend hours upon hours upon hours going into chat rooms and talking about the latest episode of Dragonball Z or talking to older women who were probably older men looking to rape me. It was great!

So, that's what I used to read. What was your fine reading when you were younger? I'd like to hear it. Please leave it in the comments box below. Thanks. Bye. I miss you.

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