New theories abound in this post.  The first is contained in the post’s title and more on that later.  The second is that it is no longer a challenge for a book to snuggle its way into my TBR stacks, the real challenge now is for it to be read.   So how did Andrew Kaufman’s novella claw its way to the top.  John from the Book Mine Set, blogging champion of Canadian literature,  put out a call for everyone involved in the second Canadian Challenge to read just one more Canadian book before the end of June in an effort to notch up the awe-inspiring total of 1000 Canadian reads in the past 12 months.  I think that’s a fantastic achievement and I wanted to be part of  it.   This brings my total to 7 Canadian reads in the last twelve months, which by John’s reckoning makes me a British Columbian.  That’s absolutely fine as it brings me to Vancouver, which in a very neat segue, is the final destination in Kaufman’s novella.

The central premise of  All My Friends are Superheroes is that most people have a superpower.  Not X-men style, more determinators that distinguish them from the rest of humanity.  Such as the Frog-Kisser.

The Frog-Kisser was in high school when she first discovered her power.  Dating the captain of the football team has left her drained and unfulfilled.  That’s when she discovered Brian, the head of the debating club, and her latent powers emerged.

Blessed with the ability to transform geeks into winners, she is cursed with the reality that once she enables this transformation, the origin of her initial attraction is gone.

It’s Tom’s fate to meet and, like everyone else, fall in love with the Perfectionist.  He’s a lucky guy.  She reciprocates and they marry.  Unfortunately one of her exes, Hypno, attends the wedding and, before Tom can stop it,  renders him invisible to his new bride.   The story that unfolds is of Tom attempts to undo Hypno’s spell; a tender tale, that reflects on the bridal pair’s romantic histories and their own courtship.  Interspersed with superheroes of all shapes, sizes and talents.  Smiles, laughter and cynicism.  Tears too, as it becomes clear that the Perfectionist is  also suffering deeply.   Tom has no superpowers so undoing the “spell” is no easy task..  Finally the Perfectionist decides to leave her lonely life and move to Vancouver.  If Tom doesn’t solve the puzzle by the time the plane lands, he loses his bride forever.

This is perhaps the most original read of 2009 to-date.  Entertaining, yes.  Quirky, absolutely.  A bit of a stress-buster, if truth be told.

I certainly need to meet the Stress Bunny.

If you arrive at a party and suddenly find yourself completely relaxed, there’s a good chance the Stress Bunny is there.  Blessed with the ability to absorb the stress of everyone in a fifty-foot radius, the Stress Bunny is invited to every party , every outing.

Her power originates from her strict Catholic upbringing.

For I am Lizzy cast from the don’t-know-what-day-of-the-week-it-is mould. (Surely that qualifies as a self-defeating superpowers)  Tuesday 22.6.2009 anyone?  You’re all too kind to point out my error including Ang, an e-ticket buying superheroine who flew to my rescue and has secured my seats at Edinburgh Book Festival.  (Yours too, because Lizzy will be reporting once more from the front rows.)

WonderAng, you truly deserve to be decorated with a blue cape!  Until I find one, however, my copy of All My Friends are Superheroes is  yours, should you accept it as a token of my gratitude.