Recent Books — Chabon, Priest, and some YA titles

* “The Yiddish Policemen’s Union”:amazon by Michael Chabon. I’ve always wondered what would have happened had Israel lost their 1948 war of independence, and all the Jewish refugees had moved to exile in Sitka, Alaska. OK no I never wondered that. But Chabon does a great job of creating that world as a setting for a detective novel. Another good one from him.
* “The Islanders”:amazon by Christopher Priest. This author is popular in Britain but has never found much of a following here. I don’t think this book will push him over the edge. A strange travelogue/history/mystery about a world of islands, and the people that try to connect with one another during their lives. I was never quite sure what the author was really trying to do. I wonder if Brits as island dwellers resonant with this material in a way that Americans never will.
* “Thirteen Reasons Why”:amazon by Jay Asher. I like to dip into YA fiction now and then, some great stories and series have risen from these beginnings. This book, however, is utter crap, despite some glowing recommendations. Serious matters but trite treatment, awful characters, terrible dialog, just garbage. Don’t pollute your mind or your kid’s mind with this.
* “Forgotten”:amazon by Cat Patrick. This, on the other hand, is a nicely written tale of a young woman with a strange mental/neurological problem, digging into the events of her life that have left her this way. Compelling characters, fun read.
* “Paper Towns”:amazon by John Green. And another excellent YA choice. On the eve of high school graduation, a student disappears leaving behind mysterious clues, and her friend tries to puzzle out the mystery. Not a simple mystery tho, but a deeply introspective and sometimes literary examination of himself, his missing friend, and their true natures.