Even though I thought The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was terrific, I wasn't exactly eager to read Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I hated Chabon's Sherlock Holmes mystery The Final Solution: A Story of Detection, and the subject of the new book didn't exactly thrill me - - a story about policemen working in an alternate reality where Jews settled in Alaska after WW2, rather than the US? But I borrowed a friend's copy, and couldn't put it down.
Part of the pleasure of reading the book is knowing as little as possible (I can't remember reading another book and having less of an idea of where it was going). I think it's enough to say that the first 200 pages or so are very much like a Raymond Chandler story filled with vivid, realistic characters. After that, the story resembles the work of John le Carre. You can find Michael Chabon's books at Amazon.
One word of warning/encouragement: the first 30 pages or so are very heavy on the Yiddish. After that, the Yiddish either subsides, or I simply became accustomed to it.
While I'm on the topic of reviews, here's a few more:
-Ninja Gaiden for the DS is excellent. Unlike The Phantom Hourglass, the stylus based gameplay is fun and adds to the game. As soon as I beat the last boss, I started a new game.
-Advance Wars Days of Ruin is a disappointment. I've played through all 3 of the previous Advance Wars games (unlocking everything). Days of Ruin is a big departure in terms of gameplay and value. The gameplay changes are actually welcome. I think the characters do have special moves, but I didn't intentionally use them a single time playing through the campaign (Advance Wars fans will understand that's a shocking statement). Also, unlike previous installments where many battles required frustrating trial and error play to complete the puzzle-like missions, the Days of Ruin battles feel much more organic. Unfortunately, once I beat the campaign, there was nothing else to do - - as far as I can tell, there's nothing to unlock, not even a hard campaign.
-The new Miso Seafood Salad at CPK is excellent, loaded with crab and shrimp (and vegetables).
-In the battle of expensive fast food burgers, I highly recommend the BBQ Bacon Sirloin Burger at Jack in the Box. It's like a Western Bacon Cheeseburger, if you got it at a high-class restaurant. Unlike the expensive burgers at the other chains, this burger actually tastes like it's made with higher quality ingredients.