Goodreads Monday is a weekly book tag that was started by Lauren’s Page Turners. Each week you choose a book at random from your Goodreads TBR and explain why you want to read it. Given that my TBR on Goodreads is astronomical, I should be able to participate in this tag until the end of time.
The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Added: December 2017
For sixty years, Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a “temporary” safe haven created in the wake of revelations of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel. Proud, grateful, and longing to be American, the Jews of the Sitka District have created their own little world in the Alaskan panhandle, a vibrant, gritty, soulful, and complex frontier city that moves to the music of Yiddish. Now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control, and their dream is coming to an end: once again the tides of history threaten to sweep them up and carry them off into the unknown.
But homicide detective Meyer Landsman of the District Police has enough problems without worrying about the upcoming Reversion. He and his half-Tlingit partner, Berko Shemets, can’t catch a break in any of their outstanding cases. Landsman’s new supervisor is the love of his life—and also his worst nightmare. And in the cheap hotel where he has washed up, someone has just committed a murder—right under Landsman’s nose. Out of habit, obligation, and a mysterious sense that it somehow offers him a shot at redeeming himself, Landsman begins to investigate the killing of his neighbor, a former chess prodigy. But when word comes down from on high that the case is to be dropped immediately, Landsman soon finds himself contending with all the powerful forces of faith, obsession, hopefulness, evil, and salvation that are his heritage—and with the unfinished business of his marriage to Bina Gelbfish, the one person who understands his darkest fears.
At once a gripping whodunit, a love story, an homage to 1940s noir, and an exploration of the mysteries of exile and redemption, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union is a novel only Michael Chabon could have written.
Why I want to read it:
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay was a pretty phenomenal book. Bonus points for it incorporating so much early comic culture in it! I’m a sucker for retro comics and my house is decorated in framed vintage copies of DC comics, especially of my boy Superman.
I’ve been meaning to read more of Chabon’s work ever since and the title and premise of this one has always piqued my interest. Now that he’s also a writer on the Picard series I’m even more inclined to read more of his works. This book has been high on my TBR for years but I think I’m going to push it up toward the top. If I finally get around to reading it I’ll be sure to update you all on what I thought of it!
Have you read The Yiddish Policemen’s Union? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
With everything that is going on in the world right now, I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the coronavirus. Please know that I am going to continue to post as much as possible not out of dismissal of the situation, but because I think we all need distractions from the constant barrage of worrying news reports. I know I do.
My two best friends and most of my family are 5,000 miles away in a city that already has dozens of cases. Because of this, my anxiety levels are through the roof and I desperately want to go visit them and my parents (who tick most the boxes for those at highest risk). Unfortunately, I’ve had to made the extremely difficult decision to stay where I am. I was due to head back to the US next month anyway, but now that travelers are stuck crammed together for hours in airports and customs I run a much higher risk of catching something and bringing it with me to my parents’ house.
So as much as I want to just hop on a plane and flee the country to take care of my parents and check on my stateside friends, I’m staying at my home in the UK for the foreseeable future. I’ll keep posting here business as usual, but I just wanted to let you know I’m not being flippant. Books are going to be a major crutch for me during the coming weeks and I hope that they will offer some comfort for you, too.