Some Books I've Liked
The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon. Of course if you haven't read Kavalier and Clay yet, go read it at once, what on earth have you been waiting for? Then read this. It is even a little crazier, maybe. Crazy like a genius.
The novels of E.H.Young, a British writer whose best work was published in the 1920's and early 30's:, Jenny Wren, The Curate's Wife... and anything else you can find at the library, probably, or on abebooks, because except for a couple of Virago editions (three cheers for Virago!) she's been out of print for years. She is an odd bod, very British in her intense class-consciousness, rather Austenian in her close focus, psychological acuity, and dry humor, with an occasional flash of resemblance to D.H.Lawrence. A writer who should not be forgotten.
Some young adult books I like I had to read a lot of them this spring, and these stood out:
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron. This one has already won the Newbery Award and gone to Kiddilit Booksellers Heaven forever, so it doesn't need my endorsement... but it's a lovely, funny, sweet book, set in a truly godforsaken desert town in California.
Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata. A novel that goes with its young heroine to one of the prison camps where our government sent all our citizens of Japanese ancestry in 1942 after Pearl Harbor. It's a beautiful book, understated and strong and tender. If you read it you won't forget it.
Everlost by Neal Shusterman. A very cool idea about what dead teenagers do.
1The Throwaway Piece by Jo Ann Yolanda Hernandez
Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde
These are both very hardnosed, hardhitting books about young people in bad trouble. If you're under about 13 and aren't quite clear and sure in your own head about how you feel about drugs and sex and stuff like that, I'd say don't read them yet: they could be way more confusing than useful. They're honest, painful books written for mid-teens and older.
The Book of One Hundred Truths by Julie Schumacher
The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer
Two good novels about finding out what family is and isn't, and figuring out what is important and what isn't.
Copyright © 2007 by Ursula K. Le Guin