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<DIV>Michael Chabon's sparkling first book of nonfiction is a love song in 16 parts — a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy. Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around "serious" literature in favor of a wide-ranging affection. His own fiction, meanwhile, is explored from the perspective of personal history: post-collegiate desperation sparks his debut, <I>The Mysteries of Pittsburgh;</I> procrastination and doubt reveal the way toward <I>Wonder Boys;</I> a love of comics and a basement golem combine to create the Pulitzer Prize-winning <I>The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay;</I> and an enigmatic Yiddish phrasebook unfurls into <I>The Yiddish Policeman's Union.</I></DIV>