Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shelf Control: My Haruki Murakami Collection

Shelf Control hosted by Lisa of Bookshelf Fantasies "is all about the books we want to read — and already own! Consider this a variation of a Wishing & Waiting post… but looking at books already available sitting right there on our shelves and e-readers."

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, 1987; 296 pgs) ~ Per Goodreads, this is "a poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love."

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, 1994; 607 pgs) ~ According to Goodreads, this is an "imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II."

Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, 2002; 467 pgs) ~ A runaway and an aging simpleton's paths cross, and readers find themselves in "a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder." [as described by Goodreads]

After Dark by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, 2004; 191 pgs) ~ Two sisters are drawn into a nightlife like they have never known. As described by Goodreads, "After Dark moves from mesmerizing drama to metaphysical speculation, interweaving time and space as well as memory and perspective into a seamless exploration of human agency—the interplay between self-expression and empathy, between the power of observation and the scope of compassion and love."


How and When I got them: Kafka On the Shore has been on my TBR shelf since June of 2007, a  purchase I made at Barnes and Noble one day based off the recommendation of an online book group friend, Christine. In April of 2008, I received a copy of Norwegian Wood as a gift from a fellow online book group friend, Sylvie. After Dark landed on my TBR shelf in May of 2008 thanks to a purchase made at Borders. And I haven't a clue how or when The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle ended up on my shelf. I imagine I purchased it at some point, unable to help myself. It wasn't a recent purchase, I know.

Why I want to read them: It is curiosity and all the good things I have heard about the author, Haruki Murakami. I mean, Ti of Book Chatter has been singing his praises for as long as I can remember. I am both mesmerized by the descriptions of these books just as I am intimidated by them. Will I fall under Murakami's spell or will his books go right over my head? I will not know until I try. It's just a matter of which book to start with and when will I work up the courage to give his books a try.

Have you read any of this author's books? If so, what did you think? Which one do you think would be the best to start with?


© 2016, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

26 comments:

  1. Yes, Ti certainly does love his work. I have a feeling it's too smart for me.

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    1. Kathy - That's what I am afraid of. I do want to give him a try. I just need to stop buying his books until I know whether I like his writing or not. LOL

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  2. "A world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder." Now this sounds like my kind of read. Well not so much the spirits slipping out of bodies intent on murder but certainly the talking cats.

    I can see why these books appeal to you. Happy reading.

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    1. Tracy - It does sound interesting, doesn't it? I hear it's very surreal.

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  3. Norwegian Wood was really good. That is the only one I have read by him.

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    1. Kelly - I've heard good things about it. I may start with that one since it's a decent size. :-)

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  4. I really want to try Murakami. Like bermudaonion I feel like they may be a bit too smart for me but I do want to try him. I look forward to seeing what you end up picking!

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    1. Katherine - Same here. One of these days I will give his books a try. Fortunately, I have choices. Maybe too many. LOL

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  5. WOW, Wendy, what an intriguing and utterly fascinating group of books!! And I LOVE that pic, with the books propped up by the stuffed animals! SO cute!!

    I have never heard of this author, but his plots certainly do seem very compelling! Besides, I am instantly attracted to any book that has elements of fantasy in it, as I don't like reality much. Lol. I also ADORE books about romance! And metaphysical speculation? Right up my alley!!

    Thanks for featuring these books!! I'm adding them all to my Goodreads shelves!! Also, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my own "Shelf Control" post!! :)

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    1. Maria - Thank you. My brother won those stuffed animals for me at a state fair years ago. My daughter's adopted them as her own. :-)

      I enjoy fantasy, but magical realism and I have a love/hate relationship. And I am not a big fan of surrealism. We'll see though. I really want to give his books a try. That way I'll know for sure whether I fall into the love him camp or not.

      I hope you enjoy these or whichever of his books you decide to try!

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  6. I need to do a Shelf Control post because I have tons of shelf-sitters!
    I love this post and of course the picture :)
    Hope you get to discover Murakami soon. Norwegian Wood is wonderful.

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    1. Iliana - I think I could keep this up for years. :-) I am glad to hear you enjoyed Norwegian Wood. That may be a good one to start with from the sounds of it!

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  7. I've never read any Murakami, but I have a friend who absolutely loves his work. Great choice for Shelf Control!

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    1. Lisa - Thank you! I do want to give his books a try. I am still working up the courage though. LOL

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  8. The only one I've read is 1Q84. I wonder how it compares to his other works....

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    1. Jenclair - I read an interview with the author about 1Q84. I guess in Japan, the book had been released in three volumes. He was surprised to see how big the American version was--all three volumes combined.

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  9. I think I've only read two books by him. Some of his stories may seem strange but yet I've to marvel at his imagination and his creativity.

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    1. Melody - That seems to be what a lot of people say about his books. I want to experience that too. :-)

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  10. I've been curious about Haruki Murakami but like you, I feel intimidated! Like what do I do if I miss whatever subliminal meaning these books have?? Does it have a subliminal meaning in the first place?? And his releases are pretty regular as well, so now I'm not only intimidated by the actual books, it's also the amount of books he has published so far, haha.

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    1. Nina - Yes! That's exactly my fear. And then if I do like his work, I have a lot of books to catch up on.

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  11. I love Murakami. My favorite is probably A Wild Sheep Chase, but I also loved Kafka on the Shore. Norwegian Wood is a little more accessible and easier to read, but I also found it melancholy and less satisfying; it's good, but not my favorite. I'm a little intimidated by his 1Q84 even though I really want to read it. Next year for sure! Happy reading!

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    1. Lark - Now I want to get a copy of A Wild Sheep Chase too! Haha I really should start with the ones I have though. I've been hearing good things about 1Q84.

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  12. Sorry I've been away! It's been a long time and I just caught up with your posts. First of all, congratulations on the 10-year blogiversary (even if I'm a month late). :-) Loved all the updates on Mouse - she graduated from daycare!! And yay, soccer practice.

    I have read one Murakami book and enjoyed it - I do need to read more of his. I have your same problem (many unread books by the same author) with Margaret Atwood. I have 5 of her books and have only read one (last month).

    Hope you have been reading tons and having a great summer. Is Mouse starting school this Fall? When do classes start? How are you coping? :-)

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    1. Athira - Thank you for the blog anniversary wishes. :-) I have a number of Margaret Atwood books too. I wish I could say I was reading more, but I am reading, which is good.

      Mouse started kindergarten last week on Monday. I'm doing okay with it. It's been a big change for her and my challenge is helping her through it. She seems to really like it, but she's not completely sold on it yet.

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  13. When I've mentioned to Ti that I wasn't sure I was "getting it" when reading Murakami, she's assured me that she's not sure Murakami's one of those artists who has a deeper message that every reader should "get." Instead, he leaves it up to the reader to take from the book what they will. That's allowed me to just go along for the ride and enjoy it.

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    1. Lisa - That's good to know. Keeping that in mind helps me through some of those more intimidating classics. And I usually end up enjoying them.

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