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Murakami and More

Haruki Murakami is my absolute favorite writer, and he was a great introduction to many of Japan's great writers.

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The Travelling Cat Chronicles Cover Image
By Hiro Arikawa, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$20.00
ISBN: 9780451491336
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - October 23rd, 2018

This is an absolutely beautiful story filled with some laughs, great friends, and a heart swelling story about family. No other book I’ve read comes close to explaining the human condition as simply or completely as does The Travelling Cat Chronicles. - randy


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The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories Cover Image
By Yukiko Motoya, Asa Yoneda (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - November 6th, 2018

Wunderbar! Hints of Saunders and very reminiscent of Murakami but stands solidly on its own 2 feet. "An Exotic Marriage", "How to Burden the Girl", and "Q&A" all blew me away with their originality, and more importantly, their assault on outdated social expectations. Yet again, an Akutagawa winner that I love! - randy


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The End of the Moment We Had (Japanese Novellas #6) Cover Image
By Toshiki Okada, Samuel Malissa (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781782274162
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Press - September 4th, 2018

This is going to stay with me for awhile. "My Place in Plural" is great. The narrator's depression is on the nose and beautifully compliments her description of her husband's morning. Okada makes some narrative choices that leave you wondering a bit about what’s going on, however, there is a payoff. A read well worth it! - randy


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South of the Border, West of the Sun: A Novel (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$15.00
ISBN: 9780679767398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 14th, 2000

I first read this several years ago. I had just discovered Murakami and raced through all of the novels awestruck by the worlds he created. This one didn't stand out at the time. I'm sure I was impatient with the anticipation of being blown away by another magical place where life is lived in dreams and deep, dark wells and amongst talking cats. That was my mistake. This is a beautiful story. Possibly his most beautiful. How do we live the life we have if we've lost the life we had? - randy


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Convenience Store Woman Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802128256
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - June 12th, 2018

For 18 years, Keiko has structured her life around working at a convenience store and following the employee manual. Along comes man-child Shiraha. Perhaps he can help her be a little less socially awkward around her family and friends. Funny and thoughtful, here’s another Akutagawa Prize winner I absolutely love! - randy


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Sputnik Sweetheart (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780375726057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - April 9th, 2002

Perhaps there are better Murakami novels, but Sputnik Sweetheart is my favorite. K and Sumire are friends from university. K stoically pines for Sumire but Sumire is only interested in writing until she meets Miu. One day, while Miu and Sumire are vacationing in Greece, Sumire just disappears. Such a beautiful story summed up best by K - When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment.

- randy


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The Bear and the Paving Stone (Japanese Novellas #5) Cover Image
By Toshiyuki Horie, Geraint Howells (Translated by)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781782274377
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Pushkin Press - July 3rd, 2018

Fantastic read! The direct, simple description of the banal is perfectly balanced with the rich, deep examination of personal and familial history. The Bear and the Paving Stone is a superb example of storytelling with the beautiful, strong prose expected from the Akutagawa Prize winner. - randy


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The Boy in the Earth Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781616958954
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - April 24th, 2018

Yeah. This book is phenomenal. A few pages in, I wasn't sure if I would keep going. I would have missed out on an experience I won't soon forget. The amount of tenderness evoked by such a dark, violent narrative is a true testament to a great writer's ability to create empathy. - randy


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Kafka on the Shore (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781400079278
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 3rd, 2006

Generally viewed as Murakami's best novel, Kafka on the Shore is about the isolation you can feel when your 15 and all but orphaned by your father. While relationships are always a big part of his stories, I don't think he does a better job of exploring friendship than he does here. Sputnik Sweetheart is my favorite Murakami, but I can't disagree that Kafka on the Shore is his best. - randy


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The Gate Cover Image
By Natsume Soseki, William F. Sibley (Translated by), Pico Iyer (Introduction by)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781590175873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: NYRB Classics - December 4th, 2012

In a time of great cultural upheaval in Japan, Sosuke and Oyone marry without their parents’ consent. Sosuke’s younger brother comes to join them creating a bit of an existential crisis for Sosuke.  The Gate is a story about understanding one’s lot in life even if you may not be able to accept it. The prose is beautiful. It’s easy to feel the influence Soseki has had on Haruki Murakami.  No hyperbole here, this is one of my favorite books of all times. - randy


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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Vintage International) Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780679743460
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 2nd, 1993

Murakami creates what I think is his most creative world in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. What happens when your consciousness is separated from the rest of your brain? You go to a world of unicorns where you get as close to immortality as you ever will as you slowly lose all of your memories, of course. It makes it into my top 5 favorite Murakami novels. - randy


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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780679775430
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - September 1998

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle was my introduction to Murakami, and I recommend starting here. It has everything in it that he does so well - pasta, cats, jazz, wells, etc. - as he explores Japan's not so pleasant imperialism of the mid 20th century. Solidly in my top 5. - randy


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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Vintage International) Cover Image
By Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translated by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780804170123
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 5th, 2015

We meet Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki in high school where he is part of an inseparable group of friends. After leaving home for college, for a reason unknown to Tsukuru, his friends abandon him, never wanting to hear from him again. This traumatic loss haunts Tsukuru for years as he watches life go by - until he meets Sara. Murakami takes us on Tsukuru's journey from suicidal devastation to survival, and ultimately forgiveness. And all the elements of a Murakami story are there - cats, cooking, dreams, music (of course), trains and beautiful prose. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is simply wonderful. - randy