I used to be one of those teenagers that was always buried behind a book, I read everything I could get my hands on and I still remember vividly the thrill I got when I came across a book I have been on a hunt for. Back then I wasn’t privy to Kindle and online shopping plus Abuja bookstores were a let down or too expensive, so getting a good book wasn’t always easy.
Fast forward to now and I have a Kindle app on all my devices and an overflowing bookshelf of noteworthy Authors. Back when I was in the UK, I had the pleasure of checking out large multi storey bookshops and little hole in the wall vintage bookshops and so my collection of books kept growing. I remember the big Waterstones right across the street from Trafalgar Square was my favourite hideout from the rainy British afternoons. And my other favourite hideout is this little vintage bookshop next door to the Patisserie Valerie near Leicester Square Station and the former Chinatown market. It is definitely worth a visit!
I feel it is a shame that I no longer have the freedom to enjoy a good book anytime I feel like it. Reading has become a luxury I rarely indulge in and every time I see my books gathering dust on the shelves I get this pang of Sadness. So to revive my old flame for books, I thought I will take advantage of the blog and start a virtual book club. Every month, I will go through the books I have and pick 3 or 4 to try to read by the end of the month.
I have been collecting Murakami books for the past one year, but I have not had the time to read the books except for After Dark. I did start Norwegian wood but have not gone past the first few chapters. I have heard great things about the author and so I have decided to inaugurate the book club this July with a Murakami Month!
Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer whose works have been translated into 50 languages. His work is critically acclaimed and he has enjoyed international best-selling success. He is an award-winning author who is considered an important figure in “postmodern Literature”, even been said to be “among the world’s greatest living novelists”. His work is heavily influenced by the western music and literature he grew up consuming, works such as that of Franz Kafka, Richard Brautigan, Charles Dickens and so on. His writing style is slightly distinct from that of other Japanese writers but he writes in the first-person narrative common in Japanese novels.
I went on my good ‘ol friend Goodreads to get synopsis of the books in case you want to join Murakami Month. You can buy the books on Amazon Kindle or get the physical copies if you have a well stocked bookshop around you.
- MEN WITHOUT WOMEN
“A dazzling new collection of short stories–the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all.
Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic.”
” The plot centers on the narrator’s brief but intense obsession with pinball, his life as a freelance translator, and his later efforts to reunite with the old pinball machine that he used to play. He describes living with a pair of identical unnamed female twins, who mysteriously appear in his apartment one morning, and disappear at the end of the book. Interspersed with the narrative are his memories of the Japanese student movement, and of his old girlfriend Naoko. The plot alternates between describing the life of narrator and that of his friend, The Rat.”
“Haruki Murakami center on two young men–an unnamed narrator and his friend and former roommate, the Rat. Powerful, at times surreal, stories of loneliness, obsession, and eroticism, these novellas bear all the hallmarks of Murakami’s later books, giving us a fascinating insight into a great writer’s beginnings, and are remarkable works of fiction in their own right. Here too is an exclusive essay by Murakami in which he explores and explains his decision to become a writer. Prequels to the much-beloved classics A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance, these early works are essential reading for Murakami completists and contemporary fiction lovers alike.”
- NORWEGIAN WOOD
“Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. 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.”
Leave me a comment below to tell me if you are joining the challenge. If not, have you read a Murakami book, what did you think of it? I would love to hear about that 🙂