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  1. A Wild Sheep Chase

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    This quasi-detective tale follows an unnamed, chain-smoking narrator and his adventures in Tokyo and Hokkaido in 1978. The story begins when the recently divorced protagonist, an advertisement executive, publishes a photo of a pastoral scene sent to him in a confessional letter by his long-lost friend, 'Rat.' He is contacted by a mysterious man representing 'The Boss,' a central force behind Japan's political and economic elite, who is now slowly dying. The Boss' secretary tells him that a strange sheep with a star-shaped birthmark, pictured in the advertisement, was in some way the secret source of the Boss' power and … (Wikipedia)

  2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The first part, "The Thieving Magpie", begins with the narrator, Toru Okada, a low-key and unemployed lawyer's assistant, being tasked by his wife, Kumiko, to find their missing cat. Kumiko suggests looking in the alley, a closed-off strip of land behind their house. After Toru stays there for a while with no luck, May Kasahara, a teenager who had been watching him camping out in the alley for some time, questions him. She invites him over to her house in order to sit on the patio and look over an abandoned house that she says is a popular hangout for … (Wikipedia)

  3. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Somewhat known

    The story is split between parallel narratives. The odd-numbered chapters take place in the 'Hard-Boiled Wonderland', although the phrase is not used anywhere in the text, only in page headers. The narrator is a "Calcutec" (,計算士,, ,keisanshi,) , a human data processor/ encryption system who has been trained to use his subconscious as an encryption key. The Calcutecs work for the quasi-governmental System, as opposed to the criminal "Semiotecs" (,記号士,, ,kigōshi,) who work for the Factory and who are generally fallen Calcutecs. The relationship between the two groups is simple: the System protects data while the Semiotecs steal it, although … (Wikipedia)

  4. Norwegian Wood

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Popular

    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 magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that … (Goodreads)

  5. After Dark

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Set in metropolitan Tokyo over the course of one night, characters include Mari Asai, a 19-year-old student, who is spending the night reading in a Denny's . There she meets Takahashi Tetsuya, a trombone-playing student who loves Curtis Fuller 's "Five Spot After Dark" song on Blues-ette ; Takahashi knows Mari's sister Eri, who he was once interested in, and insists that the group of them have hung out before. Meanwhile, Eri is in a deep sleep next to a television and seems to be haunted by a menacing figure. Mari crosses paths with a retired female wrestler, Kaoru, now … (Wikipedia)

  6. 1Q84

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Fairly popular

    The events of 1Q84 take place in Tokyo during a fictionalized year of 1984, with the first volume set between April and June, the second between July and September, and the third between October and December. The book opens with a female character named Aomame (,あおまめ,) as she rides a taxi in Tokyo on her way to a work assignment. When the taxi gets stuck in a traffic jam on the Shibuya Route of the Shuto Expressway , the driver suggests that she get out of the car and climb down an emergency escape in order to make it to … (Wikipedia)

  7. South of the Border, West of the Sun

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    Alternate cover edition ,here,. Growing up in the suburbs of post-war Japan, it seemed to Hajime that everyone but him had brothers and sisters. His sole companion was Shimamoto, also an only child. Together they spent long afternoons listening to her father's record collection. But when his family moved away, the two lost touch. Now Hajime is in his thirties. After a decade of drifting he has found happiness with his loving wife and two daughters, and success running a jazz bar. Then Shimamoto reappears. She is beautiful, intense, enveloped in mystery. Hajime is catapulted into the past, putting at … (Goodreads)

  8. Sputnik Sweetheart

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Somewhat known

    Sumire is an aspiring writer who survives on a family stipend and the creative input of her only friend, the novel's male narrator and protagonist, known in the text only as 'K'. K is an elementary school teacher, 25 years old, and in love with Sumire, though she does not quite share his feelings. At a wedding, Sumire meets an ethnic Korean woman, Miu, who is 17 years her senior. The two strike up a conversation and Sumire finds herself attracted to the older woman. This is the first time she has ever been sexually drawn to anybody. Miu soon … (Wikipedia)

  9. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Somewhat known

    A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of ,Norwegian Wood, and ,1Q84, Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it. One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again. Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form … (Goodreads)

  10. The Elephant Vanishes

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780679750536 With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World , Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through … (Goodreads)

  11. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    Collection of twenty-four stories that generously expresses Murakami’s mastery of the form. From the surreal to the mundane, these stories exhibit his ability to transform the full range of human experience in ways that are instructive, surprising, and relentlessly entertaining. Here are animated crows, a criminal monkey, and an iceman, as well as the dreams that shape us and the things we might wish for. Whether during a chance reunion in Italy, a romantic exile in Greece, a holiday in Hawaii, or in the grip of everyday life, Murakami’s characters confront grievous loss, or sexuality, or the glow of a … (Goodreads)

  12. After the Quake

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    The six stories in Haruki Murakami’s mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakami’s characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman. An electronics salesman who has been abruptly deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package—and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who has been raised to view himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may or … (Goodreads)

  13. Men Without Women

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Eclectic

    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 … (Goodreads)

  14. Kafka on the Shore

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    Comprising two distinct but interrelated plots, the narrative runs back and forth between both plots, taking up each plotline in alternating chapters. The odd-numbered chapters tell the 15-year-old Kafka's story as he runs away from his father's house to escape an Oedipal curse and to embark upon a quest to find his mother and sister. ,, After a series of adventures, he finds shelter in a quiet, private library in Takamatsu , run by the distant and aloof Miss Saeki and the intelligent and more welcoming Oshima. There he spends his days reading the unabridged Richard Francis Burton translation of … (Wikipedia)

  15. 1Q84 #1-2

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a … (Goodreads)

  16. Kitchen

    by Banana Yoshimoto
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Eclectic

    From Mikage's love of kitchens to her job as a culinary teacher's assistant to the multiple scenes in which food is merely present, Kitchen is a short window into the life of a young Japanese woman and her discoveries about food and love amongst a background of tragedy. In Kitchen , a young Japanese woman named Mikage Sakurai struggles to overcome the death of her grandmother. She gradually grows close to one of her grandmother's friends, Yuichi, from a flower shop and ends up staying with him and his transgender mother, Eriko. During her stay, she develops affection for Yuichi … (Wikipedia)

  17. The Unbearable Lightness of Being

    by Milan Kundera
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Popular

    In The Unbearable Lightness of Being , Milan Kundera tells the story of a young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing and one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover. This magnificent novel juxtaposes geographically distant places, brilliant and playful reflections, and a variety of styles, to take its place as perhaps the major achievement of one of the world’s truly great writers. … (Goodreads)

  18. Hear the Wind Sing

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟢
    Readership: Very niche

    Feeling writing as a terribly painful task, the narrator re-tells the story of his 1970 summer. He was a student at a university in Tokyo then, and returned to his seaside hometown in Niigata for summer vacation. That spring, a girl he dated at the university committed suicide. During the summer vacation, he frequented J's bar with his friend "Rat" and spent much time drinking beer obsessively. One day, he came across a girl lying on the floor in the washroom of the bar and carried her home. The girl had no left little finger. Later, he ran into the … (Wikipedia)

  19. The Trial

    by Franz Kafka
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Affinity: 🟢🟡⚪️⚪️
    Readership: Fairly popular

    On the morning of his thirtieth birthday, Josef K., the chief cashier of a bank, is unexpectedly arrested by two unidentified agents from an unspecified agency for an unspecified crime. Josef is not imprisoned, however, but left "free" and told to await instructions from the Committee of Affairs. Josef's landlady, Frau Grubach, tries to console Josef about the trial, but insinuates that the procedure may be related to an immoral relationship with his neighbor Fräulein Bürstner. Josef visits Bürstner to vent his worries, and then kisses her. Josef is ordered to appear at the court's address the coming Sunday, without … (Wikipedia)

  20. The Strange Library

    by Haruki Murakami
    Quality: 🟢🟢🟡⚪️
    Affinity: 🟢🟢🟢🟡
    Readership: Eclectic

    From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library. Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated in full color throughout, this small format, 96-page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages. … (Goodreads)