I read my first Murakami book, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, way back in 2004 and I thought it was a rather odd novel. I couldn’t quite connect with what I was reading. Firstly, the numerous characters were all so wacky strange, they appear to be living on a different planet. Secondly, the book didn’t seem to have a coherent plot and comes across as a compilation of random, yet related, stories about the strange characters. Normally, I would have given up after two chapters but I found the novel sufficiently compelling for me to to finish reading it. And rather, enjoyed it.

Then I went and purchased two of his other books – A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance Dance Dance. These two books killed off my budding interest in Murakami’s works. The surrealistic plots in these two books, especially A Wild Sheep Chase, were too much for me and I wrote them off as nonsense. Seriously, a book about people hunting for a strange sheep which inhabits and controls a man’s mind…??

Maybe it’s age that makes me want to revisit stuff which I didn’t like when I was younger.  Recently, I decided to dip into Murakami again.  Yeah, can’t find a logical reason for anything, just blame it on AGE.

I read Kafka On The Shore and Norwegian Wood and liked both novels alot. Because the plots were not that outrageous and characters were very well-developed. So I’ve decided to read the rest of Murakami’s novels as a mini reading project for myself.  There seems to have one thing which I have in common with Murakami.  We like cats.  Black cats.

A particular book blog that I frequent is organising a Murakami Reading Challenge where participants (or rather, like-minded  bookworms) are supposed to read all of his books over the course of 2011 and thereafter, put up personal reviews about the books.   While I am not going to participate in the challenge, I thought it would be fun for me to read all the books at my own pace, then read these reviews and see if I agree or disagree with the points made in these reviews. 

I was searching online for a list of books and noticed that his book covers are very whimsical and quirky. Apart from price, two things I consider when buying a book are: book art AND the typeface of the font.  Which is why I never buy Penguin books unless absolutely necessary – the fonts are tiny and the covers almost always look terribly outdated. Sometimes, I sniff at the pages of the book to see if they smell nice.

Happy reading.

Murakami Reading Project
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