Saturday, April 7, 2012

Featured Friday: Haruki Murakami

Happy Friday loves!

I'm very excited to introduce the first FEATURED FRIDAY here on Auggie-Talk

The way that Featured Friday is going to work every month is as follows:

The first Friday of every month (today for example), I will introduce fully the Featured Author. I will offer links to official and fanbased websites as well as links on GoodReads and Amazon.

The post will include information about the author, why I enjoy them, and finally I will officially announce April's Featured Author GIVEAWAY

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This month's featured author, as mentioned last Saturday, is  

Haruki Murakami. 

Haruki Murakami (村上春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described by the Virginia Quarterly Review as "easily accessible, yet profoundly complex." Critics suggest his work draws from film noir and contains elements of magical realism.

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.

Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse (jazz bar, in the evening) "Peter Cat" in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife[10] (1974-1981).

Many of his novels have themes and titles that invoke classical music, such as the three books making up The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: The Thieving Magpie (after Rossini's opera), Bird as Prophet (after a piano piece by Robert Schumann usually known in English as The Prophet Bird), and The Bird-Catcher (a character in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute). Some of his novels take their titles from songs: Dance, Dance, Dance (after The Dells' song, although it is widely thought it was titled after the Beach Boys tune), Norwegian Wood (after The Beatles' song) and South of the Border, West of the Sun (the first part being the title of a song by Nat King Cole).

Murakami is a keen marathon runner and triathlete, although he did not start running until he was 33 years old. On June 23, 1996, he completed his first ultramarathon, a 100-kilometer race around Lake Saroma in Hokkaido, Japan. He discusses his relationship with running in his 2008 work What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

 I honestly can't get enough of this guy, but I have to space my reading of his work out over a bigger stretch of time. That's mostly due to the fact that I'm not capable of handling too much of him all at once. In fact, there are frequently times when I have to sit down one of his books and just consciously step away from it. Give it space. Let it breathe. My head gets fuzzy and I start to feel a weird bit of creeping up my spine, as though someone is breathing much to close to the back of my neck.

I'll tell you all more about that later, but I must say that I'm extremely excited to feature this author and review some of his books for all of you. He is extraordinarily talented and can put together a story that is all at once eery, hilarious, meaningful, and disturbing. 

If you ever want to give your brain a lovely break from reality while at the same time maintaining its intense exercise routine then Murakami is the author for you. 

Warning: Not for the squeamish or easily disturbed. Murakami makes no apologies and is very gritty. This is not Y/A fiction. Just throwing that out there for you guys. Just in case.

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For those of you who would like to follow along or who are in the middle of reading any of these books, I'm setting up a list of the three Murakami books that I will be reviewing this month as part of Featured Fridays. 

The review schedule and books that will be reviewed are as follows: 

Friday: April 13

Friday: April 20

Friday: April 27

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April's Featured GiveAway

I am very excited to feature another Auggie-Talk giveaway. This one will be focused on the Author of the month, Haruki Murakami. 

The book in this giveaway will be the very first book that I ever read of Murakami, and the first book that I will review next week. The books is: 

Kafka on the Shore
By Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle - yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.


  • This Giveaway will run throughout April. The dates are specifically April 7-May1.
  •  The book will be offered in either KINDLE, NOOK, or Physical copy.
  •  The physical copy of the book will require the winner to e-mail me an appropriate address and will also require the winner to wait an extended length of time for the arrival of their prize (standard shipping will be applied).
  •  Non-USA residents will have to choose an electronic copy of the book. 
  • If the winner fails to claim their prize after 3 days a new winner will be selected.  
  • All unverifiable entries will be deleted. 
If unable to see Giveaway please click "Read More" at the bottom of this post
Good Luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Until next Blog,

Read On!



  1. Hey Auggie! Hope your weekend is going well. This is an awesome give away :) Trev @

  2. hey, i read haruki murakami's wild sheep chase, and now i want to try out the rest..... :)