Haruki Murakami Quotecard Contest – Please Vote for Me!

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Murakami Postcard

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Oh my goodness. Yesterday on Facebook, Knopf posted a contest for a chance to win a signed copy of Murakami’s new book!! Oh my goodness! I would totally come unglued if I won a signed copy. Anyway, I designed the postcard you see above. If you’d vote for it, I’d be ever so grateful.

Here is the direct link to the card. Voting can take place once per day too!

Also, if you would like to submit your own design, the link above also includes the link for you to submit your own. If you do, let me know so I can return the vote. Thanks!

Cover Lust

New Murakami Covers

I am shaking my head because this is so unfair.

I finally, FINALLY own all of Murakami’s novels in paperback and what happens?? They come out with these awesome new covers.

If you look closely, the images on the cover contain clues:

The Elephant Vanishes

See how that center image resembles an elephant’s trunk? Clever, huh?

I. Need. These.

The Anticipation is Killing Me, Part 1

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki
I don’t think I can wait until August 12th for this one to make its appearance. There is something so magical about a huge book launch and this one is huge. Murakami’s fan following is huge. I am trying to be patient but August can’t get here soon enough.

Haruki Murakami

He’s cool, without trying to be cool. Look at him standing there, all innocent. He probably has no idea how crazy I am waiting for this book to hit the shelves. Heck, you can’t even read much about it yet. The only synopsis I’ve seen, mentioned old high school friends and how friendships became severed in college. Tsukuru, now in his 30’s, goes back to find those friends to figure out where they went wrong.

Simple enough plot, but I’m sure there are cats, ear talk, buckets of ennui, lots of eating, drinking of beer and exercise, not to mention strange sexual encounters and prostitutes.

I’m thinking about hosting a read-along for it. The totally unstructured, fun kind. Where you read at your own pace but we chat about it like crazy people. Still thinking about it. I tend to think new books are not good read-along material because most of the time, especially for a highly anticipated read, people just want to dive in and READ and not worry about deadlines, etc. I get that. Plus, I am still learning how to say the title. That is one long title.

This is just one of three books that I am seriously having a heart attack over. Those who know me probably know what the other two are.

Review: Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart
By Haruki Murakami
(Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780099448471, 2006, 224pp.)

The Short of It:

In true Murakami fashion, all of the elements are here. A love triangle, a mysterious protagonist known only as K, a beautiful setting and buckets of ennui.

The Rest of It:

It’s no secret how much I love Murakami but this book seemed the most balanced to me. The characters are strange and deep, in the way they usually are but not overly so and the conflict presented, happens to be something any reader can relate to.

Sumire, is this deep, untouchable writer-type who has the talent to write, but can’t seem to effectively gather her thoughts into anything more than just a few words on a page. She’s frustrated and shares her angst with her male friend, known only as K. He sees her potential but at the same time is blinded by his passion for her. Sumire is not interested in K as a lover. Instead, she meets an older woman by the name of Miu, and falls in love with her. Miu shares a very special friendship with Sumire, but does not want to be her lover. This rejection, throws Sumire into a deep well of despair and when Sumire goes missing while vacationing with Miu in Greece, Miu calls K to help find her.

So. Much. Angst. Oh, how I love angst!

These characters are torn between love and passion. They love each other and have passion for one another but the feeling is not mutual. As hard as this is for K, his concern over Sumire outweighs his frustration over the situation. He drops everything to find Sumire and in the process, realizes that some alternate universe exists and that the world as he knows it, will never be the same.

The beauty of this book is the writing itself. It’s delicate. Like taking tiny, measured tastes of a delicious pastry. So many people ask me which Murakami to read first. I am always torn because it really depends on your mood at the time, your tolerance for ennui and angst, etc. But this one would be great for anyone wanting to give Murakami a try. His books can be sexually explicit, but this was tame in comparison and the tone, mild.

Out of all of his books, this is one of my faves. I read this with a couple of other readers for #readingsputnik and it was just what I needed to jolt me out of the reading rut I was in.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Impromptu Reading Plans – Sputnik Sweetheart

Sputnik Sweetheart

After mentioning that I had an itch to read Murakami before the year ends, Nadia from A Bookish Way of Life said she’d join me. We both have Sputnik Sweetheart sitting on our shelves so if you have it too and want to read it with us, we plan to read it over Thanksgiving break. It’s on the short side, 224 pages. No formal read along, just some fun reading to break up the rut I am apparently in.

Let me know if you are up for it by leaving a comment. I will use the hash tag #readingsputnik to talk about it.

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