The No Stress, No Fuss, Read-Along: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (#winditup2013)

Wind-Up Bird Read Along Button 2013

It’s only January but already, everyone seems to have read-alongs on the brain. They can be a lot of fun but they can also be a lot of work and for me, that takes the fun out of them. For this read-along, I want to keep it as simple as possible. What I love most about read-alongs are the conversations, reactions and endless comments so that is what we’ll focus on.

Now for the book! So many of you have expressed an interest in Haruki Murakami but don’t know where to start. Many have also admitted to feeling a bit intimidated by his writing since his writing can be on the surreal/cerebral side.


As a reader, I feel that his work is so important and his writing is just amazing to me. I’ve read many of his books. Absolutely adored some, liked plenty but respected all of them. For this read-along we’ll be readingΒ The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and I’ll be experiencing it for the first time with you!

Plus, it’s not until April so you have plenty of time to wrap your brain around it and get it on your calendar.

The Details:

  • The read-along will run from April 1, 2013 to May 12, 2013 (6 weeks).
  • The paperback (Vintage Books Edition) is 607 pages.
  • The novel is split into three books, I will post here and on Twitter after I finish each book. I may ask you a question or just post a favorite quote. No need to even respond!
  • For impromptu Twitter conversations and reactions, use the hashtag #winditup2013 on Twitter. I will be tweeting as I am reading it so it should be interesting. This hashtag is different than the one I first mentioned. I don’t want our tweets to get mixed up with the Gwen Stefani song so I changed it up a bit. If you use #winditup2013 in your tweets and then search for that hashtag, you’ll be able to see all posts related to the read-along.
  • If you don’t use Twitter and want to talk about the book, email me or catch me on Facebook. My contact info is under the About tab and Facebook info is posted on the left sidebar.

The Simple No-Fuss Reading Schedule:

April 1 – April 14: Book One (Approximately 172 pages)

April 15 – April 28: Book Two (Approximately 165 pages)

April 29 – May 12: Book Three (Approximately 266 pages)

Final Wrap-Up:

I will do a final wrap-up post on May 20, 2013. At that time, you’ll be able to add the link to your review should you choose to write one.

No Guilt:

There are no requirements for this read-along. I just want readers to experience Murakami’s writing so there is no pressure to post anything and you can read at your own pace. You don’t have to be a blogger either. Anyone can join in.

To Sign-Up:

  1. Complete this form.
  2. If you’d like to say “Hi” to the others, post a comment to this post.

87 thoughts on “The No Stress, No Fuss, Read-Along: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (#winditup2013)”

    1. His writing isn’t intimidating. I swear. He is very readable. The ideas he puts on the table are sometimes a bit out there but he makes you think. Someday, I will get you to read him. 

    2. Just don’t start with 1Q84. In fact, you might want to skip that one altogether. He’s got other works that are better…and shorter. I started with A Wild Sheep Chase and I recommend starting there. It’s not too long and gets you into Murakami’s surreal way of thinking quickly.

      1. Yea, Jill. Do NOT be intimidated. He’s just a little ‘odd’ like quirky but the writing is accessible and his tone is one of gentle curiosity. (If that makes sense?) I started with this book and I went on to read 1Q84 and I really do hope to read something else. Someday. I own Norwegian Wood so probably that one. Plus it has fewer pages!

  1. I read 1Q84 and loved it. I wish I could read along but I have so many books i have to read now. Books i checked out of the library and books i have won. Maybe i will get to it later.

    1. I totally understand. It’s not until April so if your reading load lightens up, maybe you can join us. I plan to plow through my stack over the coming weeks so I can really concentrate on the book myself. 

    1. If you try it and don’t like it just stop reading it. No stress or fuss. Heck, you don’t even have to officially sign-up if you don’t want to. I just do that so I can see who is reading. 

  2. I’m not in, but that’s only because I’ve already this one. It was my first Murakami. I might pop in though to see how its going and join in on the chatter πŸ™‚ Enjoy the book – it is terrific!

    1. So it was your first Murakami?? I meant for it to be my first but ended up with Kafka on the Shore which totally pulled me in. I don’t expect everyone to love it, but what I do hope for is lots of discussion. I don’t have to love a book for me to discuss it. I’m glad to know that you liked it though. 

    1. You can read at your own pace. We talk all the time so we can chat about the book offline if you don’t finish by the end date. No problem. 

  3. I tried this one years ago, but was just not that mature as a reader to really get it. I would love to try again with you, and see if it fits and sticks this time around. I will be reading along with you in April. Thanks for getting this challenge started, and inviting us all along!

    1. Heather, you are not the first person to have said they tried this one before so you won’t be alone. His writing is not difficult but the loftiness of his ideas can be difficult to wrap your brain around. I’ve connected with some of his books more than others, but I’ve been wanting to read this one since I was in college! That was a while ago. LOL. We’ll see how it goes. 

  4. I’ll join! I know you said 1Q84 wouldn’t be a bad one to start with but I’m super intimidated by its size so I’ll do this one with you all and then go from there. πŸ™‚ April feels so far away!!! But I’m sure it’ll be here before we know it, lol.

    1. It’s a ways away but so many of us plan our reading out ahead of time. I figure getting it on the calendar early can’t hurt. So glad you will join us!

  5. Ti, I am so excited about this readalong. I have this book on my night table and the only reason I haven’t picked it up yet is because I want to read it when I have almost nothing else on my plate. I love the idea of reading this book with other readers to, especially you because you’re famiiar with Murakami’s writing. As much as I want to read his books and have collected most of them, the intimidation factor is high!
    So, Thank you!

    1. Kafka was my first read of his and about 50 pages in I was thinking he has lost his mind, but then I could not stop reading it. It’s very out there. Out of all the ones I’ve read, that one was really strange, but had some really interesting characters. Now, I have to say it was one of my faves, but it took awhile for me to see it that way. I do think it’s a good representation of the surreal aspect to his writing, but many of his books have a bit more normalcy than that one does to balance it out. 

  6. I’m in too. I love Murakami and I’ve been postponing reading this one since I was told it was best to have read some of his other books first. Murakami truly is an amazing writer and I love both his magical realism books and the more straight-forward ones. Kafka on the Shore is probably my favorite Murakami so far!

    1. No way! You do them right! In the past though, I had some that required posts, weekly discussions and the like and people just don’t have time for that these days.

      But reading with a group and having fun, impromptu discussions? Love that.

  7. I really want to read this one and I probably will, but I’ll hold off on signing up because my reading moods jump all over the place every few weeks. I’ll definitely plan for this though.

  8. I’m secretly glad this is for six weeks as I’ll probably read the whole thing (rather than my usual listen/read switcheroo). Thanks for hosting!! This is just the kick in the pants I need.

  9. As we discussed on instagram several weeks ago, I am in! I’ve only read his super short book of three short stories, After the Quake and really want to read more. I’ve also had Sputnik Sweetheart on my list for over a year, so I hope to read that one by the end of this year as well. Looking forward to #winditup2013!

  10. I found this read-along by accident but would love to join πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how actively I can/will participate through Twitter but I’ll probably blog about it, is that okay?

  11. I found this read-along by accident but would love to join πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how actively I can/will participate through Twitter but I’ll probably blog about it, is that okay?
    (Sorry if this is double-posted, had some weird logging-in problems, not sure if the other comment got through, but this is my correct account)

  12. I love Murakami-sensei’s works. He’s my most favorite author. Now I’m reading “1Q84”. It’s absolutely amazing. Aww, can’t wait for the read-along xD

  13. I love Murakami-sensei’s works. He’s my most favorite author. Now I’m reading “1Q84”, it’s absolutely amazing. Aww, can’t wait for the read-along!

  14. I read Wind Up Chronicles some time ago and then read A Wild Sheep Chase.

    In both the protagonists loses his job, his wife, his cat, meets weird people related to the Manchuria wars, gains some mysterious power and then everything ends with him going back to his lousy life.

    Should I just skip the rest and imagine they are the same?

    1. Haruki Murakami often repeats the same themes. Wild Sheep was not that good of a book, I would suggest reading Dance Dance Dance and 1Q84. Either you like Haruki Murakami or you don’t. One does not read the books expecting him to not have the same themes and the endings are often not satisfying. So, if you are ready for Haruki Murakami you will read him for his style and the mood he creates.

  15. Never done one of these before. In fact never heard of them before. But I am a massive fan of Murakami. I havent read Wind up yet but I hear it is one of his best.So, I look forward to it (whatever it actually is…)

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