Aug 12

It’s here! The new novel from Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, is officially on sale. We can’t attend one of the many midnight parties, so we’re having our own, with this “early release” episode of BOTNS!


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki


We’re honored to host two special guests on this week’s “Murakami Madness” episode of Books on the Nightstand. Tonight at midnight, independent bookstores across the US will be hosting Murakami parties where fans can be among the first to purchase Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. This novel sold more than one million copies in the first week in Japan! In an effort to find out what all the madness is about, we talk to bookseller Jeremy Ellis, and super-fan Christian Paula. Listen in for some great conversation (and some less-than-stellar sound quality — as always, we apologize and hope that you’ll find the content worth the audio issues with remote and telephone recording).

audiobooksAudiobook of the week (05:50)

south of the border, west of the sun   South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami, read by Eric Loren, is my pick for this week’s Audiobook of the Week. And as always, special thanks to for sponsoring this episode of Books on the Nightstand. allows you to listen to over 40,000 audiobooks, instantly, wherever you are, and the first one is free. Download or stream any book directly to your Apple or Android device. Sign up for a free 30-day trial and free audiobook download by going to


#Murakamania (09:10)


Norwegian Wood


A great coversation with Jeremy Ellis, General Manager of Brazos Bookstore in Houston, TX. Brazos is hosting one of the many midnight Murakami parties tonight, and we talk to Jeremy to find out more. They’ll be having activities like “Pin the Kafka on the Shore,” and each person who purchases a copy of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage will receive a free Murakami coloring book. But don’t despair: you can order your own copy of What We Talk About When We Talk About Coloring from Brazos Bookstore online.


Murakami SuperFan! (18:58)


Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman


Next we talk with Murakami fan Christian Paula to find out his thoughts about Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Did it live up to his expectations?

Christian suggests that the reader new to Murakami start with his stories, such as the collection Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. To begin with a novel, Christian recommends Norwegian Wood.

Christian can be found on twitter at @drowningn00b, and he writes about Korean indie music at

  • Diane D

    I’m jumping on the Murakami bandwagon with his latest release and a read-along.

  • Christian P

    So glad to have been part of this momentous occasion for the inimitable BOTNS! Thanks again Ann for letting me be a part of this, even if I cringed slightly at hearing my own voice. Yay!

  • Jana Navratil

    When I read that Murakami describes his own style a “Sushi Noir” I knew it was time for me to read him. I’m excited to start with this book (and the short stories as recommended). Great interviews on this podcast. I LOVED hearing your guest reader fan. Nice job, Christian!

  • Elizabeth Stuckey-French

    Thanks so much for this Ann! I’ve always been intimidated by this author and now can’t wait to dive in. Loved your interviews!

  • Ada
  • Ada
  • Ed Parks

    Ann, what a wonderful podcast! And welcome to the wonderful world of Haruki Murakami. I am a relatively recent convert myself, August 2012. I had inaccurately assumed that not being familiar with Japanese culture would adversely effect my appreciation for his work. Nothing could be further from reality. He writes as if he is directing every sentence to a Western audience. I suppose that could be the work of the translator, but it seems to be consistent from book to book. He writes in such a totally entertaining manner. And he has this unique, uncanny ability to write about the most absurd situations that one can possibly imagine, yet as a reader you readily accept them as normal–so there are talking cats and fish falling out of the sky, so what? I have discovered a unique pattern followed by Murakami fans. Almost invariably the reader’s favorite HM book is the first one that they read. My first HM book was KAFKA ON THE SHORE, and it is also, my favorite but only slightly more so than 1Q84. Since August 2012, I have obtained (with the exceptions of PINBALL, 1973 and HEAR THE WIND SING) all of his books in both American and British editions. I don’t particularly care for all the gimmicks used by Chip Kidd, so I started purchasing British editions. Kidd’s designs, with vellum and die cut dust jackets, and printed paper covers as opposed to stamped cloth, adds too much fragility to the books and I want them to remain in pristine condition for years to come. One last thought. I truly believe HM’s greatest talent is that of a novelist, as opposed to a short story writer. Although I welcome anything written by the great Haruki Murakami.

  • bellezza

    Am hosting a read along from August 12 – September 12; read at your own pace, use Knopf’s questions as a loose guide for reviews and discussions in September. Have already begun this book today, so grateful for another Murakami!

  • colibri19

    I’ve been reading Murakami for 10 years. Like Christian I had a countdown too!

    My first Murakami was The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. It had me hooked. I think it just depends on the reader. 1Q84 isn’t that scary Ann. Don’t be discouraged!

  • Tracy Slater

    For any BOTNS readers interested in Murakami and non-fiction, I really recommend his book on the Tokyo subway sarin gas attacks, called Underground. It’s a fascinating look at Japanese culture, too. I read it just before I moved to Japan with my Japanese now-husband, and it was a great introduction to Murakami (who I now love too!).

  • Kristina

    OH MY GOD! I love love love Murakami’s books. They are really mysterious and strange sometimes. But still his writing style is perfect.
    By the way I have book blog too & I will be thankful if you’ll check that out:

  • Ann

    i guess i’m in the murakami minority since i strongly prefer his more straightforward works (norwegian wood, sputnik, south of the border). i’m eager to check out 1q84 and colorless tsukuru! his writing style is pretty accessible, even when he wonders off into weirdness, so i’d suggest newbies go with their gut and not worry too much about easing into his work.

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