RIAfunk's Book Recommendations

An image of the book cover for Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Super Fly the Wise Guy has this to say:

Hey, I recently came upon the memory that DJ Benvenuto had recommended Haruki Murakami to me like 3 years ago, and I recall liking his books. So, for anyone familiar with his stuff, which book should I check out?

I'm gonna be on vacation for awhile, and I am gonna be wanting to have something good to read. And I recall that Murakami was cool.

Let me know. Thanks all.

Top Comments

The Funk Mistress comments:
DJ Benny, is this the author? The one I have to write better than so that you'll marry me someday?

If that's the case then, well, I recommend NONE. Because none of his books will ever be as good as mine. When DJ Benny's hand in marriage is on the line, I will not fail.

BlindPanzer comments:
If you want, you could always go in chronological order of publication.

I think for many people, his best book is Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, so maybe you want to get that instead.

Or you could read Franz Kafka (I've heard that Haruki Murakami copies Kafka's prose from time to time).

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) responds:
Man, I got excited when I saw this thread.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World was a great book. It was the first one of his books that I read. I stumbled across it after reading The Box Man, a short but great book by Kobo Abe.

I intend to re-read both of them soon since it's been so long and I really enjoyed them and I think I'd appreciate both of those books a lot more now than I did back then.

Back on topic though, you can start with Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, but if you're in the mood for something shorter there are several other books to choose from.

So if you want to check out some short stories, try The Elephant Vanishes. There are some great short stories in there. Particularly the last one (if I remember correctly) and the one for which the compilation is named for. Those are the two I remember best.

Two other books that I remember quite fondly are South of the Border, West of the Sun and Norwegian Wood. To keep things short, I'll just say those were more “love-type” stories, so if you'd prefer something along those lines, check those out.

As for the Kafka thing, yeah he definitely likes Kafka. It's come up in interviews and on top of that his latest novel that was published in the U.S. was called Kafka on the Shore. It was a sort of Oedipus Rex-type story in a contemporary setting. More or less. Great book. I zoomed through it in just a few days.

I believe there's a new compilation of his short stories that I have yet to read since it came out a month or two ago (I think) and I haven't checked if it's available yet, but I'll definitely try and get it soon.

I hope that helped, Super Fly. I'm glad you remembered my recommendation.

So far, I've liked all of his books. I have yet to read After the Quake and the newest one, but all the other ones that have been published in English have been great.

I just hope I didn't get boring and give you more information than you cared to know.

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) continues:
While I'm at it...

I read Life of Pi a few months ago and I really enjoyed it. It isn't by Haruki Murakami but I thought I'd throw it out there since we're talking about books.

Yann Martel is the author. And don't let the title fool you. It isn't about math.

Pi is the nickname of the main character of the story. He's a boy from India.

It's a great story and it deals with a variety of subjects. One of which is religion (he becomes a devotee of three religions at one point) and survival.

I'll stop because I don't want to give too much away and I'm probably painting a picture that isn't too accurate.

All I can say is I liked it.

now back to the blog...

DJ Hadoken Exlamparaaghis comments:
It's Tyrannosaurus Rex.. not Oedipus Rex.
(Don't worry, I thought the same thing after I read Othello.)

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) responds:
Oh. Sorry. Thanks for the correction. Now I know.

BlindPanzer observes:
Or rather than reading some subpar translation of a book you can read some English literature.

There's some good stuff out there

Super Fly the Wise Guy responds back:
Most of the stuff I ever read in school I considered subpar. Mostly because I was forced to read it..

So I think that kind of turned me off to most American literature..

Or maybe by English you really do mean English, like those England-ites, which I really don't know much about anything from that side of the pond. So if you have any recommendations, it sounds appealing.. but if it's like British TV, I may have trouble adapting to their style.

As for now, I just remember that I read something of Haruki Murakami back in '03 and liked it.. I think I actually found out about him through a quote DJ Benvenuto had in his profile back then. And I was going through my journal and saw the name and remembered it.

Oh, and DJ Benny.. I read Life of Pi a few years ago for an English class.

It was really good. I agree. Very good storytelling ability. I think I still have it at home in Miami. So I might just pick that up again and swish through it a bit.. it was quite a good read.

I'm gonna swing by my local library tomorrow and scan through the choices to see which ones I wanna take with me for awhile (I love libraries and all their free books, screw you amazon.com and ebay).

Thanks for all the suggestions, everybody.

BlindPanzer comments:
I love libraries but I must own books. I'm amazon's b*tch

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) responds back:
Great. Somebody else on here has read Life of Pi. Who knew?

DJ Hadoken Exlamparaaghis comments:
There's a pumpkin pie in my refrigerator.

I have a tiny tiny version of The Box Man in Japanese. It's like a pocketbook version of it.

It's not as appealing to look at when it's so small.

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) comments back:
Yeah I know you like them big.

Super Fly the Wise Guy comments:
Haruki Murakami's pretty popular at my library..

A lot of his stuff is already checked out..

But I did grab a copy of South of the Border, West of the Sun and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World....

I really wanted to get After the Quake and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman.. But I didn't see them there..

Gonna check again in a little while though..

DJ Benvenuto the Raccoon II (With the Funny Hat) responds:
Great. I hope you like them.


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