South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami is innocent as much as poetic. It’s about falling for and rescuing yourself from what can feel, in many ways, quiet and lonely; like the death of a beautiful star, and in its place, the birth of thousands and thousands of colors. And the cycle repeats. Birth after death. We must keep saving ourselves to drown in it completely.

What the book is about is accepting the void that’s so often left behind by others. In friendship, in love, and in passion. And feeling all of it, even when your love will never share a page. But there is power in being a part of the same book.


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A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

Don’t get too comfortable committing yourself to just one type of sensibility. There’s fiction, spirituality, and even a modern outlook on long-standing traditions.

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami. It starts off as any normal, realistic story. Much like most of your experiences in life. But unusual and strange turns begin to appear no sooner than the narrator settles down in your mind. The irony between his somewhat sheepish character and purposeful sheep chase opens the door to an ambiguous perception about your own agendas in life. And along the journey of the narrator, you realize how certain deranged obsessions can be deeply fulfilling.


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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Touchstone experiences push us into a supernatural world that runs parallel to our real world. Everything between the two is connected with complexity that depends on how we perceive the truth. In the end, we’re left with weaving through these textured layers. And it’s up to us to decide what’s real and what’s deceptive.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
. Every character sketched by the author is a puzzle in itself. With the aim of tapping into sanity, self-awareness, and the heights of conscious expression. But it’s the protagonist that you might find yourself relating to the most. Because, after everything said and done, aren’t we all paranoid of, yet attracted to uncertainties?


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Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

More often than not, we expect a book to have its own meaning and lesson. It’s only natural to think this way because most books offer advice, or rather we draw a collection of wise sayings from the book. But you can’t always enter a book with such expectations. All you can do is stand right where the sand meets the sea and let the waves pull you in.

Kafka on The Shore had a similar effect on me. I imagined myself tracing an invisible path along the shore as if I’ve done that already. I revisited a place that I had never been to and yet that place felt like home.

The main character, Kafka Tamura – even though it isn’t his real first name – has deep and meaningful conversations about metaphors. How wind has no form. How tragedy is powerful. And how humans run in circles from life to death and disappear. We are nothing but a movement of the world in the form of shadows.

But what it all boils down to is this – “How dark and deep is your shadow?”

The book is, by and in itself, a metaphor. It clings to no logic, reason, or gumption. It has its own rhythm and its own soul. And if you’re lucky enough to be afflicted by it, even in the most infinitesimal manner, it stays with you forever.

All you do is sit on its spine and let the story carry you closer and closer to the horizon where there’s nothing to do but observe the barren sky, the slithering clouds, and the sun that quietly dips into the water letting out a soundless sigh.


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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami

“Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought. It’s when you can’t even feel any pain anymore that you’re in real trouble.”

On the surface, a profound friendship is nothing but human connection. But have we lost the ability to see it so? To feel friendship in moments and watch it get away from us. True friendship is felt in a physical and spiritual sense. All of human connection are merely sensations that go beyond the limits of perception and extend farther than the mountains of survival.

This book declares that we take a lot of ourselves and our labors for granted. It shares how we appreciate those who do more for us than we think we deserve. It’s one of those books you will read to preoccupy your mind while life carries you forward.

Meanwhile, our greatest fears and greatest truths somehow become gifts given to us by life as meaningful background. Like Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage, as touched upon many times in the book.

You will feel this book more deeply if you’ve lost friends, not by the inevitability of death but by isolation and rejection. It’s a true extension of some of life’s unanswered questions and longings.

The book may not be Murakami’s most distinctive works. But when you complement it with a courageous look into who you are and the kind of friendships you are a part of, it puts you under the microscope of love. After all, in life, what we don’t do weighs strong against what we do. And that widens our search for finding meaning in everything. That is what makes friendship and the loss of one memorable.


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