Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What I write about when I write about writing

A nice perk of working for a library is the opportunity to select books for purchase. I like to think I bring a bit of diversity to the titles that we would normally buy without getting something of such little interest no one but me will read it. Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is one of those books. Murakami is one of my favorite authors and the subject of a goofy collecting idea of mine. Every now and then I get it in my head that I want to try and collect every translation of every one of his books. Given that his books have been translated into 39 different languages, that makes for a lot of different books. It would be even cooler if I could read all those different translations. Alas, some things defy possibility.

This book is a memoir of sorts. It's about Murakami's life long habit of running and the impact running has had on his life. It also blends in with his philosophies of life and his writing.

As a fan of Murakami's and as a former runner, I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure I can envision someone who does not fall into one of those categories picking up this book. On the surface it might seem like I may not have done such a good job at picking a title that the "general public" will enjoy but we'll see. It's not like Murakami is an obscure author (although he might be in Amishland. I did recommend Kafka on the Shore to a patron but have yet to hear back on how he liked it) or running is an obscure sport. I think there'll be interest. It was a mighty good book.

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