Haruki Murakami: Reading books
If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.
Haruki Murakami (Murakami Haruki, born January 12, 1949) is a contemporary Japanese writer. Murakami has been translated into 50 languages and his best-selling books have sold millions of copies. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, both in Japan and internationally, including the World Fantasy Award (2006) and the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (2006), while his oeuvre received among others the Franz Kafka Prize (2006) and the Jerusalem Prize (2009). Murakami's fiction, still criticized by Japan's literary establishment as un-Japanese, was influenced by Western writers from Chandler to Vonnegut by way of Brautigan. It is frequently surrealistic and melancholic or fatalistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of the "recurrent themes of alienation and loneliness" he weaves into his narratives. He is also considered an important figure in postmodern literature. Steven Poole of The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements.