Add them to your list!
Holden Walter-Warner — 6 April 2017
Haruki Murakami was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine in 2015 and the writer is using that influence to try and get people to read some good books. Over the course of his career, these are the books Murakami has recommended during interviews.
1) The Castle by Franz Kafka
The Castle isn’t necessarily the most well-known book by Kafka, but it is one of the most well-received. Murakami stated that he first read the book when he was 15 years old (his first Kafka story), and it gave him «a tremendous shock.»
2) The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyesky
Murakami was most impressed by Dostoevsky’s ability to improve with age, specifically in terms of The Brothers Karamazov saying «he kept getting bigger and greater….That’s a great novel.»
3) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
This is a classic tale for many, Murakami included. He had the added element of translating the story of Holden Caulfield. «I remembered it as being funny, but it’s dark and strong,» Murakami said. «I must have been disturbed when I was young.»
4) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The American classroom staple also has a special spot in Murakami’s heart: it’s at the top of his personal pantheon of books. «The Great Gatsby is my favorite book,» Murakami said in his Time profile. «I wanted to translate it when I was in my 20s, but I wasn’t ready.»
5) Philip Marlowe Series by Raymond Chandler
Murakami couldn’t settle on just one book in the Raymond Chandler series — he had to have them all. The detective stories are classics and had a profound effect on a young, developing writer. «Philip Marlowe is Chandler’s fantasy but he’s real to me,» Murakami said to The Guardian. «I just wanted to live like Marlowe.»