What are the Top Five Haruki Murakami Books?

Ishaan Bakshi
2 min readNov 29, 2022


Haruki Murakami has recently come up with his new book of essays, “Novelist as a Vocation,” where he discusses his writing style and methods extensively. While I will soon dive into the comfort of Murakami, I thought this would be a perfect reason to list out my top 5 Haruki Murakami books. His surrealism and realistic drama have enticed me in equal measure, but there have been some books that stayed with me for a longer period of time. I’ve been reading Murakami’s translation for a long time, and I’ve never felt more compelled to discuss his best works than today.

1. Kafka on the Shore

“When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about,” says Haruki Murakami in the book which made me instantly fall in love with the author some 13 years ago. Kafka on the Shore is Murakami’s best attempt at surrealism and a great introduction to his work. After so many years I am still get haunted by a few of its scenes. I am planning to revisit it soon.

2. Wind Up Bird Chronicle

“Memories and thoughts age, just as people do. But certain thoughts can never age, and certain memories can never fade.” this sets the mood of this big Murakami book which plays out like a dream. The book revolves around a laid-back man who looks for his wife and a missing cat. Things unfold into astounding co-incidences that are entertaining and philosophical in nature.

3. Pinball

“Sometimes I feel like a caretaker of a museum — a huge, empty museum where no one ever comes, and I’m watching over it for no one but myself.” Murakami’s thoughts from his first novel still reverberate in me as I try to move ahead in life. His genius is like his protagonists, cooks on a slow burn.

4. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World

“Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in flight, searching the skies for dreams.” According to me, this Murakami book is quite underrated and should be read widely. This book is about a man who enters a library and since then he starts to fight for his snatched shadow. Intrigued yet? Read the book for a stirring experience.

5. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

“Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought. It’s when you can’t even feel pain anymore that you’re in real trouble.” I think this book by Murakami is easily my favorite for how it portrays the protagonist and his reasons to set out on a journey to reclaim his friends back.



Ishaan Bakshi

“I’m quite illiterate, but I read a lot” — JD Salinger