On The Books: Murakami's new novel; plus, audiobooks with Neil Gaiman, Roald Dahl, Bill Bryson

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Image Credit: Elena Seibert

Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, will be published in the U.S. on August 12th. The book has been out in Japan since last April and sold more than a million copies in its first week. The Guardian writes that the story “hinges around Tsukuru Tazaki, an isolated 36-year-old man struggling to overcome the trauma of rejection by his high-school friends years earlier. Like its title, the novel’s opening line might not sound like obvious best-seller material: ‘From July of his sophomore year at college to January next year, Tsukuru Tazaki was living while mostly thinking about dying.’”

Roald Dahl — whose oeuvre is the voice of childhood — has been put to music by the London Philharmonic, which debuted a piece based on Dirty Beasts. Personally I would’ve written something based on The BFG, but whatevs. [NPR]

Another book that’s sure to be a hot commodity, Dr. Henry Heimlich’s memoir. Yes, as in the man who invented the Heimlich maneuver, which I believe was made famous by Mrs. Doubtfire. (No? Is that not right?) The doctor humbly titled the book, Heimlich’s Maneuvers: My Seventy Years of Lifesaving Innovation. But in all seriousness, the maneuver has saved many lives, so props to Dr. H. We owe you one. [Washington Post]

It’s the middle of winter, and for those of us in the Northeast/Midwest, it seems like summer will never come. Will summer ever come?? Sources say “yes.” In the meantime, snuggle up with a glass of wine and good audiobook. I love a good audiobook. And the nominees for the 2014 Audie Awards have been announced, so you can scan the list and pick up a few great ones! Some notables:

  • The Fall of the Kings; by Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman; Narrated by Ellen Kushner, Nick Sullivan, Neil Gaiman, Simon Jones, Katherine Kellgren, Robert Fass, Richard Ferrone, and Tim Jerome
  • Matilda; by Roald Dahl; Narrated by Kate Winslet
  • Doctor Sleep; by Stephen King; Narrated by Will Patton
  • One Summer; by Bill Bryson; Narrated by Bill Bryson (A note on Bill Bryson audiobooks: his readings are literally the funniest thing ever. Rush out and by A Walk In The Woods written and narrated by Bryson. Now. Like NOW.)

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