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Bleach Volume 9 by Tite Kubo.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Marakami.
The Boarder by Alexander Jablokov.
Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry.
Count to Ten Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox.
Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man by Tim Allen.
Exit Strategy by K. D. Wentworth
Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward.
The Four Ugly Cats in Apartment 3D by Marilyn Sachs.
Flush by Carl Hiaasen.
Frogs by Martin Schwabacher.
He Rents, She Rents by Richard Roeper and Laura Viera.
Hotel Cat by Esther Averill
Immortal by Traci L. Slatton.
The Ka of Gifford Hillary by Dennis Wheatley.
Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes.
Leadership Brand by Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood.
Lorna Doone (Abridged) by R. D. Blackmore
Lost Pilgrim by Gene Wolf.
The Magnificent Mummy Maker by Elvira Woodruff.
Manhattan is Missing by E. W. Hildick.
The Middle Moffat by Eleanor Estes.
Mommy Hugs by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry.
The Overseer by Albert E. Cowdrey.
Park by Pierre Pratt
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle.
Q & A by Vikas Swarup
The Rocky Mountain Moving Picture Association by Loren D. Estleman
Rumple What? by Nancy Springer
Sea Turtles by Emilie U. Lepthien.
The Second Descent by Richard Paul Russo.
Stanley in Space by Jeff Brown and illustrated by Scott Nash.
Take a Stand, Rosa Parks! by Peter and Connie Roop.
Tall by Jez Alborough.
Trucks and Diggers by DK Publishing.
Women & Self-Esteem by Linda Tschirhart Sanford and Mary Ellen Donovan

Kirby Went to the Beach by Sean Sammis

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Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 03/01/08

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman is the first book by Haruki Murakami I've had the pleasure of reading. It won't be the last. This slim book contains twenty-four short stories that range from subtle character studies of ordinary folks to journeys into the surreal.

These stories were translated beautifully by Philip Gabriel and Jay Rubin who have translated many of his other books. Gabriel did the English translation of Kafka on the Shore, for example.

My favorite story is "Chance Traveler" which recounts a series of coincidences. First the author injects himself into the story explaining his weird moments with jazz and from there launches into a wonderful story about a piano turner who ends up reconnecting with his sister after the meeting with a stranger. "Chance Traveler" captures the magic of serendipity and how it inspires our some of our most important actions in life.

Another story that tickled my fancy was the more surreal "Dabchick" that has a wonderful Twilight Zone pay off. It's a completely silly story and written for laughs just as Asimov's "Shah Guido G" was.

My least favorite was "A Perfect Day for Kangaroos" because the characters didn't understand kangaroos. Like all marsupials, kangaroos are born extremely premature. A kangaroo joey won't leave the pouch until it is at least 3 to 4 months old, not 1 month old as described in the story.

The entire list of stories is:

  1. Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
  2. Birthday Girl
  3. New York Mining Disaster
  4. Airplane: Or, How He Talked to Himself As If Reciting Poetry
  5. The Mirror
  6. A Folklore for My Generation: A Pre-History of Late-Stage Capitalism
  7. Hunting Knife
  8. A Perfect Day for Kangaroos
  9. Dabchick
  10. Man-Eating Cats
  11. A "Poor Aunt" Story
  12. Nausea 1979
  13. The Seventh Man
  14. The Year of Spaghetti
  15. Tony Takitani
  16. The Rise and Fall of Sharpie Cakes
  17. The Ice Man
  18. Crabs
  19. Firefly
  20. Chance Traveler
  21. Hanalei Bay
  22. Where I'm Likely to Find It
  23. The Kidney-Shaped Stone That Moves Every Day
  24. A Shinagawa Monkey

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