I've always been a fan of Haruki Murakami, the prolific Japanese writer who often uses magical realism in his work, but never read the famous "Kafka on the Shore." What a wild ride of a book! The book has two storylines. First, 15-year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from home, trying to escape a familial curse, and ends up living and working at a private library. Alongside that, is Nakata, a gentle, elderly man who became mentally disabled after a childhood accident. He has a talent of talking to cats, so he spends his time finding lost pets for his neighbors. The two characters don't seem related, but of course, Murakami works his magic to weave an intricate and strange story that will leave you questioning after you finish it. After reading the book, I immediately needed questions answered, but according to an interview, Murakami says that the book is like a puzzle-- and needs to be read more than once. I usually don't like re-reading books, but I have plans on re-reading the book in the next year or so. It was that good.

Try this if you enjoyed Ruth L. Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being or Murakami's 1Q84.  

Recommended by Allie Charles

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