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January 13, 2005

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Margaret Atwood wrote in Negotiating With the Dead (A Writer On Writing), "There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine - 'wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like paté.'" That epigram sums up my feelings for literary biographies, I am usually much more interested in the work than the life of the author.

Jay Rubin's Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words is less biography and more literary criticism. Rubin delves into Murakami's background without ever being intrusive, and we gain insight into the Japanese author, though his mystique remains. Rubin has a deep understanding of Murakami's work and life through their friendship and professional association (Rubin has translated several Murakami publications), and is able to translate that knowledge into a readable, insightful and entertaining book. If you have read Murakami and enjoyed the works of one of my favorite authors, I heartily recommend this book.

My next book is a little lighter in size, but not substance. 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know Volume 2 is the followup to Russ Kick's successful 50 Things You're Not Supposed To Know. Having read and enjoyed the first book, I am anxious to see what else I don't know...

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