Type to search

Authors Best Best Books Bibliography By First Name Bibliography By Last Name Fiction & Literature First Name: G-H Japan Last Name: M-N Literature Regional & Global

Ranking Author Haruki Murakami’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Share

“What are Haruki Murakami’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Murakami’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Haruki Murakami and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Haruki Murakami is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Haruki Murakami



27 ) The Strange Library

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 26
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 24

In a fantastical illustrated short novel, three people imprisoned in a nightmarish library plot their escape.

Purchase / Learn More



26 ) Rain, Burning Sun

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 21
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 25

Purchase / Learn More



25 ) Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 23
  • LibraryThing: 22

Purchase / Learn More



24 ) Portrait in Jazz (Vol.1)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 22
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 22

Purchase / Learn More



23 ) After Dark

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 23
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 20

Set in Tokyo during the witching hours between midnight and dawn, the novel features two sisters–Eri, a fashion model slumbering her way into oblivion, and Mari, a young student soon led from solitary reading at an anonymous Denny’s toward people whose lives are radically alien to her own: a jazz trombonist who claims they’ve met before, a burly female “love hotel” manager and her maid staff, and a Chinese prostitute savagely brutalized by a businessman.…

Purchase / Learn More



22 ) Portrait in Jazz 2

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 25

Purchase / Learn More



21 ) Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 25
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 20

Purchase / Learn More



20 ) After the Quake

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 16

Set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, the mesmerizing stories in After the Quake are as haunting as dreams and as potent as oracles. An electronics salesman who has been deserted by his wife agrees to deliver an enigmatic package— and is rewarded with a glimpse of his true nature. A man who views himself as the son of God pursues a stranger who may be his human father. A mild-mannered collection agent receives a visit from a giant talking frog who enlists his help in saving Tokyo from destruction. The six stories in this collection come from the deep and mysterious place where the human meets the inhuman—and are further proof that Murakami is one of the most visionary writers at work today.

Purchase / Learn More



19 ) Birthday Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 26
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 18

This is a collection of 12 birthday stories from some of the most distinguished authors of recent years. The stories have been selected and introduced by Haruki Murakami.(summary from ISBN 0099481553)”In this enviable gathering, Haruki Murakami has chosen for his party some of the very best short story writers of recent years, each with their own birthday experiences, each story a snapshot of life on a single day. One man’s rebellion against the traditional family birthday dinner of his childhood; the ghosts of a mis-spent youth; unusual guests entertained by an old woman whose son has forgotten her special day – this anthology captures a range of emotions evoked by advancing age and the passing of time, from events fondly recalled to the impact of appalling tragedy.

Purchase / Learn More



17 ) Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 9

An intimate conversation about music and writing illuminates the perspectives and shared interests of the internationally acclaimed author of “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” and his close friend, the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Purchase / Learn More



17 ) Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 17
  • LibraryThing: 10

A New York Times #1 Bestseller A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage’s best books of the year Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel—a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan—from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.

Purchase / Learn More



16 ) What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 19

Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is an illuminating glimpse into the solitary passions of one of our greatest artists. While training for the New York City Marathon, Haruki Murakami decided to keep a journal of his progress. The result is a memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid recollections and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, here is a rich and revelatory work that elevates the human need for motion to an art form.

Purchase / Learn More



15 ) 1Q84

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 12

Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it’s the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.” —The New York Times Book Review The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector. A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

Purchase / Learn More



12 ) The Elephant Vanishes

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 17
  • LibraryThing: 10

The Elephant Vanishes, the imaginative genius that has made Haruki Murakami an international superstar is on full display. In these stories, a man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard. By turns haunting and hilarious, in The Elephant Vanishes Murakami crosses the border between separate realities—and comes back bearing remarkable treasures

Purchase / Learn More



12 ) South of the Border, West of the Sun

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 13

A successful Japanese nightclub owner, husband, and father risks everything to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.

Purchase / Learn More



12 ) Sputnik Sweetheart

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 17

The scenario is as simple as it is uncomfortable: a college student falls in love (once and for all, despite everything that transpires afterward) with a classmate whose devotion to Kerouac and an untidy writerly life precludes any personal commitments–until she meets a considerably older and far more sophisticated businesswoman. It is through this wormhole that she enters Murakami’s surreal yet humane universe, to which she serves as guide both for us and for her frustrated suitor, now a teacher. In the course of her travels from parochial Japan through Europe and ultimately to an island off the coast of Greece, she disappears without a trace, leaving only lineaments of her fate: computer accounts of bizarre events and stories within stories. The teacher, summoned to assist in the search for her, experiences his own ominous, haunting visions, which lead him nowhere but home to Japan–and there, under the expanse of deep space and the still-orbiting Sputnik, he finally achieves a true understanding of his beloved.…

Purchase / Learn More



11 ) Haruki Murakami Goes to Meet Hayao Kawai

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 25

Purchase / Learn More



10 ) Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 14

Covers the 1995 Tokyo Gas Attack, during which agents of a Japanese cult released a gas deadlier than cyanide into the subway system, as documented in interviews with its survivors, perpetrators, and victim family members. In March 1995, agents of a Japanese religious cult attacked the Tokyo subway system with sarin, a gas twenty six times as deadly as cyanide. Attempting to discover why, Murakami conducted hundreds of interviews with the people involved, from the survivors to the perpetrators to the relatives of those who died. Underground is their story in their own voices. Concerned with the fundamental issues that led to the attack as well as these personal accounts, Underground is a document of what happened in Tokyo as well as a warning of what could happen anywhere. This is an enthralling and unique work of nonfiction that is timely, vital, and as brilliantly executed as Murakami’s novels.

Purchase / Learn More



9 ) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 14

From the surreal to the mundane, an anthology of short fiction captures a full range of human experience, emotion, and relationship in works that chronicle a chance reunion in Italy, a holiday in Hawaii, and a romantic exile in Greece.

Purchase / Learn More



7 ) Killing Commendatore

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 24
  • LibraryThing: 1

The ambitious major new novel from this internationally celebrated writer, on the scale of his bestselling 1Q84 The painter’s wife has left him for a younger man. Taking some time away from Tokyo, he starts looking after the empty house of a famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. Not long after he moves in, a scraping sound in the attic leads him to find a carefully wrapped canvas, labelled ‘Killing Commendatore’. This unusual painting leads him to delve into Amada’s life story and those of his neighbours. It also brings him into contact with a strange parallel universe, from which the Commendatore himself emerges. When his neighbour’s daughter vanishes, the painter must embark on a quest that leads him back to a tragedy in his own past.

Purchase / Learn More



7 ) Men Without Women

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 20
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 7

A dazzling new collection of short stories–the first major new work of fiction from the beloved, internationally acclaimed, Haruki Murakami since his #1 best-selling Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Across seven tales, Haruki Murakami brings his powers of observation to bear on the lives of men who, in their own ways, find themselves alone. Here are vanishing cats and smoky bars, lonely hearts and mysterious women, baseball and the Beatles, woven together to tell stories that speak to us all. Marked by the same wry humor that has defined his entire body of work, in this collection Murakami has crafted another contemporary classic

Purchase / Learn More



6 ) A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 8

A Wild Sheep Chase is Murakami at his astounding best. An advertising executive receives a postcard from a friend and casually appropriates the image for an advertisement. What he doesn’t realize is that included in the scene is a mutant sheep with a star on its back, and in using this photo he has unwittingly captured the attention of a man who offers a menacing ultimatum: find the sheep or face dire consequences. Thus begins a surreal and elaborate quest that takes readers from Tokyo to the remote mountains of northern Japan, where the unnamed protagonist has a surprising confrontation with his demons.

Purchase / Learn More



5 ) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 2

Having quit his job, Toru Okada is enjoying a pleasant stint as a “house husband”, listening to music and arranging the dry cleaning and doing the cooking – until his cat goes missing, his wife becomes distant and begins acting strangely, and he starts meeting enigmatic people with fantastic life stories. They involve him in a world of psychics, shared dreams, out-of-body experiences, and shaman-like powers, and tell him stories from Japan’s war in Manchuria, about espionage on the border with Mongolia, the battle of Nomonhan, the killing of the animals in Hsin-ching’s zoo, and the fate of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the Soviet camps in Siberia.…

Purchase / Learn More



4 ) Dance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 6

As he searches for a mysteriously vanished girlfriend, the protagonist plunges into a wind tunnel of sexual violence and metaphysical dread in which he collides with call girls and recieves cryptic instructions from a shabby but oracular Sheep Man.

Purchase / Learn More



3 ) Norwegian Wood

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 5

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

Purchase / Learn More



2 ) Kafka on the Shore

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 4

Here we meet a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder, in what is a truly remarkable journey.

Purchase / Learn More



1 ) Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 3

The last surviving victim of an experiment that implanted the subjects’ heads with electrodes that decipher coded messages is the unnamed narrator. Half the chapters are set in Tokyo, where the narrator negotiates underground worlds populated by INKlings, dodges opponents of both sides of a raging high-tech infowar, and engages in an affair with a beautiful librarian with a gargantuan appetite. In alternating chapters he tries to reunite with his mind and his shadow, from which he has been severed by the grim, dark “replacement” consciousness implanted in him by a dotty neurophysiologist. Both worlds share the unearthly theme of unicorn skulls that moan and glow.

Purchase / Learn More



Haruki Murakami’s Best Books



Haruki Murakami Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World 223 1
Kafka on the Shore 344 2
Norwegian Wood 445 3
Dance Dance Dance (The Rat, #4) 446 4
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle 1122 5
A Wild Sheep Chase (The Rat, #3) 7128 6
Killing Commendatore 6241 7
Men Without Women 2047 7
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman 15414 9
Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese … 91214 10
Haruki Murakami Goes to Meet Hayao Kawai 11125 11
The Elephant Vanishes 111710 12
South of the Border, West of the Sun 131213 12
Sputnik Sweetheart 17417 12
1Q84 81912 15
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running 18419 16
Absolutely on Music: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa 14199 17
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage 151710 17
Birthday Stories 26218 19
After the Quake 191216 20
Pinball, 1973 (The Rat, #2) 25420 21
Portrait in Jazz 2 92425 22
After Dark 231920 23
Portrait in Jazz (Vol.1) 222422 24
Hear the Wind Sing (The Rat, #1) 242322 25
Rain, Burning Sun 212425 26
The Strange Library 262224 27