Welcome everyone to the Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge 2011. If you haven't seen the sign-up list lately, we're up to over 400 people now that have joined the challenge to read at least one book by Haruki Murakami this year. Wow! Thanks must go to Alfred A. Knopf and Vintage Books, the English publishers of Murakami's books, who mentioned this challenge on their Haruki Murakami Facebook Fan Page. I know many of you found your way here due to that, or also from the Salon.com article, Be a Better Reader in 2011. Thank you as well to everyone who has added one of the challenge buttons, or mentioned the challenge, on their own blogs or other personal sites. It's great to see your enthusiasm, and what has been most exciting for me is to see how truly beloved Murakami is worldwide. People from all over the world have signed up and I love that this has become such an international reading challenge! The power of literature to cross boundaries! There's no deadline for joining, so you're more than welcome to sign-up anytime.
A few bits and pieces:
The Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge now also has a Facebook Fan Page. Click on the link, or the widget in the right sidebar to visit.
I've had a few other language-related, and other questions regarding the challenge so I thought I'd share the answers here in case anyone else had the same questions.
First of all, the main language of the blog is English because it's my native language and sadly the only one I can write in with any fluency. However, I've now added a Google Translate button to the right sidebar, over there at the top, so feel free to use that to read the blog in your preferred language. Also, I'm not affiliated with Haruki Murakami, nor do I work for any of his publishers. I'm simply a bookworm, and a Murakami fan, who thought it would be fun to encourage others to read some Murakami along with me this year.
Can you submit reviews written in languages other than English? Absolutely! We'd love to have you share your thoughts on these books, in any language. I'll be starting to organise the reviews by book in the next few weeks, and I'll simply make a note beside reviews in other languages. Plus don't forget that you can also submit reviews to books you've read prior to 2011. Enter the links to your reviews on the Submit a review page.
You're welcome to write your reviews on any public online site (Blogger, Wordpress, tumblr, Goodreads, Library Thing, etc. etc.). If you don't have a public site, for example, just a personal Facebook account, you are welcome to share your thoughts on any of Murakami's books on the Discussion Board at the Haruki Murakami Reading Challenge Facebook Fan Page. You are also very welcome to guest post here on this blog. Whether you have your own site or not, just let me know and I'll be happy to have you contribute a review, or other discussion on Murakami-related topics here. Of course, writing reviews is not a requirement to take part in the challenge, so don't feel you have to.
Last but not least, this weekend I went through the sign-up list and have added active blogs to the Blogroll of Participants, again over in the right sidebar. It's possible I may have missed someone, so if your blog isn't listed, and you would like to be added, please let me know. I'll leave the list sorted alphabetically for now so you can easily check to see if yours is there. There is a small "Show All" link at the bottom which you can click to see the full list.
If you've signed up with your Facebook account, feel free to "Like" the Fan Page to get your avatar listed, if you so desire.
Also, just a note that several people simply used this blog (murakamichallenge.blogspot.com), or a general home page link (like facebook.com) as their link when they signed up. If that was your intention, that's fine. Your screen name can be taken as your wish to participate, but you should know we can't otherwise know who you are, or follow along with your reading. If you'd like to change your sign-up link, again just let me know.
Well, I think that about covers everything for today. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me (murakamichallenge AT gmail DOT com).