Haruki Murakami's New Book Will Be Heavy on Stray Cats

Also: a second, more positive New York Times review of Tom Perrotta's 'The Leftovers'

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Today in books: Haruki Murakami's 1Q84 is excerpted in The New Yorker, Stephen King raves about the new Tom Perrotta novel for The New York Times Sunday Book Review, and a look at how Books-a-Million will try to fill the Borders void.

  • This week's issue of The New Yorker contains an excerpt from the English translation of Haruki Murakami's three-part novel 1Q84, which Knopf is publishing in October as a single edition. According to The Guardian, the Japanese edition book, which takes place in an alternate version of 1984, was deemed a "complex and surreal" read by critics, but this excerpt is accessible to anyone put off by towns full of stray cats that only come out after dark.  [The New Yorker]
  • Writing in The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Stephen King weighed in with the second review of Tom Perrotta's postrapture novel The Leftovers to appear in the paper in less than a week. King didn't share any of Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani's reservations about Perrotta's narrative of life on postrapture earth, raving that the book is "the best Twilight Zone episode you never saw" and proclaiming that Perrotta the novelist "is to the suburban enclaves of America what Sherwood Anderson was to Ohio." The book comes out tomorrow. [The New York Times Book Review]
  • Novelist George Pelecanos turned the characters of detective Derek Strange and private investigator Nick Stefanos into franchise gold. Now he's launching what looks like a new Washington, D.C.-set crime series with The Cut, released today, about an Iraq veteran named Spero Lucas who returns to D.C. to start up a career as a finder of stolen goods. The New York Times gives the installment high marks, noting while Spero "does spend a lot of time bicycling, in ways that mostly suggest that Mr. Pelecanos spends time bicycling" the novel marks the arrival of "a durable and highly appealing hero." As if Pelecanos need another one of those. [The New York Times]
  • Is Books-a-Million ready to capitalize on the departure of Borders to become a major player in the brick-and-mortar chain bookshop business? Possibly. But if they do, they'll need to raise the percentage of profits generated by ebook sales up from the current zero percent. [Publishers Weekly]
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