It looks like Haruki Murakami has finally taken on all the critics who repeatedly compare him to Kafka, by taking the bull by the horns and titling his new book "Kafka on the Shore". I can't wait to read it. Last year I took a class with Jay Rubin, one of Murakami's translators and also a professor at Harvard in the East Asian Languages and Civ department, which started my and my boyfriend's current obsession with Murakami.
I think the only book I haven't read is "Norwegian Wood", and that's only because it was both sold out at the Harvard bookstore and not available at the library. If you have a taste for the slightly phantasmagorical, with a large dash of pop culture and a nebbishy hero, I highly recommend anything by Murakami, especially "The Wild Sheep Chase" and "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World".
The class was actually fascinating, with an emphasis on how much modern Japanese literature has in common with classical Japanese literature in terms of themes, characterization, and imagery. There's no equivalent in Western literature - it would be like picking up characters from Chaucer or stanzas from Dante in the middle of "The Devil Wears Prada".