Announcing German Literature Month V


I’m delighted to announce that Lizzy and I will host the 5th German Literature Month (#germanlitmonth) this coming November.


For those who have not participated before, here are the rules:


1) Whatever you read, in whichever language you read, must have originally been written in German.  Novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poems, they all count.   No genre is excluded.
2)  Enjoy yourself.  There’s no need to write long, detailed reviews (although we do like those).  A quick opinion piece, the posting of a favourite poem, the tweeting of a pertinent quote or picture of a delicious book cover (using the hash tag #germanlitmonth, of course) all contributes to a communal celebration of German-language literature.


You are free to pick what you like but for those who prefer some guidance or those who love the group-spirit of the event there are themed weeks and readalongs.


Week 1:  Nov 1-7 Schiller Reading Week. Hosted by Lizzy.


Friedrich Schiller Week


Week 2:  Nov 8-14 Christa Wolf Reading Week. Hosted by Caroline.


Christa Wolf Week


Week 3:  Nov 15-21 Ladies’ reading week incorporating a readalong of Ursula Poznanski’s award-winning YA title, Erebos on Friday 20.11.  Hosted by Lizzy.




Here’s the blurb:
Or turn back.
This is Erebos.’
Nick is given a sinister but brilliant computer game called Erebos. The game is highly addictive but asks its players to carry out actions in the real world in order to keep playing online, actions which become more and more terrifyingly manipulative. As Nick loses friends and all sense of right and wrong in the real world, he gains power and advances further towards his online goal – to become one of the Inner Circle of Erebos. But what is virtual and what is reality? How far will Nick go to achieve his goal? And what does Erebos really want?


Week 4: Nov 22-28 Gents’ reading week incorporating a Literature and War readalong of Erich Maria Remarque’s A Time To Love and A Time to Die on Friday 27.11Hosted by Caroline.


A Time To Love and a Time to Die


Here’s the blurb:

From the quintessential author of wartime Germany, A Time to Love and a Time to Die echoes the harrowing insights of his masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front.

After two years at the Russian front, Ernst Graeber finally receives three weeks’ leave. But since leaves have been canceled before, he decides not to write his parents, fearing he would just raise their hopes.

Then, when Graeber arrives home, he finds his house bombed to ruin and his parents nowhere in sight. Nobody knows if they are dead or alive. As his leave draws to a close, Graeber reaches out to Elisabeth, a childhood friend. Like him, she is imprisoned in a world she did not create. But in a time of war, love seems a world away. And sometimes, temporary comfort can lead to something unexpected and redeeming.
“The world has a great writer in Erich Maria Remarque. He is a craftsman of unquestionably first rank, a man who can bend language to his will. Whether he writes of men or of inanimate nature, his touch is sensitive, firm, and sure.”—The New York Times Book Review


Week 5: Nov 29-30 Read as You Please.


If you’re not sure what to read – our German Literature Month Page can help you with that.
German Literature Month IV was astounding in terms of numbers of participants (40) and quality contributions.  I’m not sure that we’ll be able to match it again, but let’s give it a shot. Are you in?

114 thoughts on “Announcing German Literature Month V

  1. I’m in as always – lots coming in for the big event (Yoko Tawada, Christa Wolf, Judith Hermann, Jenny Erpenbeck), plus lots already on the shelves 🙂

  2. Count me in. I’ll defintely have a couple of reviews for German Lit Month, possibly three, depending on how my reading goes. Thanks for hosting once again – I’m looking forward it.

  3. Thanks for providing a lot of notice about this event as it will give me time to plan my reading. I will try to join you.

    I remember this being a very fun and interesting read along in years past.

  4. One of my favourite events of the reading year! I’ve got a couple of ‘Es geschah in Berlin’ crime fiction novels (set in 1934 and 1938 respectively) and Stefan Zweig’s Meisternovellen. And I really want to read the latest Erpenbeck about immigrants…

    • Thanks for saying that.
      And it’s wonderful that you will join. I didn’t get along with Erpenbeck’s first but I’m interested to hear what you think about the latest. And I’m always keen on crime reviews.

  5. Decisions, decisions, what to read! I didn’t have time to read any Remarque last year, though I’d hoped to, so I may join in with the Gent’s reading week as well as others.

    • Glad to hear you’ll join us. Yes, decisions, decisions. I’ve got so many unread German books on my piles.
      I’ve read many of REmarques’ novels, so I’m looking forward to this one.

  6. This is so wonderful, Caroline! Thanks to you and Lizzy for hosting GLM! I can’t wait for November to arrive! So nice that Schiller gets his own week (isn’t that so awesome!) and so nice that there is a week dedicated to Christa Wolf also. I can’t wait to get started on reading German lit!

  7. As usual, I would love to join in. Last year I read Erebos for the challenge and it is good to see it as the pick for the readalong. Maybe I will join in with a re-read if that is all right. 🙂 I am also very happy to see a Christa Wolf reading week. I really loved Cassandra and want to read more by her. I have a few other books in mind for the challenge and can’t wait for November!

    • Great, Priya. WE’re so glad you’re joining. I must have missed that Erebos review.
      Christa Wolf’s Kassandra is amazing. I’m looking forward to see what you will pick.

  8. I haven’t participated in this before but I would definitely like to join in this year. I have a few books on my shelf that I could read and I’m sure I can find time for at least one of them in November.

  9. So, you are going to tempt me after all?! 😉 I might have to try and read along with the Remarque as I have never read him–should I read All Quiet first? Or does it matter. And I have a German novel just recently published by Europa Editions that I have been wanting to read, so now this gives me just the excuse…. Hope all is well with you-and I owe you an email–sorry I have been so remiss about answering the email you sent a while back. Glad you liked the postcard–my trip feel so long ago now!

    • I’m so glad you wrote that as I was wondering whether the e-mail got lost because of the attachment. Don’t worry about the time. I really get it.
      All Quite is his most famous but he’s a great author and I’ve never been disappointed. My favourite is Arc de Triomphe. But he’s written an outstanding Holocaust novel.
      He covered all the years from WWI – in between the wars, during WWII – after WWII, so it’s also great to read chronologically. I’m you won’t be disappointed either way.
      I’m glad you will join.

  10. Had to check my library to see if we have the Remarque–which we do-an old book, an old record that ha a brief summary of the story in which they give away the plot and the ending. Argh!

  11. Though I’m way behind on posting about any literature, I may actually have a head start this year for German Literature Month, and hope to post about at least one work. GLM has become an institution in the best sense!

  12. Time again for me to start plotting my German reads! I know I’m interested in participating in the Christa Wolf Week and I’m intrigued by the Remarque title. That’s where I am today. Looking forward!
    Judith (Reader in the Wilderness)

  13. I’m in. I can finally get around to reading read Joseph Roth’s letters! I’m not sure what else I’ll read, but thanks for giving plenty of advance notice of the event so I can get organised. Also, your co-hosted events are the only ones I participate in, because there are no onerous rules to follow or hoops to jump through. 🙂

    • 🙂 I’m glad you’re joining again. You were so busy last year.
      We like to give people some guidance, just in case, but nobody should feel forced to read anything.
      I’ve stopped participating in challenges. Especially when there are rules to follow.
      I can’t wait to see what books you’ll read.

  14. Of course you can count me in, Caroline. A good moment to do some serious book blogging again since I was so busy with other things during the last months and could post reviews only quite rarely. Looking forward to another great event hosted by Lizzy and you – thanks for the initiative 🙂

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  16. My choice for German Lit Month is ‘Adam and Evelyn’ a novel by Ingo Schulze, a writer I have not read before.
    I look at the recent awards lists for German literature and find that even the winners don’t get translated.

  17. dear Caroline

    i was thinking about this just the other day. Thank you so much for organising it again. Will post a reading list sometime in mid-october. I want to include at least one book by Gunter Grass this year, a writer whom I have heard so much of but never read

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  19. Yes, yes, yes dear Caroline! I’m just returning to the surface and able to breath at work, so I’m hopeful of at least one book for German Lit Month! I want to return to some childhood favorites, such as Heidi, and also to look for new ones for my class, such as Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath written by Cornelia Funke. But, this might be the perfect chance to open Effi Briest as well!

    Reading Buddenbrooks last year was one of the highlights of 2014 for me.

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  21. I’m in too, probably for the Read as you please week.

    I’ll read Crimes by Ferdinand von Schirach and if I have time, I may read The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth.
    I’m still in my TBR20 period, so buying something new is not possible. 🙂 Although I wish I could read a contemporary German book.

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  23. Maybe this month I’ll finally join you. Bellezza reminded me of this event when I saw her answers to my guest blogger questions (she is my September guest) and I was so excited I actually spent an hour digging through my books and finally selecting some by Erich Maria Remarque, Kafka and Werner Bergengruen. I also have a favourite, Karl May’s Winnetou, which I read so many years ago but that is a three-book affair so not sure if I’ll finish in time.

    • Yes, of course and we’d love that. Lizzy always reads poetry for German Literature Month. People always pick older poets, so I’d be really interested to see which contemporaray ones you’ll read.

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  25. Hi Caroline, I’ve been looking forward to this event since I discovered the previous edition a couple of months ago. I’ve planned my reading as follows, firstly a zoom on one of the shortlisted writers for this year’s Buchpreis, Monique Schwitter, with her book of short stories translated into English last year Goldfish Memories followed by the Preis submission Eins im Andern. I’ve found a French translation of Ursula Kretchel’s Landesgericht which I am ‘long’ reading and I’ll round off with a back to the roots look at Bernhard Schlink with Self’s Punishment

    • Wonderful news, Pat. I’m glad you’ll join us. I don’t even know all the books you mention, so it will be really great to read reviews. Thanks. I’ll be adding you to my Bloglovin account, so I can keep track. But tere will be a site where you can add your reviews/posts.

  26. Wonderful to see your and Lizzy’s announcements. I have been accumulating works since the event of last year ended. I just wrote today to be published November 1, a post on an incredible WW2 novel Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. I also have the latest collection of Joseph Roth’s essay, The Hotel Days, a just published edition of the poetry of Thomas Bernhard, a lot of as yet unread novellas and short stories by Stefan Zweig and Mann’s Buddenbrooks in the works.

    Last year I hosted a post event observation at The Old Budapest Hotel. I am contemplating ideas for this year.

    • I’m so glad to hear you’ll join. You’ve got great plans. I can’t wait to see what event you’ll come up with this year. I enjoyed last year a lot.
      I’m very curious to hear more abot the Roth essay. I still haven’t read the Fallada but I know I should.

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