Welcome to German Literature Month 2018

November is here and German Literature Month begins.

Normally I do share my plans with you at this stage, not so this year. I will be focussing on our readalong titles. If I manage something else, wonderful, if not, that’s OK as well.

Just to remind you – here’s our program again:

Week 1: Children and Young Adult Fiction (November 1-7)

November 7 – Readalong with Lizzy: The Book Jumper – Mechthild Glaser

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay. Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House – but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As exciting as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger – someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts – at whatever cost.

Week 2: Crime Week (November 8-14)

November 14 – Readalong with Caroline: Blue Night – Simone Buchholz

The hair stands up on the back of my neck and I get an age-old feeling in my belly. Like there’s a fight ahead. Like something’s really about to go off…

After convicting a superior for corruption and shooting off a gangster’s crown jewels, the career of Hamburg’s most hard-bitten state prosecutor, Chastity Riley, has taken a nose dive: she has been transferred to the tedium of witness protection to prevent her making any more trouble. However, when she is assigned to the case of an anonymous man lying under police guard in hospital – almost every bone in his body broken, a finger cut off, and refusing to speak in anything other than riddles – Chastity’s instinct for the big, exciting case kicks in.

Fresh, fiendishly fast-paced and full of devious twists and all the hard-boiled poetry and acerbic wit of the best noir, Blue Night marks the stunning start of a brilliant new crime series, from one of Germany’s bestselling authors.

Week 3: 1918 Week (November 15-21)

November 21 – Readalong with Lizzy: The Emperor’s Tomb – Joseph Roth

The Emperor’s Tomb is a magically evocative, haunting elegy to the vanished world of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and to the passing of time and the loss of youth and friends. Prophetic and regretful, intuitive and exact, Roth’s acclaimed novel is the tale of one man’s struggle to come to terms with the uncongenial society of post-First World War Vienna and the first intimations of Nazi barbarities.

Week 4: Swiss Literature Week (November 22-28)

November 28 – Readalong with Caroline: A Long Blue Monday – Erhard von Büren

The novel portrays, with dry humour, delicate irony and a touch of nostalgia, the lives and feelings of young people in the late 1950s.

“Erhard von Büren pours out memories of love affairs, of family life, of student experiences or incidents from his readings… His style is spiced with waywardness and wit.” – Award of the Canton Solothurn Prize for Literature.

In A Long Blue Monday, the narrator, who is temporarily away from home working on a book about Sherwood Anderson, remembers his unrequited love affair with Claudia, whom he met at college during rehearsals for a play.

How could he, the village lad, the son of a working-class family, aspire to gain the affection of Claudia, a sophisticated town girl, who lives with her wealthy family in a spacious house by the river? Worlds seem to separate the two. But he is convinced that where there’s a will there’s a way. As a young boy, he had tried, by being a model pupil and a model son, to repair his family’s damaged reputation. But now, in spite of all his attempts, his love remains unreciprocated. Finally he decides to take several weeks off college to write a play – a trilogy, no less – to gain Claudia’s esteem.

Week 5: Read as you please (November 29-30)

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Please do not forget to enter your posts on the German Literature Month site, so everybody knows what’s happening and can visit your blogs.

Happy reading!

32 thoughts on “Welcome to German Literature Month 2018

  1. I have The Tobacconist and The Emperor’s Tomb, I hope I can read these two.

    I’m tempted by Blue Night now too (Quartier rouge in French!) I find quite amusing to have an investigator named Chastity chasing crime in the Quartier Rouge…

    • Yes, it is amusing. Interesting they chose that title for the French translation. It should be quite a different kind of crime series. I’m really curious to see how I will like it.
      I’ve hear great thing about the Tobacconist but I don’t know this Roth at all.
      I’m looking forward to your reviews.

  2. So excited! I also didn’t make any reading plans – just started reading. Read 34 pages of the first book, didn’t like it much, and so have started my second book. This one is going well. I am hoping to join atleast one readalong – for the Erhard von Büren book. Will try to join the other readalongs, if I am able to get the books on time. Looking forward to finding out what everyone else is reading. Happy reading, Caroline! Thanks so much for hosting!

    • Too bad about the first book, Vishy. Hopefully it’s upwards from here on. 🙂 It would be lovely if you could join us for the readalongs.
      Happy reading to you too and thanks for joining.

      • It was an Elfriede Jelinek book, Caroline. I have always wanted to read her books, but after 34 pages of it, I found it hard. Maybe, another day another time, when I feel brave enough, I will pick it up again. I am reading Goethe’s Elective Affinities now and it is beautiful and charming. Looking forward to the readalongs too. Happy reading!

        • Ah yes, I see. You need the right mood to read her. She can be challenging otherwise. Lieke Herta Müller I believe. I’m not a rereader but I’ve read Elective Affinities several times. I like it so much. Happy reading.

          • Yes, very challenging. Hopefully, I will be able to read her book later. So nice to know that you have read Elective Affinities many times! I am 50 pages in and am loving it so far. Charlotte is such a charming character! Looking forward to reading more. Thank you for the wishes! Happy reading to you too!

            • Goethe’s Werther is a prominent figure in our first readalong title, The Book Jumpers, by the way. I can hardly remember it (Werther) , only know it affected me deeply as a teenager.

              • That is very interesting, Caroline! I wish I had been able to get the book on time. I will put it on my TBR and read it later. I loved Werther when I read it – I think it was before I started blogging. It was beautiful and tragic. Have to read it again one of these days.

  3. Uh oh, there’s a program?! Heheh This is my first time. I’m planning to read Christa Wolf, but I’ve only managed a few pages so far. It’s a skinny book too, sometimes those are deceptively complicated! *crosses fingers*

    • Christa Wolf is “nourishing” as one would say in German, which means challenging. The program is only a suggestion, of course. Read as you please for the whole month is always an option. I’m rather fond of Christa Wolf, I hope you’ll ease into it soon.

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