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!

Announcing German Literature Month VIII – November 2018

German Literature Month is eight years old this year, and part of the literary calendar. Lizzy and I know that because of the chatter that continues throughout the year about books purchased and set aside for the event. And that makes us very happy.  We’re even happier when you read them during November.

For those though who are wondering what this is all about, and may wish to join us for the first time, November is the month for reading works originally written in German: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, essays, comics, graphic novels.  Anything you fancy really, in any language you fancy, as long as the original language was German. Then tell the world about it: on your blog, facebook, twitter, instagram, goodreads, amazon, wherever. It all adds up to one great banquet of Austrian, German and Swiss literary goodness. This, for example, was last year’s menu. https://lizzysiddal.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/german-literature-month-vii-author-index/

The last couple of years have been entirely read as you please, but this year Lizzy and I wanted to introduce new themes and add in more social reading opportunities. So we’ve devised the following plan.

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

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

Week 2: Crime Week (November 8-14)

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

Week 3: 1918 Week (November 15-21)

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

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

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

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

As always, you may read as you please for the month, or you may choose to join in any (or all) of the specific themes and readalongs.  It’s entirely up to you.  The main thing is to enjoy yourself!  Will you join us?

Final Thoughts on German Literature Month 2016

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I know that some of you, including my co-host, are extending German Literature Month through December. I am not keen on extending events, so this is my goodbye to GLM.

A usual, the event was a success. There have been 119 reviews so far. Normally I try to read as many reviews as possible but November was too hectic and upsetting to do so. I still hope to visit a few of you. In any case, thank you so much for participating.

I’ve done quite well with my reading plans this year, but I haven’t reviewed everything I’ve read. Tony wrote about Judith Herrmann’s collection Lettipark here. I felt pretty much the same about the book, so I skipped the review. I’ll return to some stories, but overall it left me rather cold.

I never got to reading the fantasy novel I intended to read nor another short story collection but that’s OK. I’m especially glad I read Walter Kempowski and Uwe Timm.

I loved Capus’ novel when I read it but it’s already fading. Not the best sign. I enjoyed returning to Ursula P. Archer aka Ursula Poznanski and will read more of her crime and YA novels.

Thank you again for participating.

 

Winner Announcement – German Literature Month Giveaways – Late Fame and A Bell for Ursli

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It’s Monday and I’m happy to announce the winners of my giveaway.

The winner of Arthur Schnitzler’s Late Fame is Jonathan.

The winner of A Bell for Ursli is Travellin’ Penguin.

Congratulations to both of you.

Please send me your address via email

beautyisasleepingcat at gmail dot com

 

German Literature Month Giveaways – Late Fame by Arthur Schnitzler and A Bell For Ursli by Selina Chönz

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Today I’m giving away two very different books. 

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The first book is the miniature edition of one of the most famous Swiss picture books A Bell for Ursli.

“A Bell for Ursli” is a classic Swiss children’s story, with pictures by award-winning Swiss illustrator Alois Carigiet. Ursli is a little boy who lives in the Swiss Alps. He must find a big cowbell so that he can lead the spring procession through his village, so he goes alone to his family’s chalet high up in the mountains. There, he spends a lonely, scary night. Generations of Swiss children have grown up with Ursli but this is the first time his adventures have been widely available in English.

 

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The second book I’m giving away is Arthur Schnitzler’s Late Fame.

Here’s what is written on Pushkin Press’ site:

First English publication of a recently rediscovered novella by one of the greatest European writers

One seemingly ordinary evening, Eduard Saxberger arrives home to find the fulfilment of a long-forgotten wish in his sitting room: a visitor has come to tell him that the youth of Vienna have discovered his poetic genius. Saxberger has written nothing for thirty years, yet he now realises that he is more than merely an Unremarkable Civil Servant, after all: a Venerable Poet, for whom Late Fame is inevitable – if, that is, his new acolytes are to be believed…

Arthur Schnitzler was one of the most admired, provocative European writers of the twentieth century. The Nazis attempted to burn all of his work, but his archive was miraculously saved, and with it, Late Fame. Never published before, it is a treasure, a perfect satire of literary self-regard and charlatanism.

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If you would like to win a copy of one of these books, please leave a comment. The only thing you have to do is to tell me why you’d like to win this book.

Please be aware that the picture book is tiny. To give you an idea, I took a photo together with the second book I’m giving away.

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The giveaways is open internationally. I’ll announce the winners on Monday 21 November 17:00 – Western European time.

 

German Literature Month Giveaway – Montaigne by Stefan Zweig

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As promised, here’s the first of this year’s German Literature Month giveaway’s.

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I’m giving away the Pushkin Press edition of Austrian author Stefan Zweig’s Montaigne. While Zweig has written short stories, novellas, and novels, he also wrote a great many essays and biographies. Montaigne isn’t his most famous but that doesn’t mean it’s not a very interesting book. The topic certainly is.

Here’s what the blurb has to say:

Stefan Zweig was already an émigré-driven from a Europe torn apart by brutality and totalitarianism-when he found, in a damp cellar, a copy of Michel de Montaigne’s Essais. Montaigne would become Zweig’s last great occupation, helping him make sense of his own life and his obsessions-with personal freedom, with the sanctity of the individual. Through his writings on suicide, he would also, finally, lead Zweig to his death.

With the intense psychological acuity and elegant prose so characteristic of Zweig’s fiction, this account of Montaigne’s life asks how we ought to think, and how to live. It is an intense and wonderful insight into both subject and biographer.

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If you would like to win a copy of Zweig’s Montaigne, please leave a comment. The only thing you have to do is to tell me why you’d like to win this book.

The giveaways is open internationally. I’ll announce the winners on Monday 7 November 17:00 – Western European time.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED