*** Fanfare please ***

I’m happy ecstatic to announce that Caroline from Beauty is A Sleeping Cat and myself are co-hosting a German Literature Month in November.  Ever since Iris from Iris on Books hosted her Month of Dutch Literature,  it’s been on our minds to do something similar for the literature of the German-speaking countries. We both share a passion for the literature of Austria, Germany and Switzerland and hope to find many like-minded and interested people to join us.

We plan on comprehensive coverage – not quite the A-Z of German literature in our badge – but certainly literature from the 18th century onwards! In order to do this, we have structured the month thematically and will include two readalongs with lots of giveaways that generous publishers like And Other Stories, Bitter Lemon Press, Melville House, One World Classics, Pereine Press and Portobello Books have kindly contributed.


My readalong choice is Theodor Fontane’s Effi Briest.   I would take Effi to that proverbial desert island.  Most people have read Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina, but not many are acquainted with Effi.  I hope you’ll consider joining Caroline and me as we read and discuss Effi over the course of three weeks. The readalong starts on Saturday 5th November (chapters 1-15), continuing on the 12th (Chapters 16-24), finishing on the 19th (chapters 25-36).

Caroline has chosen a book by her favourite German author, Heinrich Böll.  The Silent Angel readalong coincides with her monthly Literature and War schedule.  It’s not a Böll I have read before and I’m looking forward to Caroline revealing why it is unique! We’ll discuss The Silent Angel on Saturday the 26th.

Weekly Themes

Week 1 (Nov 1 -7) German Literature

Maybe you like Thomas Mann or you are a fan of Genazino.  Perhaps you prefer contemporary German literature. Erpenbeck or Kehlmann perhaps?  Who is your favourite German author?  Now’s the time to share with us.

Week 2  (Nov 8-14) Crime Fiction

There are a lot of German crime novels. Whether you like it gritty or prefer psychological suspense, you are sure to find something to suit.

Week 3  (Nov 15 – 21) From Austria and Switzerland 

You could read some of the 19th century Swiss classics like Gotthelf, Keller or Meyer or finally read those Roths and Zweigs that have been sitting in your TBR for years.

Week 4 (Nov 22-28) Kleist and Other German Classics

November 21 marks the bicentennial of Kleist’s death.  We will read some of his novellas and I may read a play (something I haven’t done since university).  This is also the time to (re-)acquaint ourselves with other German classics – Goethe anyone?

Week 5  (Nov 29-30) Read As You Please and Wrap Up

Here’s your chance to read and review whatever you like.


Just so you have no excuse To encourage you to join in, we are going to start the Wednesdays-are-wunderbar giveaways in October.  This will allow us to get the books to the winners in plenty of time for November.

Just look at some of the amazing titles we have to share.  I tell you, I’m not easily moved but the largesse of the publishers brought tears to my eyes this week. They are obviously as passionate about German literature as Caroline and myself. We hope some of that will have rubbed off on you by the time November is through. Will you join us?