With over 100 posts about German (language) literature on this blog, I found it very difficult to whittle this post down to just 5 recommendations. Then I decided to mirror the structure of 2012’s German Literature Month and choose just 1 contemporary title per genre, omitting poetry and drama, as I have read and reviewed very little of either.
So without further ado, here are 5 recommendations for reading during November. If my German-lit TBR wasn’t so high, I’d be tempted to read all of these again!
For novella week: Next World Novella – Matthias Politycki – My favourite title from Peirene Press – so good I read it twice last year.
For literary fiction week: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine – Alina Bronsky – The Russian immigrant experience, related by the biggest fictional egomaniac I’ve ever come across; a woman so blind to the immorality at the heart of her actions that she exposes everything to the critical view of her readers. Shocking but hilarious.
For genre week, if crime if your thing: Ice Cold – Andrea Maria-Schenkel – Winner of the 2008 German Krimi Prize and a truly chilling depiction of a psychopath and his crimes in 1930’s Nazi Munich.
For genre week, if you prefer fantasy: Reckless – Cornelia Funke – The first in the Mirrorworld series from the queen of German fantasy writing. Would complement our planned Grimm readathon as Funke’s protagonists are named after the Brothers Grimm and there are a number of their fairy tales woven into the plot. I am so looking forward to the release of the 2nd volume in January of 2013!
For genre week, if you want to visit times past: Measuring the World – Daniel Kehlmann – The adventures of two C18th German scientists who shared purpose but who were diametrically opposed in almost every other outlook. This very funny book took the German literary world by storm when published in 2005. By 2009, it had sold over 1.4 million copies in Germany alone. Unsurprisingly it became the first of Kehlmann’s novels to be translated into English.
That’s quite a shortlist of diverse but high quality and entertaining reading. The magic mountain of German literature really exists and I’m looking forward to exploring it further during November. Remember should you decide to join in this festival of German (language) literature reading at any point during November, you can sign up here.