10 days to the 2018 edition of German Literature Month, and it’s time to get properly organised.

Devoting the week of 15-21 November may seem somewhat specific, so I thought a few words on how it came to be might be of interest.

Originally the idea was simply to support Non-Fiction November, particularly as there have been a number of relevant and interesting releases translated from German this year, including Oliver Hilmes, Berlin 1936, Reiner Stach’s Kafka, Kafka The Early Years, and Peter Wohlleben’s The Inner Life of Animals. But when I heard about Volker Weidermann’s latest, to the top of the non-fiction TBR it went, given that his previous release, the sublime Summer Before the Dark, was my 2016 Book of the Year.  Admittedly I know nothing about the failed Bavarian Revolution of 1918, despite having lived for 12 months in Munich, so something tells me this is going to be illuminating read.

Then Canadian publisher Bunim and Bannigan contacted me to see if I would be interested in reading Alone Against Gravity, the history of Einstein in Berlin and the turbulent birth of the theory of relativity, 1914-1918.  I do love a challenge, so I said yes. Then I realised I was being led down a particular path ….

All I needed was a readalong title.  I considered something published in 1918, but the few translations I can identify are not readily available.  Cue a little lateral thinking.  As November 2018 is the centennial commemoration of the end of WWI, it is also the centennial of the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  The repercussions of that are explored in Joseph Roth’s The Emperor’s Tomb, published 1938, and will be discussed in a #germanlitmonth readalong on 21.11.2018.

Voilá!  There we have it.  My #germanlitmonth 1918 week TBR.  Both interesting, challenging, and, I hope, enjoyable!


Have you given 1918 week any thought?  Which ideas have you come up with?  Will you be joining in? To help UK GLM participants, Pushkin Press have given me a copy of Volker Weidermann’s Dreamers, When The Writers Took Power, Germany 1918 to giveaway. Just put your name in the hat by adding a comment below.  I will announce the winner on the evening of Wednesday, 24.10.2018.