Wednesday, 5 April 2017

#WorldReads - five books from Germany

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post. Feel welcome to Comment your own suggestions too.

This month's country is Germany and it's my 12th WorldReads post - a year of global reading! I have selected a variety of German books to showcase the country's literature including thrillers, a young adult novel and a rather strange travel book.


The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

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Read my original review on Stephanie Jane

I saw the film version of The Reader at our then-local art house cinema when it came out and remembered the main revelation that would be made during the story. However, I found that this actually increased the poignancy of the earlier writing as I could completely understand some of the layers of meaning.


Traveling in Place: A History of Armchair Travel by Bernd Stiegler

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Read my original review on Stephanie Jane

An unexpected delight, I had expected a short story collection of micro-scale travel writings. This book is actually a scholarly survey of many examples of the genre written over the past two hundred years. Stiegler studied dozens of novels, essays and memoirs, mostly by French and German authors, who chose to look at the everyday and the mundane through the eyes of a visitor and a tourist and I was quite taken with the basic premise. The examples of 'flanerie' - exploring one's own familiar environment with new eyes - struck a chord.


Rosshalde by Hermann Hesse

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Read my original review on Literary Flits

I thought this was a beautifully quiet and thoughtful novel although it is a depressing read overall. Hesse understands his unfulfilled protagonist completely and, since finishing, I have read elsewhere that Rosshalde does reflect his own circumstances at the time of writing.


Shuttered Life by Florentine Roth

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Read my original review on Literary Flits

A short young adult novel in which photographer Elisa tries to discover who tried to run her car off the road as she returned to her Dusseldorf home. As all the oddly behaved suspects are her family, she soon struggles to know who can be trusted. This thriller wasn't entirely to my taste, but I think would be more appreciated by its target audience.


The Man With The Golden Mind by Tom Vater

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Read my original review on Literary Flits

This exciting post-Cold War thriller is set in well-evoked Laos. Vater sets up an intricate and complicated plot which I found it a joy to get lost in and also introduces interesting and believable characters, both male and female. The women in this novel aren't just eye candy!


That's it for April's WorldReads from Germany. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country! Please do Comment your own favourite German books below and if you fancy buying any of the five I have suggested, clicking through the links from this blog to do so would mean I earn a small commission payment.

If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, we have already 'visited' Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, ItalyNew ZealandNigeriaSouth AfricaSpainSweden and Turkey. In May I will be highlighting five books by Indian authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

2 comments:

  1. I'm only familiar with The Reader, to be honest. But it's great to see other books from specific countries I would otherwise, not know.

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    Replies
    1. Traveling In Place is basically weird, but The Man With The Golden Mind you might enjoy :-)

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