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Bookcase 50 Books that travel

50 Books That Travel 2020

This selection of German titles is show-cased at book fairs all over the world on the German collective stands organized by the Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2020.

Single title

A Castle in the Clouds

A Castle in the Clouds

High up in the Swiss mountains there‘s an old luxurious hotel, steeped in tradition and faded grandeur. Once a year,...

High up in the Swiss mountains there‘s an old luxurious hotel, steeped in tradition and faded grandeur. Once a year, when the famous New Year‘s Eve Ball takes place and guests arrive from all around the world, excitement returns to its vast hallways. Seventeen-year-old Sophie is kept busy along with the rest of the staff, making sure everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a perilous adventure, at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.

Publisher:
Topic:
Children’s/young adult book
ISBN:
978-1-250-30019-5
Author:
Kerstin Gier
Pages:
336
Do Fish Sleep?

Do Fish Sleep?

Jette’s brother Emil, who had been sick since before she could remember, has now died. The feelings that losing him...

Jette’s brother Emil, who had been sick since before she could remember, has now died. The feelings that losing him evoke in her are huge and confusing. Most simply, it feels as though a dark raincloud has descended over her family. And then there‘s the ridiculous fact that nobody seems to know what happens after you die, and yet adults often talk as if they do.

Told in the first-person voice of an observant ten-year-old girl, Do Fish Sleep? by Jens Raschke is an honest, darkly funny look at loss, memory and the search for answers. Originally performed as a one-girl play, Do Fish Sleep? was a huge success at the box office, and received both the 2012 Mülheimer Children’s Theatre Prize and the 2014 MDR Children’s Radio Play Prize. Do Fish Sleep? has been a bestseller in Germany since its publication and has been translated into several languages

Publisher:
Topic:
Children’s/young adult book
ISBN:
978-1-59270-285-5
Author:
Jens Raschke
Pages:
64
My little Ocean

My Little Ocean

The friendly sea creatures Seal, Seagull and Crab introduce readers to their homes in the ocean and on the beach....

The friendly sea creatures Seal, Seagull and Crab introduce readers to their homes in the ocean and on the beach. They show us what plants grow on the ocean floor, what crabs look like, and which are the fish with the funny red dots. Elegantly designed with simple texts, Kathrin Wiehle‘s gentle, adorable illustrations complement the sustainable format. Printed on thick, 100 per cent recycled board, this eco-friendly series of books encourages young readers to enjoy nature – inside and out!

Publisher:
Topic:
Children’s/young adult book
ISBN:
978-1-328-53525-2
Author:
Kathrin Wiehle
Pages:
16
Can You Hear the Trees Talking?

Can You Hear the Trees Talking?

Did you know that trees have parents and grandparents with wrinkles? That tree-kids spend hundreds of years at school? That...

Did you know that trees have parents and grandparents with wrinkles? That tree-kids spend hundreds of years at school? That there’s such a thing as the forest internet? And that trees make us healthy and strong? Sometimes, even trees get sick, but we can help them heal.

Peter Wohlleben established himself as a global advocate for forests and our relationship with trees, with his ground-breaking international bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees. Now, he shares his famous imagination and storytelling style with children, asking surprising questions about trees, with exciting quizzes, photographs and hands-on activities to help even the most reluctant learners find the answers.

Publisher:
Topic:
Children’s/young adult book
ISBN:
978-1-77164-434-1
Author:
Peter Wohlleben
Pages:
84
Malina

Malina

In Malina, originally published in Ger- man in 1971, Ingeborg Bachmann invites the reader into a world stretched to the...

In Malina, originally published in Ger- man in 1971, Ingeborg Bachmann invites the reader into a world stretched to the very limits of language. An unnamed narrator, a writer in Vienna, is torn between two men. Viewed through the tilting prism of obsession, she travels ever further into her own madness, anxiety and genius. Malina explores love, ”death styles“, the roots of fascism, and passion.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-0-8112-2872-5
Author:
Ingeborg Bachmann
Pages:
283
The Second Rider

The Second Rider

In Vienna just after the First World War, the grandeur of the Habsburg Empire is a fading memory. Most of...

In Vienna just after the First World War, the grandeur of the Habsburg Empire is a fading memory. Most of the people are hungry. They survive by their wits, living hand-to-mouth in a city rife with crime, prostitution and disfigured beggars. There are shakedowns on every street corner, the black market is the only market and the shortage of essential goods creates countless opportunities for unscrupulous operators. Into this cauldron of vice comes Inspector August Emmerich, a veteran himself, whose ambition leads him to break the rules whenever necessary.

His abiding wish is to join the Vienna’s major crimes unit. Then a corpse is found in the woods outside the city and immediately labelled a suicide. But Emmerich is convinced it was nothing of the sort and sees a chance to prove his mettle. His investigations point to an insidious, homicidal power hidden in the city.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-60945-472-2
Author:
Alex Beer
Pages:
320
A dance of death

The Dance of Death

On a wet and misty weekend in October, the Niemann family find a stranger in their garden. He is armed...

On a wet and misty weekend in October, the Niemann family find a stranger in their garden. He is armed and tries to force his way into the house, but disappears as soon as the police are alerted. That night he returns with an impossible ultimatum... Freiburg detective Louise Boni and her colleagues are under enormous pressure to investigate the case. The trail leads her to a dangerous no-man‘s land, and to a ruthless criminal who brings with him the trauma of conflict in the Balkans.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-0-85705-768-6
Author:
Oliver Bottini
Pages:
400
Beton Rouge

Beton Rouge

On a warm September morning a man is found unconscious in a cage at the entrance to the offices of...

On a warm September morning a man is found unconscious in a cage at the entrance to the offices of one of Germany’s biggest magazines. He is soon identified as a manager of the company, and he has been tortured. Three days later, another manager appears in a similar way.

Chastity Riley and her new colleague, Ivo Stepanovic, are tasked with uncovering the truth behind the attacks, an investigation that goes far beyond the revenge they first suspect to the dubious past shared by both victims. Travelling to the South of Germany, they step into a hothouse world of boarding schools, where secrets are currency, and monsters are bred ... monsters who will stop at nothing to protect themselves.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-912374-59-5
Author:
Simone Buchholz
Pages:
276
Tyll. A Novel

Tyll.

A Novel

Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. His...

Daniel Kehlmann masterfully weaves the fates of many historical figures into this enchanting work of magical realism and adventure. His retelling of the seventeenth-century vagabond performer and trickster, Tyll Ulenspiegel, begins when he’s a scrawny boy growing up in a quiet village. When his father, a miller with a secret interest in alchemy and magic, is found out by the church, Tyll is forced to flee with the baker’s daughter, Nele. They find safety and companionship with a travelling performer, who teaches Tyll his trade.

So begins a journey of discovery and performance for Tyll, as he travels a continent devastated by the Thirty Years’ War, encountering a hangman, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar and the exiled King Frederick and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia, along the way. Tyll displays Kehlmann’s remarkable narrative gifts and confirms the power of art in the face of the senseless brutality of history.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-5247-4746-6
Author:
Daniel Kehlmann
Pages:
352
The Prepper Room

The Prepper Room

The year is 2031. There are extreme weather events: storms, floods and intense heat. A rejuvenation pill has been developed,...

The year is 2031. There are extreme weather events: storms, floods and intense heat. A rejuvenation pill has been developed, but no one is going to enjoy eternal youth for long: The experts forecast that the world‘s eco-systems will collapse in five years‘ time. Women are now in power and trying and save the world from the mess the men have left it in. But there is opposition in the form of the MASCULO movement, which aims to reassert male dominance – by violent means if necessary.

Sebastian seems to be one of the good guys. A Greenpeace activist in his youth, he now has an important position in the Democracy Centre. But in his private life he is attempting to restore his male pride: For the last two years he has kept his wife locked up in the cellar. But his attempts to do away with her so he can live with his new love lead to disaster.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-910213-72-8
Author:
Karen Duve
Pages:
331
Shit is Real

Shit Is Real

After an unexpected breakup, a young woman named Selma wants to start afresh, but she experiences a series of emotional...

After an unexpected breakup, a young woman named Selma wants to start afresh, but she experiences a series of emotional setbacks. Struggling to relate to her friends and accomplish even the simplest tasks like using a modern laundromat, she sinks deeper into depression. She moves into her neighbour’s apartment but her growing despair distances her from her eager and sympathetic friend.

Aisha Franz is a master of portraying feminine loneliness and confusion while keeping her characters tough and real. Her artwork shifts from sparseness to detailed futurist with ease. Her characters fidget and twirl as they zip through a world both foreign and familiar. Base human desires and functions alternate with dreamlike symbolism to create a tension-filled tale of the nightmare that is modern life.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-77046-315-8
Author:
Aisha Franz
Pages:
288
An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence

An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence

Victoria has just moved back from Zurich to her hometown, Bucharest, when the bank where she works is robbed. Put...

Victoria has just moved back from Zurich to her hometown, Bucharest, when the bank where she works is robbed. Put on leave so that she can process the trauma of the robbery, Victoria strolls around town. Each street triggers sudden visions as memories from her childhood under the Ceaușescu regime begin to mix with the radically changed city and the strange world in which she now finds herself. As the walls of reality begin to crumble, Victoria and her former self cross paths with the bank robber and a rich cast of characters, weaving a vivid portrait of Romania and one woman’s self-discovery.

In her stunning second novel, Swiss-Romanian writer Dana Grigorcea paints a series of extraordinarily colourful pictures. With humour and wit, she describes a world of myriad surprises in which new and old cultures are woven together – a world bursting with character and spirit.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-0-85742-651-2
Author:
Dana Grigorcea
Pages:
228
City of Jasmine

City of Jasmine

Amal, Hammoudi and Youssef are young and ambitious – the face of modern Syria. But when civil war tears through...

Amal, Hammoudi and Youssef are young and ambitious – the face of modern Syria. But when civil war tears through their homeland they are left with a terrible choice: risk death by staying in the country they love, or flee in search of a new life elsewhere? From one of Germany‘s most talented literary voices comes this intricately woven story of brutality and loss, and of how hope can shine through when the darkness feels overwhelming.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-78607-487-4
Author:
Olga Grjaasnowa
Pages:
256
The Eighth Life

The Eighth Life

An epic family saga beginning with the Russian Revolution and swirling across a century, encompassing war, loss, loves requited and...

An epic family saga beginning with the Russian Revolution and swirling across a century, encompassing war, loss, loves requited and unrequited, ghosts, joy, massacres and tragedy. And hot chocolate.

At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe that is passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. The caution is justified: This is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste... Having learned the recipe from her Georgian father, Stasia takes it north when she follows her new husband to his posting in St Petersburg – which becomes the centre of the Russian Revolution. Stasia’s is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century. Cascading down the years and across Europe, the tale follows generation after generation of this compelling family.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-950354-14-6
Author:
Nino Haratischwili
Pages:
944
Sand

Sand

North Africa, 1972. While the world is reeling from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a series...

North Africa, 1972. While the world is reeling from the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, a series of mysterious events is playing out in the Sahara. Four people are murdered in a hippie commune, a suitcase full of money disappears and a pair of unenthusiastic detectives are assigned to investigate. In the midst of it all, a man with no memory tries to evade his armed pursuers. Who are they? What do they want from him? If he could just recall his own identity he might have a chance of working it out...

This darkly sophisticated literary thriller – the last novel Wolfgang Herrndorf completed before his untimely death in 2013 – is, in the words of Michael Maar, “the greatest, grisliest, funniest and wisest novel of the past decade”. Certainly no reader will ever forget it.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-68137-201-3
Author:
Wolfgang Herrndorf
Pages:
464
Ghosts of Berlin

Ghosts of Berlin

In these hair-raising stories by celebrated filmmaker and author, Rudolph Herzog, millennial Berliners discover that their city is still home...

In these hair-raising stories by celebrated filmmaker and author, Rudolph Herzog, millennial Berliners discover that their city is still home to many unsettled – and deeply unsettling – ghosts. And the ghosts are not very happy about the newcomers. The molly-coddled daughter of a rich tech executive finds herself slowly tormented by the spirit of a Weimar-era labourer, and a German intelligence officer confronts a troll that’s wreaking havoc at the city‘s unfinished new airport.

An undead Nazi sympathizer romances a Greek emigre, while Turkish migrants curse the gentrifiers that have evicted them. Herzog‘s keen observational eye and acid wit turn modern city stories into deliciously dark satires that ride the knife-edge of suspense and terror.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-61219-751-7
Author:
Rudolph Herzog
Pages:
192
German House

German House

Set against the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, Annette Hess’s international bestseller is a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting coming-of-age novel....

Set against the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, Annette Hess’s international bestseller is a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting coming-of-age novel. It tells the story of Eva, a young woman caught between the conflicting expectations of society and her family. Opposing her parents and her fiancé alike, she works as a translator at the trials, where she has a unique opportunity to speak truth to power, as she fights to expose the dark truths of her nation’s past.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-64286-011-5
Author:
Annette Hess
Pages:
336
The Storyteller

The Storyteller

Samir leaves the comfort of his family’s adopted home, Germany, for volatile Beirut in an attempt to find his missing...

Samir leaves the comfort of his family’s adopted home, Germany, for volatile Beirut in an attempt to find his missing father. The only clues Samir has are an old photo and the bedtime stories his father used to tell him. With this moving novel about family secrets, love and friendship, Pierre Jarawan does for Lebanon what Khaled Hosseini did for Afghanistan with The Kite Runner. He pulls away the curtain of grim facts and figures as presented by the media and shows us intimately what it means to come from a country torn apart by civil war. With this beautiful and exciting story rich in imagery, Jarawan proves himself to be a masterful storyteller.

Publisher:
ISBN:
978-3-492-31199-1
Author:
Pierre Jarawan
Pages:
468
Anniversaries. From the Life of Gesine Cresspahl

Anniversaries.

From the Life of Gesine Cresspahl

Uwe Johnson started writing this book in 1967. It contains one chapter for each day from August 1967 to August...

Uwe Johnson started writing this book in 1967. It contains one chapter for each day from August 1967 to August 1968, and recounts the tale of Gesine Cresspahl, a single mother and a German émigré in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and of her ten-year-old daughter, Marie. It is a story of work and school, of friends and lovers and the countless small encounters with neighbours and strangers that make up big-city life.

It is an everyday story, but one that juxtaposes tales of the mother’s childhood in Nazi Germany with tales of 60s America. Gesine and Marie are among the most memorable and engaging characters in literature. At once monumental and intimate, sweeping and full of incident, stylistically adventurous and endlessly absorbing, Anniversaries is quite simply one of the great books of our time.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-68137-203-7
Author:
Uwe Johnson
Pages:
1720
Homeland

Homeland

It is 1988, the year before the Berlin Wall came down. Jonathan Fabrizius, a journalist living in West Germany, is...

It is 1988, the year before the Berlin Wall came down. Jonathan Fabrizius, a journalist living in West Germany, is asked to travel to the contested lands of former East Prussia, where the Nazi legacy lives on in buildings and fortifications, to write about the route of a car rally. It‘s a plum job, but his interest is piqued by a personal connection. It was here that he was born, among the refugees fleeing the advancing Russians in 1945.

Homeland is a nuanced work from one of the great modern European storytellers. It tells of a typical German who comes face to face with his painful family history, and it addresses some devastating questions about the complicity of ordinary Germans in the war.

Publisher:
Topic:
Fiction
ISBN:
978-1-78378-353-3
Author:
Walter Kempowski
Pages:
190
With financial support