I was quite excited when I discovered that Caroline from Beauty is a Cat and Lizzy from Lizzy’s Literary Life were hosting German Literature Month during November. I was excited because I love German literature and this seemed to be the perfect reason to read German literature for a whole month J You can find the homepage of this challenge with introductory posts, information on readalongs and giveaways, the list of participants and potential books that will be read, here.
I had a lot of fun trying to make a list of German books that I wanted to read. Here is what I came up with.
Week 1 : German Literature
German Literature : A very short introduction by Nicholas Boyle – I thought I will start the German literature month by reading a VSI on it J
Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada – I have the British edition of this book, which has the unfortunate title ‘Alone in Berlin’ – a poor imitation of the original title. I am extremely annoyed at the title change (Publishers, please leave the title alone!) but I am relieved that the book is the same. I first heard of this book, through my dear friend M—–l from Outgoing Signals, who said that this was one of his alltime favourite books. I can’t wait to read it.
The Pigeon by Patrick Süskind – I read Patrick Süskind’s ‘Perfume’ sometime back and I loved it for Suskind’s beautiful prose and the way he evokes the senses. I can’t wait to read this novella of his.
Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink – I have seen the movie version of Schlink’s ‘The Reader’ and liked it very much. I have his novel ‘Homecoming’ which also seems to bet set during the Second World War. I want to find out how it is.
Week 2 : Crime Fiction
Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann – This is a murder mystery where sheep play the role of detectives. I have been having this book on my shelf now for three years and I have been waiting for the right time to read it. I think the right time has now arrived J
Week 3 : Austria and Switzerland
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse – I have wanted to read this Hesse book for years. Some of my friends who are Hesse connoisseurs rate this as his best novel. Hesse is one of my favourite authors (I loved both ‘Siddhartha’ and ‘Narcissus and Goldmund’) and so I can’t wait to find out what I think about this book. I don’t know whether Hesse is considered a Swiss writer – Wikipedia says that he is German-Swiss.
Week 4 : Kleist and other German Classics
The Marquise of O- by Heinrich von Kleist – I have been hearing a lot about this novella for a while now and I read a short review of it in Francine Prose’s book ‘Reading Like a Writer’ and liked the review very much. I can’t wait to read this novella.
Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – I have read von Goethe’s ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’ and I loved it. It is a beautiful, sad story. I have wanted to read ‘Faust’ since then. It will be too ambitious to try to read it within a week, but I hope to read a chapter or two to get a flavour of Goethe’s beautiful poetry.
Week 5 : Read as you please and wrap up
There are a few other books that I would like to try to squeeze in during this week (or during previous weeks). The books that I am thinking of, are :
- The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch
- Billiards at Half-Past Nine by Heinrich Böll
- The Sandman by ETA Hoffmann
- The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt
- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
I can’t wait for November to start J
Are you joining the German Literature Month reading festival? What do you think about the above books? Have you read some of them?