Fiction

 

 

Lukas Linder, The Imperfect Man

 

Anatol doesn’t have it easy. Despite his degree in humanities, he earns his living as a dogsbody in a nursing home. His career as a writer hasn’t taken off yet either, not to mention his hopeless attempts to impress the opposite sex.
When he is invited to give a lecture on the «internet of mushrooms» at a scientific conference in Poland, he takes a leap into the unknown. Away from his usual environment, Anatol experiences new feelings – but above all, gets to know himself.
Once again Lukas Linder proves his talent for creating up-close characters – and for showing, in his unsparing yet witty way, how hard it is to want to be someone else all of a sudden.

 

 

 

 

Lukas Linder, The Last of My Kind

 

Alfred is the youngest descendant of the von Ärmels whose heyday is well and truly over. Compared to his much idolised but crazy mother, brilliant brother and eccentric father, he feels like a caricature. Nevertheless, he has taken on the mission to bring new fame to his old, established family. His dream is to be a hero. And he has several options as to how to go about it. He could, like his role model and namesake, kill forty Frenchmen, win a singing competition or open a hotel with Ruth, because love always wins! But does Alfred really have what it takes to be a hero?
Lukas Linder writes about everyday life and family constellations with such precision, ruthlessness and wit that readers will be tempted to take a hard look at their own lives.

»This is the rare case of a hilarious book that makes you laugh out loud every time you pick it up.« WDR 4, Elke Heidenreich

 

 

 

 

Martin Meyer, Corona

 

A bookseller is stuck in quarantine. He is also ill. What should he do? He heads for the bookcase and picks out the books on the topic of past epidemics. Isn’t literature a mirror of life – and therefore also of death?  

Since the epidemic broke out and cast a spell over everything, Matteo has been confined to his apartment. The city where he lives has been declared a state of emergency, and people can only move under strict regulations. But Matteo has a plan. He decides to pick six books from his shelves to help him cope with the unprecedented period of the pandemic as well as his own illness. All six books he chooses, from the Old Testament to the present day, are about epidemics. Through reading, Matteo gains insights and an understanding that is relevant to his life. At the same time, he remembers earlier times, which, under the dramatic conditions of the epidemic, appear in a new light. Will Matteo survive? Can books save him?

 

 

 

Anuschka Roshani, Komplizen

 

We are prone to believe that the people we love never grow old – until we witness a certain frailty in our own parents, who seemed forever young and beautiful. And suddenly, we ask ourselves how we became who we are. Anuschka Roshani revisits the story of her parents and tries to reconstruct what she knows about them: despite not even knowing the exact date of her father’s birth.
He came to Freiburg from Tehran in 1955 and became a passionate surgeon, womanizer and car lover. Her mother, a model, was blessed with beauty and a big heart. They are the dazzling protagonists of this family story, which is not only a journey back in time, but illuminates the present day of a middle-aged woman.

 

 

 

Leona Stahlmann, The Flaw

 

When you realise you are different from everyone else in your village, the course you take in life will not tolerate half measures. Leona Stahlmann writes in an unparalleled manner about home, belonging and sexual awakening in a rural setting. Mina is growing up in the deepest Black Forest. Soon she realises that she’s different from her friends. Only Vetko, an outsider, seems to understand her. The two quickly become close and their secret relationship takes on sinister aspects: desire and pain become blurred, and the limits of their experiences increasingly encroach on their lives. Mina feels that her desire is flawed. What’s wrong with her? And when Vetko demands something that she’s not willing to give, she runs away to the city. But will she find something there that feels just like her connection with Vetko? In unusual, vibrant language, Leona Stahlmann writes about people and human nature, and the full brutal force with which they can collide.

 

 

 

 

Philipp Tingler, Guess who’s staying for dinner

 

Franziska is about to have the most important dinner of her life. Or of the year, at least. Her career hinges on it. And recently it hasn’t quite been going to plan. Franzi is as stressed by this as by her brother’s upcoming visit. But at least her marriage is hunky-dory. Isn’t it? Anyway, this is a very important dinner. And then, through the door bursts Conni Gold. The friend Franzi never wanted. And then nothing goes according to plan anymore.

»Tingler has a sure feel for punchlines and doesn’t shy away from clichés or corny jokes, which adds to the humour of the awkward conversations. And besides its numerous dialogues, the novel is told in an elevated narrative tone.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

 

 

 

 

Saskia Luka, Day by Day

 

Three strong, wilful women suddenly find themselves living under one roof: Maria, who has recently lost her husband, her 17-year-old daughter Anna, who is researching her family’s roots, and Maria’s mother Lucia, whom Maria has brought to Bavaria from her small village in Croatia without her proper consent. This constellation is already a challenge for all three women. But there’s also a fundamental question that Maria can’t shake off: if the love of your life dies and your only home is taken away from you, where do you start looking for a new one? A touching proclamation of love for life with its many uncertainties and sudden farewells.

»Day by Day’ is a sensitive and evocative exploration of what it means to have roots and a home country.« Vogue

 

 

Non Fiction

 

 

Barbara Schmutz, Brainstorming

 

Our brain is a miracle. Throughout our lives, it rises to the challenge of the tasks we have to master. Around 100 billion nerve cells with more than 100 trillion synapses are busy in our heads, creating a world from the information they receive. How do they do that? Barbara Schmutz wanted to find out and talked to 17 neuroscientists. She asked them 300 precise, surprising and provocative questions about the brain.
What’s a brainwave? How are false memories created? Is your gut feeling located in your head? Can we consciously forget? Are the brain and mind the same? Do all people have the same brain at birth? What does the brain do when we daydream?
The answers she received provide an exciting insight into the current discussions on artificial intelligence, chronic pain, memory, epigenetics, dementia and the ageing brain, consciousness, drugs, dreaming, sleeping and learning.

 

 

 

 

Kerstin Lücker, Ute Daenschel, Global History for Young Female Readers

 

Did you know that the modern era did not just begin with Leonardo da Vinci and Luther, but with Christine de Pizan and Isabella of Castile as well? It is high time to add the forgotten heroines to the world history. This book narrates the history of the world with emphasis on female protagonists. Ideal for teens and young adults, male or female.
The two authors have written a global history where girls and women take center stage. Not just the famous ones such as the Egyptian pharaoh Hatschepsut, who reigned with an artificial beard for twenty years, or the beautiful Kleopatra, the vicious Messalina, the brave Jeanne d’Arc and the notorious Lucrezia Borge but also less famous characters such as the Chinese emperess Wu Zetia, who spread Buddhism through China, the Byzantine emperess Theodora, originally a circus artist, or Mathilde of Canossa, one of the most powerful women in the Middle Ages, are found in this book.

 

 

 

 

Milena Moser, The Beautiful Life of the Dead

 

In Mexican culture, in complete contrast to Europe, death is ever-present and never a taboo. People look forward to the Day of the Dead when their deceased relatives are invited to a lavish family celebration complete with cakes and tequila, gifts and a feast. Milena Moser’s story about the Día de los Muertos is highly personal – her partner Victor-Mario Zaballa is terminally ill. But he is unafraid to face death. Because he knows that the dead are in good spirits.

»Moser approaches this cultural tradition with inquisitiveness and an open mind. Colourfully illustrated by Zaballa, the book offers surprising insights into dealing with death as part of life. An entertaining and informative book.« dpa

 

 

 

 

Verena Friederike Hasel, The Dancing Principal

 

How can we prepare our children for the challenges of the 21st century?
We read about children who start school and do their first scientific experiment with chocolate. Or high-school students who spend 48 hours in the forest learning how to brave loneliness. Teachers who care as much about empathy as basic arithmetic and firmly believe they can make a difference in children’s lives. And a school principal who greets each child personally in the morning.
This is how school looks in New Zealand – a country that is at the forefront of educational rankings.
Verena Friederike Hasel lived there with her family. In her moving book, the psychologist and mother of three describes in concrete terms and vivid descriptions how the dream of a better school can also come true in Germany.

“Hasel tells the stimulating story of a school internship at the other end of the world. Full of creativity rather than perfection, motivation rather than blame and authority rather than a laissez-faire attitude. A book about education that doesn’t lecture, but describes in a laid-back way and vividly narrates.” Welt am Sonntag

 

 

 

 

Jessica Braun, Breathing: An important book about the essence of life

 

Every newborn takes a breath in their first minute. From then on, lungs usually work on their own. But chronic lung disease, asthma or sleep apnea have now become widespread. Even healthy people gasp, wheeze, sniff and snort for air.
Writer Jessica Braun, who has some breathing issues herself, sets off to find out how to breathe properly. She accompanies a panting woman giving birth, visits a sleep laboratory, undergoes a breath diagnosis, meditates with an Indian guru, does freediving and watches a dominatrix cut off her client’s oxygen supply. Her research leads her to meet scientists and actors, biathletes and yoga teachers.
This book shows how our breath connects our bodies and souls. And how everyone can change their lives through learning to breathe better.

“Something that we usually perceive as incidental is turned into something extraordinary here. This informative book brings us nearer to ourselves.” Die Zeit

 

Gift Books

 

 

 

Heike Faller, Valerio Vidali, Friendship: The Bonds We Share

 

In this delightful, beautifully illustrated book, Heike and Valerio examine the many different types of friendship we encounter throughout our lives, and the ways in which they shape our shared experiences of the world. Heike’s short, insightful prose and Valerio’s colorful images bring to life the many emotions friendship evokes: envy, admiration, competition, love, hate, joy, disappointment, closeness, distance, fun and many more.

 

 

 

 

Heike Faller, Valerio Vidali, Hundred: What You Learn in a Lifetime

 

How does our perception of the world change in the course of a lifetime? When Heike Faller's niece was born she began to wonder what we learn in life, and how we can talk about what we have learnt with those we love. And so she began to ask everyone she met, what did you learn in life? Out of the answers of children's writers and refugees, teenagers and artists, mothers and friends, came 99 lessons: that those who have had a difficult time appreciate the good moments more. That those who have had it easy find it harder getting old. That a lot of getting old is about accepting boundaries. And of course, as one 94 year old said to her, »sometimes I feel like that little girl I once was, and I wonder if I have learned anything at all«.
This is a book for children and adults, families and friends. A book for celebrating life's milestones, for flicking through, forwards or backwards, for inspiration, for sharing with the ones you love.

 

 

 

 

Urs Wehrli, Today something almost Happened to Me

 

If you have always wanted to know what goes through Urs Wehrli~s mind every day – what kind of concerns he has and what issues he faces – this book goes to show that no thought is too absurd or banal, even in your own everyday life.
For years, the bestselling author Urs Wehrli has noted each day what happens in his life, his flashes of inspiration, what things he likes to dream up or has never noticed before. The result is an endearing, inspiring, witty and sometimes absurd diary that encourages you to pay more attention to your own daily routine.

 

 

 

 

Frank Baumann, Spot the Difference

 

We all remember the puzzle pages in the magazines of our childhoods. Now comes a book of brainteasers for young and old in a double-sided large format, with remarkable photographs from all over the world. What at first glance looks like two identical images side by side turns out to be quite a tricky task on closer inspection. Some differences are immediately obvious, but others take ages to discover. Reports have come in of desperate readers poring over the book for hours because they can’t see the wood for the trees!

 

 

 

 

Katharina Koppenwallner, Souvenirs

 

Few of us can follow the advice of the Dalai Lama, who recommends visiting a place each year that you have never been to before. If you don’t have the time or money to travel to far-flung places, you can take a short trip around the world with this book and discover all sorts of things that only exist elsewhere. These include clay votive horses from India that can fulfil any kinds of wishes, Vyshyvanka costumes from the Ukraine, which can ward off the evil eye through their embroidery, Waq’ollos masks from Peru worn during ritual fistfights, men’s wrestling pants from Mongolia that resemble skimpy bikini bottoms, or Albanian marble ashtrays fashioned in the shape of a bunker, 173,371 of which the dictator Enver Hoxhas built during his reign.
Katharina Koppenwallner’s souvenirs from her travels are not only interesting and bizarre, but they also hold stories worth telling.

 

 

 

 

Andrea Gerk, Moni Port, Fifty things that are fun once you are fifty

 

In middle age, when the magical number 50 is approaching and you don't recognize yourself in the mirror right away, life’s fundamental question begins to press on you – what do you do for fun?
A long and boozy night out, excessive flirting and partying – everything that proved to be uplifting and distracting in the decades before has suddenly become a source of headaches rather than of fun. And you're not the type for hobbies either.   So what to do with the rest of your life? Throw it all away and start over again under a false name? Retrain as a criminal investigator or psychoanalyst? Relocate to Hawaii? No, that won’t be necessary.
Andrea Gerk invites us to explore the many wonderful little things life has in store once we are mature enough to appreciate them: inviting all your exes to dinner, endlessly discussing one’s ailments, learning a poem by heart every day, having young people explain the world to you, and even awarding yourself a prize for your own life’s work.