Cherrypicker Review 2020 © Hanser Berlin Cihan Acar No Katie in Heilbronx A young man of Turkish origin from Heilbronn tries to make a football career in Turkey but fails. He then returns home without knowing how he will go on. And the city is seething. © Argon, tacheles!, Oetinger, Hörbuch Hamburg, cc-live, Der Hörverlag Latest Audiobooks New Listening Pleasures The magical voices of the narrators, an unusual interpretation of the subject matter: Audiobooks promise unique pleasures. This selection is about yearning for departures and works that never grow old. © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Moritz von Uslar Right-wing Noise and Eastern Pride What happens when a bloke from Berlin-Mitte travels to the eastern German backwoods to report on those frenzied fellows with dodgy pasts? About ten years later, author Moritz von Uslar repeated the experiment. © Luchterhand Benjamin Quaderer Data Theft in the Dwarf State Did anyone before Benjamin Quaderer write a Liechtenstein novel? I doubt it. But there are plenty of stories to tell about the tranquil principality with its secret dirty money stash. In this case, the storyteller is a con man, data thief, and public enemy number one. © Beltz & Gelberg, Rowohlt, Gerstenberg, Carlsen Recently published young adult novels IN THE back alley behind the PENNY MARKET Outsiders past and present, absentee fathers, a famous stolen skull, and how anyone can make the world a slightly better place are the themes of some new German novels for young adults. © Luchterhand Michael Stavarič Post-Apocalypse on a Frozen Planet Michael Stavarič is a master of dystopia. In his latest novel, the earth has perished. Some people have managed to escape by spaceship, but only one of them makes it alive to a frozen planet, where her memories of the Inuit and of Arctic explorer Fridtjof Nansen help her survive. © Beltz & Gelberg, Klett Kinderbuch New Children's books For Readers with No Humour Deficits In the latest children’s books, we read not only of first love but also about a boy who feels like a girl and how normal it is to be “disabled.” And then there’s a comic book about a childhood in the 1970s and a comic book with poems. © Claassen Paula Irmschler Between #wirsindmehr and #bodypositivity More or less voluntarily, Gisela moves to Chemnitz to study. As a leftist political science student, she becomes quite frustrated there – yet finds the best friends for partying, protesting, and forming a band. © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Leif Randt Plenty of distance, very little relating A man, a woman, drugs, sex, music, tea, Frankfurt, Berlin, a few friends and family members – and the plot for Leif Randt’s new book is in place. © Aladin, Jacoby & Stuart, Gerstenberg, Kunstanstifter, Moritz The Latest Picture Books Relating the Whole World in Pictures A canary that travels all the way to New York, an illustrated piece of German history, a rollicking alphabet, sailors’ yarns, and an adventure around a home office: Picture books can be as rich and colourful as life itself. © Piper Simple Language Literature Accessible Literature “Kultur für alle” – culture for everyone – was a political demand in the 1970s. In 2008, the Kultur für ALLE association was founded in Frankfurt. Now Hauke Hückstädt, director of the Frankfurt Literaturhaus, has published a volume of stories with simple-language literature in this tradition that is quite worth reading. © CulturBooks Frank Göhre A German roman noir A murder at a motorway service area, the brother of the murder victim who is looking for the murderer, plenty of lowlife stories from the present and the past – these are the ingredients of Frank Göhre’s new crime thriller. © Suhrkamp Valerie Fritsch Guilt, Silence, Pain Grandfather and his deeds during the Second World War lead to trauma that threatens to overwhelm the subsequent generations in Valerie Fritsch’s family novel. Only a trip to the deserted steppes of Kazakhstan breaks the chains of the past. © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Maxim Biller Germany, a Love-Hate Relationship “Before raping my sister Claudia, the guest from Moscow filled his belly with our food.” It’s not just the uncommon opening words that make Maxim Biller’s family stories so remarkable. © Claassen Christian Baron At the very bottom What does it mean to grow up on the margins of society? Christian Baron’s autobiographical novel gives us an idea. © Ullstein Oskar Roehler Man: A Defective Creature The filmmaker and writer Oskar Roehler has come out with a novel about growing up in 1960s Germany. The story is set in a small provincial housing estate, a microcosm that reveals the flipside of West Germany’s economic miracle – from the children’s perspective. © Eichborn Jasmin Schreiber Swimming up from the depth All Paula needs in life is her flat, a little money and her beloved brother Tim. When Tim dies in an accident, she plunges into a deep depression. It takes a road trip with a bereaved old man – along with a dog and a chicken – for her to resurface. © dtv, Suhrkamp, transcript Climate change and sustainability The Climate Pigs Are Us From non-fiction to picture books, climate change – and what we can do about it – is an issue for publishers. © Claassen Bov Bjerg DO ORIGINS SEAL ONE’S FATE? Where do I come from? How formative are my origins? Does my family history curse me? These are questions the narrator asks himself in Bov Bjerg’s new novel. He also wants to be a good father – or at least not a “rotten dad”. © Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt Amanda Lasker-Berlin Being sisters one more time The three sisters used to stick together, but life drove them apart. They take a hike through the moor to try and bridge the gap. They bring memories of their shared past and their present in their luggage. There’s nothing around to hold them back. © Oetinger Jana Steingässer Our wonderful world and its climate crisis A journey across our breathtakingly beautiful world that is currently going up in flames narrated from the perspective of a 12-year-old. Jana Steingässer’s book, turns out to be a brilliant and informative work of non-fiction about climate change for children and teenagers. © Kein & Aber Leona Stahlmann Loving differently is not a defect Mina's way of loving is different from that of most people. Leona Stahlmann’s debut novel, explores supposedly “deviant” conceptions of sexuality, home and identity, and delves deep into the nature of being human. © Berenberg Katharina Hacker Thoughts for In-between Essays don’t have to be long. Sometimes they’re just a way to start us thinking. Katharina Hacker’s minute-long essays fit between two bus stops, but also between two situations – the one before and the one after reading. © dtv Ken Krimstein Celebrating thought – and life A graphic novel about Hannah Arendt, probably the greatest philosophical and political thinker of the twentieth century – does that make sense? Does it ever! Ken Krimstein provides the proof. © C.H. Beck Armin Nassehi What problem does digitisation solve? When we speak of digitisation, it’s often about the technologies and their effects, but not about what social problem it actually solves. That’s exactly the question Armin Nassehi asks in his new book. © Diogenes Thomas Meyer Battling the Hate Machine with Absurdity Motti was kicked out of his home because of his affair with a non-Jewish girl. As a member of a Jewish global conspiracy force, he again encounters a shiksa – this time she’s a beautiful Nazi shiksa with a murder contract. © Carlsen Susann Kreller When life’s going arseways Moving from Dublin to a backwater town in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania doesn’t sound very tempting. To the chagrin of Emma and her two siblings, their family ends up in their German mother’s home village. It’s a disruption to which the children react very differently. © Distanz Verlag Skadi Heckmüller Art Collections and Where to Find Them A new booklet is advertised as “a guidebook-format who’s who of private art collections”. It presents 90 private but publicly accessible collections of contemporary and modern art in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. © Hanser Dita Zipfel Lucie and the Madness Lucie, almost thirteen, is annoyed by many things; most of all that she’s expected to vacate her room for mom’s new boyfriend. That’s why she wants to move to Berlin, but it’s expensive. She finds a job – working for a very strange old man. © Der Audioverlag, Der Hörverag, Silberfisch New audiobooks Current Affairs in Audio Books The turn of the year is a favourite time for examining past milestones as well as pressing issues of the present and future. Several audio books offer interesting incentives for this, each in their own and sometimes award-winning way. © Rowohlt Heinz Strunk “Bellyache, so early to bed with a hot water bottle” What does a writer do all day long? If you want to find out in an entertaining way, you should definitely read Heinz Strunk’s latest work. Similarities with the diaries of late great writers are fully intentional. © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Personal narratives about pop music The soundtrack to our lives The German publishing house of Kiepenheuer & Witsch has launched a series of compact paperbacks in which various authors pay tribute to their favourite pop music idols. The music prompts each of them to think back on their lives and, in hindsight, what really counts in life. © Loewe Ursula Poznanski A game with a game plan of its own A red E on a black ground: Erebos is back. And this merciless game has not been idle these past ten years: not only has it forced old gamers back into the game, it is even recruiting new ones. No one gets away, because the game is smarter than ever – and has a plan of its own. © Hatje Cantz David Carreño Hansen, Sven Stolzenwald, Christian Werner You don't need to see more of Germany Forget Neuschwanstein and the old town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, get to know Germany from a completely different, sometimes shockingly intimate side! © S. Fischer Thorsten Nagelschmidt Night crawlers The international arty set has long felt at home in the rough but commodious party city of Berlin. But what about those who work behind the scenes at night? Thorsten Nagelschmidt depicts this in his new novel. © Das kulturelle Gedächtnis Thomas Böhm/Carsten Pfeiffer (Ed.) “Do you wear the glasses till you die?” A Wunderkammer is a cabinet of curiosities, a collection of rarities. Language is a ragbag with plenty of rarities and curiosities too. This new, beautifully designed book presents some remarkable historical as well as contemporary curios of the German language. © Berenberg Jürgen Hosemann The man by the sea, a fool The editor Jürgen Hosemann has written his first book. It is a log about a single day. From one sunrise to the next he sits by the sea and writes about what happens – or doesn't happen – during this time. © Suhrkamp Alexander Kluge A Hidden Object Book for the Discerning Reader With his films and books, Alexander Kluge practices the art of associative overextension. This is also true of his latest book, which contains all sorts of anecdotes and esoteric ideas from and about Russia. © Suhrkamp Anna-Katharina Hahn Swabian Exhaustion Is it “off and away” or “over and done”? Anna Katharina Hahn tells the story of a Swabian family’s struggling women and their attempts to escape. One heads to New York, the other to a low-income neighbourhood in Stuttgart. © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Christoph Schlingensief In the Eye of the Shitstorm The author, action artist, talk show host, film, theatre and opera director Christoph Schlingensief died ten years ago. Now a book of conversations reveals his personality, his obsessions, his fears, his hostility towards “cement-like stability.” © Passagen Verlag Roberto Simanowski God and Benevolent Dictator? What can we expect from artificial intelligence in the future: the salvation of humanity or its downfall? Algorithms are seen as the future holders of power. Roberto Simanowski’s book is about the moral dilemma with which artificial intelligence confronts us. © Hanser Berlin Robert Seethaler Farewell to Life Robert Seethaler empathises with the world-famous, mortally ill composer and conductor Gustav Mahler. Mahler is heading back across the sea to Europe from America. It is his final journey. The exceptional musician would die at the young age of fifty. © S. Fischer Olivia Wenzel Where are you now? What’s it like for a black woman growing up in Thuringia, living in Berlin or experiencing Donald Trump's election first-hand in the USA? Olivia Wenzel’s “autofictional” debut portrays such a woman, who enlists humour and reflection to come to grips with her grief, her personal relationships and her identity. © Diaphanes Alexander Kluge / Joseph Vogl Purposeful Digressions Conversations that cross-fertilise ideas are rare; just as rare as extremely intelligent people. So it’s a stroke of luck when both rarities come together and we’re able to follow the speakers as they ideate, as this new collection of dialogues by Alexander Kluge and Joseph Vogl demonstrates. © Carlsen, dtv, Hanser, Schöffling, Beltz & Gelberg New youth books Extra-terrestrial Shopaholics in Berlin A class outing, a road trip with a wolf, a spaceship in front of the Reichstag, a magical empire on an industrial wasteland, a model’s testimony. Our selection of newly published books for young people explores these and much more. © Hanser Ronya Othmann Between Two Worlds Ronya Othmann's debut novel is a special kind of history lesson: a sensitive and heart-wrenching story that introduces us to the Yazidis, to the war-torn world of the author’s grandparents in Syria. © Der Audio Verlag, Hörbuch Hamburg, Der Hörverlag, Argon New Audiobooks Hear Something Good Again Stimulating, poetic and insightful, audiobooks can really help ensure that the next few months aren’t remembered as the “winter of our discontent”. You might even find ideas for Christmas gifts in our selection. © Beltz & Gelberg, Hummelburg, Jacoby & Stuart, Sauerländer New Children’s Books Bury Your Nose in Books Some recent children’s books take readers to magical worlds of adventure. In another, an unexpected inheritance changes lives. And because children should be able to talk about climate change, we present a suitable book on the topic. © Verbrecher Verlag Anke Stelling A Crush on Markus Häfele There’s no shortage of unhappy people in unfortunate situations in Anke Stelling’s stories. But while Claudia, Franziska, Simone and Carina rail against their circumstances, Hannes, Heiner, Markus and Varut tend not to let themselves be hampered in their self-fulfilment. © NordSüd, Tulipan, Carlsen, Jungbrunnen, Beltz & Gelberg New Picture Books Animal Heroes A she-wolf has an unusual career goal, a little dog is left behind in a hotel and a mouse takes a journey through time. These and many more stories can be discovered in newly published picture books. © Aufbau Cemile Sahin Violence and Patriotism Cemile Sahin’s second novel is about Turkish society, which is influenced enormously by the military, spying and police brutality. In nine episodes, she describes what pervasive experiences of violence do to people. © Piper Gerald Knaus Making the case for humane borders Gerald Knaus initiated the 2016 refugee deal between the EU and Turkey, which is now said to have failed. The Austrian sociologist and migration researcher’s latest book is another attempt to make the case for a realistic and yet humane border regime © Cross Cult, Reprodukt, Lappan New Comics Maximum-Impact Minimalism Most office routines have come to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. For anyone who misses them, there are two comic books that draw a rather tragicomic picture of office life. Another comic is like the Internet but “without all the nonsense”.