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Books for a Summer Read
Summer in Balconia

Got it all set up out on the balcony? Parasol spread overhead, your feet up, mobile off, and everything necessary within reach? Then it’s time to take the plunge! Because summer time is reading time – we’ve compiled a selection of books to give you a whiff of vacation, even if you’re not actually going away for the holidays ...

By Regine Hader, Manon Hopf, Holger Moos, Friederike van Stephaudt

no such thing as a free cruise

What sounds even more like summer holidays than an invitation to take a luxury cruise across the Caribbean? – To decline the offer! Bodo Kirchhoff's Betreff: Einladung zu einer Kreuzfahrt (“Re: Invitation on a Cruise”) is a writer’s 130-page reply to just such an invite. For there was a catch: he would have to serve as an on-board "edutainer". In this literary exercise, Kirchhoff playfully blurs the boundaries between author and narrator. This thanks-but-no-thanks letter might not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s well written – and, in places, very funny!


No big vacation plans? Well, a summer trip to Berlin is always worth it – and we’ve found just the right reading for it: in Berlin – Favourite Places (German original: Berlin – Lieblingsorte), Bettina Rust puts personal memories of the city aside to dig like an archaeologist for the stories and urban legends of hotspots the big city’s present-day scene. The author kindles a desire not just to visit Berlin, but to live there. Through the prism of her prose, the city looks less threatening and voracious, and suddenly seems somehow quite familiar.


Mawil: Lucky Luke sattelt um © Lucky Comics, 2019. All Rights Reserved – by Mawil Whether leafing through it at home or on the road, 100 Karten, die deine Sicht auf die Welt verändern is what you get: “a hundred maps that will change your view of the world”. Katapult, a popular science magazine based in Greifswald, Germany, presents social science findings here in a creative and graphically interesting way. These infographics are lots of fun and continually astonishing, starting with the map on the cover showing that whatever direction you head from the South Pole, you’re always going north. It all depends on your perspective, and this book presents at least a hundred different perspectives on the world we live in.

LUCKY LUKE AND HIS trusty boneshaker

Lucky Luke sattelt um (“Lucky Luke Changes Saddles”) is a book for the whole family, a delight for every generation! And what would Lucky Luke be without his sidekick Jolly Jumper? Berlin-based comic book artist Mawil has come up with an adventure that puts the friendship between a cowboy and his horse to the acid test.


Adam's parents’ breakup – out of the blue, at least from his perspective – drives him to an extreme act. In the end, he learns that his parents have always kept a secret from him. Natalie Buchholz's debut novel Der rote Swimmingpool (“The Red Swimming Pool”) is an exciting coming-of-age story. Although probably of interest mainly to young readers, it is bound to give grownups, especially parents, a better understanding of young people, including their own teenage kids. Kulturradio’s Claudia Ingenhoven would “give the book to a big family vacationing together”.


Der rote Swimmingpool © Hanser Berlin Readers looking for more heft this summer will be well served by Wolfram Eilenberger’s hefty new book, Zeit der Zauberer ("The Age of Magicians”). It’s hefty in volume, clocking in at around four hundred pages, and in its cast of characters: namely Ernst Cassirer, Martin Heidegger, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Walter Benjamin – four heavyweight thinkers who had a profound influence on German philosophy and public discourse during the Weimar Republic. Eilenberger deftly interweaves their widely divergent, often conflicting, ideas and life trajectories to yield new insights into the spirit of those fateful and trying times.


Summer means breaking free, right? Carefree abandon after all the trials and tribulations of the workaday year … 35 years ago, publisher/writer Klaus Bittermann read a newspaper report about a couple of young outlaws on the lam: "A couple of grifters have been caught in South Tyrolean Sterzing. 16-year-old Nancy W. and her 17-year-old boyfriend Michael S. had been living for months on what they stole from hotels.” Bittermann has now dug up the article and told the whole story in his grifter novel Sid Schlebrowskis kurzer Sommer der Anarchie und seine Suche nach dem Glück (“Sid Schlebrowski's Short Summer of Anarchy and His Search for Happiness”). No spoilers now as to whether Sid ultimately finds happiness and, as he writes in a love letter, succeeds in stepping in the same river twice. Suffice it to say that in this nostalgic road novel, Bittermann succeeds in celebrating the aimless youth of the 1970s and ’80s.

Die Lieferantin by Zoë Beck © Suhrkamp DRUG CRIME THRILLER in POST-BREXIT LONDON

And what would summer be without suspense? Zoë Beck’s thriller Die Lieferantin (“The Mule”) is set in London in the not too distant future. Post-Brexit Britain is now bent on achieving “Druxit” to rid the nation of drugs. Beck skilfully interlinks the various storylines of her sizeable cast of characters – along with plentiful helping of social criticism – into a suspenseful page-turner.
Now it’s time to take the plunge! 

Kirchhoff, Bodo: Betreff: Einladung zu einer Kreuzfahrt Logo Rosinenpicker © Goethe-Institut / Illustration: Tobias Schrank
Frankfurt: Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, 2017. 128 S.
ISBN: 978-3-627-00241-1
Diesen Titel finden Sie auch in unserer Onleihe

Rust, Bettina: Berlin – Lieblingsorte
Berlin: Insel, 2018. 236 S.
ISBN: 978-3-458-36364-4
Diesen Titel finden Sie auch in unserer Onleihe
100 Karten, die deine Sicht auf die Welt verändern
Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 2019. 208 S.
ISBN: 978-3-455-00538-7

Katapult – Magazin für Kartografik und Sozialwissenschaft
Greifswald: Katapult gUG
ISSN: 2509-3053 (erscheint vierteljährlich) 
Mawil: Lucky Luke sattelt um. Hommage 3
Berlin: Egmont Ehapa Media GmbH, 2019. 64 S.
ISBN (Hardcover in der Egmont Comic Collection / Softcover bei Egmont Ehapa Media): 978-3-7704-4060-3
Buchholz, Natalie: Der rote Swimmingpool
Berlin: Hanser Berlin, 2018. 288 S.
ISBN: 978-3-446-25909-6
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Eilenberger, Wolfram: Zeit der Zauberer
Stuttgart: Clett-Kotta, 2018. 400 S.
ISBN: 978-3-608-11017-3
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Bittermann, Klaus: Sid Schlebrowskis kurzer Sommer der Anarchie und seine Suche nach dem GlückBerlin: edition TIAMAT, 2016. 240 S.
ISBN: 978-3-893-20211-9
Beck, Zoë: Die Lieferantin
Berlin: suhrkamp taschenbuch, 2017. 324 S.
ISBN: 978-3-518-46775-6 
Diesen Titel finden Sie auch in unserer Onleihe