Editor Friederike Schilbach is back and put together her top 10 Christmas reads for us
Friederike is our expert when it comes to good book recommendations. However her expertise isn’t just a matter of chance, as she is a book editor at S. Fischer publishing house and thus, persistently finds manuscripts that are worthy of being translated into German.
The time in between the years marks the rare opportunity to delve into literature for hours and read all these books that I bought weeks or months ago, but then due to lack of time, was forced to set aside on my nightstand, where they served decorative purposes, in the meantime. The upcoming Christmas holiday makes it all the more exciting to have a list of ten wonderful book recommendations that’ll allow us to dive into another world – and take us back to reality, right in time for the beginning of the new year.
Roald Dahl, Lust. Tales of Craving and Desire
British publishing house Penguin has reprinted the tales of this master storyteller. “Lust”, a newly collected volume, contains ten brilliant stories about secrets, longing and dark desires.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Weihnachtsbriefe an die Mutter
An irresistible volume of letters the poet sent to his mother more than a hundred years ago – and the kind of book I reread every single year. So, here’s a small foretaste of what it sounds like: “My dearest mother, we never talked much underneath the christmas tree. That’s what it shall be like today as well…” From Rainer Maria Rilke’s christmas letter to his mother, Berlin, 22th December 1900.
Patricia Hruby Powell, Josephine. The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
A perfect book for your little niece, unless, of course, you’d like to keep it yourself! In English verses (razzmatazz!) it tells the story of dancer Josephine Baker. The beautiful illustrations in it bop as wildly and cheerfully as Josephine did herself, back then.
Barbara Beuys, Helene Schjerfbeck. Die Malerin aus Finnland
Last year I saw an impressive exhibition on the painter Helene Schjerfbeck at Frankfurt’s Schirn Kunsthalle. I hadn’t heard of her yet, although in Scandinavia, she is one of the most beloved artists of all time. In this biography Barbara Beuys tells us about the stormy life of an exceptional artist.
Anäis Duplan, Take This Stallion
A small book of poetry by a young author from Haiti that caught my eye in Brooklyn. The poems have extraordinary titles like Why Would You Ever Go to a Pool Party Anyway or On a Scale of 1-10, How ‘Loving’ Do You Feel? It deals with Kim Kardashian and the topics of loss and vulnerability.
Christoph Niemann, Sunday Sketching
No one is better at alienating and repurposing everyday objects than Berlin based artist Christoph Niemann. In his marvelous drawings a play card turns into a Persian rug, a paintbrush becomes a pleated skirt, an inkpot re-emerges as a camera. I love his way of seeing the world, and it is hard not to fall under the spell of his magnificent book.
Petra Ahne, Wölfe. Ein Portrait
In this year I came across many wolves – in books and at the cinema, the last time in Coco Krebitz’s movie “Wild”. So it’s about time to read this book by Matthes & Seitz, that reintroduces and sheds a new light on the animal.
Zadie Smith, Swing Time
At the moment you’ll find this book on my nightstand, as it is so much fun. It tells the story of two young girls in London who want to become dancers. But only one of them has what it takes: talent.
Apartamento Cookbook #1
The first cookbook by „apartamento“ magazine is full of recipes by 16 chefs, who introduce us to their favorite desserts. It also includes the most beautiful illustrations by Oscar Grønner.
Elisabeth Raether, Die trinkende Frau
No one discusses Gin Fizz, daddy issues, rice crackers or the sensitive subjects of going to a bar alone and drink & dial wittier than Elisabeth Raether. It’s a whole book about women and the art of drinking, that happily mentions neither Hemingway or Bukowski. Cheers!
Translation: Jessica Aimufua
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.