Read the World (January) | Germany

I decided that with the whole World War II thing, Germany should be my first country in my Read the World journey. Because I’m just kind of making this up as I go along with a vague idea of what I want—to explore one country per month—I’m going to read a fictional novel based in Germany (in this case, not one on the WWII list), a non-fiction, a history of the country, and possibly a travel guide. Possibly. However, it is strangely hard to find a book about German history that’s not based around the war. It’s tragic, really, that a country with such a bright, artistic past, characterized by a compelling culture and musical greats, has been boiled down to the terrible decisions made in the first half of the 20th century. Luckily, I managed to track down a couple of histories that don’t begin and end with the Nazi regime and aren’t thousands of pages long.

The next difficult part was finding a great fictional book placed in Germany, and not because there was nothing to find. Just the opposite. The possibilities are almost overwhelming. It makes me want to go overboard; I have to remind myself that I have three weeks to explore Germany if I truly want to Read the World this year (and not just one country).

So this is my list of things to read (or listen to) for the month of Germany:

  • Germany: A New History by Hagen Schulze (history)
  • 1632 by Eric Flint (audiobook) – This is for fun and because it has absolutely nothing to do with World War I, World War II, or the Berlin Wall.
  • Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder (nonfiction)
  • Floating in My Mother’s Palm by Ursula Hegi (fiction)

What books have you read about Germany? Is there something not on my list that I absolutely have to add? Let me know your thoughts.


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