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LizF

I have to congratulate you Danielle, you don't shirk the serious books do you?

That list makes my reading plans look seriously frivolous in comparison! I am reading a German book but it is an historical crime thriller called The Hangman's Daughter set in 17th century Bavaria. Very good though!
I know that I have a couple of Herta Muller's books on my shelves although I hadn't realised that she was born in Romania where my son in law comes from (although he is from the east of the country). I can't remember why I picked them up in the first place but I really must get around to at least reading a few pages!
Roman Elegy looks interesting so I might have a look for that. There is a very Germanic influence in that part of Italy and the people can be quite different from those native to further south in the country - they seem much more organised and efficient somehow although I quite like the more haphazard atmosphere in Tuscany and points south!
Junior daughter worked at a huge campsite not far from Venice which used to belong to the large German car maker which makes Audi models, as a holiday get away for their work force in the 1950's. It is now Italian run but still one of the most efficiently run holiday destinations I have ever stayed at and Germans make up a very large proportion of the customers so much so that German is the first language to be used in public announcments.

litlove

Ooh great choices - I am a huge fan of old Adalbert (loved him when I was studying German in college). Nothing happens in his stories, and yet masses happens too under the surface. I'm going to try to read the latest Kafka's-life-into-fiction novel, The Glory of Life by Michael Kumpfmuller. Oh but one thing: I did try to read Roman Elegy a couple of years ago and found it really hard going. I felt I didn't know enough about the politics of the time to make proper sense of the story. I wished the book came with a good introduction! But it could also be that I was reading it at the wrong time, and wasn't as open to it as I might have been. That does happen! Anyway, very much looking forward to reading your reviews.

Caroline

Great choices and thanks for the sout out.
I've read Sabine Gruber but it was one of those books I finished and forgot all about it. My mother is originally from South Tirol but they didn't speak German. They were not directly on the border but more towards the south of the region. maybe that's why,
I'm really keen on hearing what you think of Viola Roggenkamp. I started it and always liked what I read but put it aside bacuse I had too many other choices.
Handke is a wonderful writer.
I hope you'll enjoy whatever you read.

Stefanie

I plan on reading Herta Muller sometime though I am not certain when that sometime will actually happen! I didn't know that about northern Italians speaking German. How interesting!

cath

I've read a couple of books by Joseph Roth, not this one though, but he is always good I think.
Looking forward to hear what you think of Reunion.

Danielle

Trust me--if I had some nice frivolous sort of German lit cozy mystery, it would be at the top of my pile! I think that most German lit that seems to have been translated is more high brow than low brow--so it's less my ambition than what's out there. You will note, though, that a good number of these are actually quite *short*! ;) I'm very curious about The Hangman's Daughter so you'll have to let me know how that one goes. I think I might wait on Roman Elegy after reading Litlove's comment below. I don't mind a little challenging, but I don't want to get involved in a read where I am so unfamiliar with the political atmosphere. I do like, however, the idea of reading about Northern Italy--I have not read much (any?) Italian lit this year, but the few books I seem to pick up almost always are set in Southern Italy of on Sicily. And now that I think of it, I really had hoped to squeeze in some Italian authors--and now the year is quickly racing to the end. Is you daughter back home studying again? And will she go to Italy next summer to work?

Danielle

I wanted to see if I could find something else/more by Adalbert Stifter in the library so thanks for the reminder. I loved Rock Crystal and hope to reread it. I have my copy of the Kumpfmuller-so may be joining you in your read. It does look really good. Thanks for the heads up on Roman Elegy--I will keep that in mind when and if I reach for it. This is why I like a nice pool of books--to find one that I can get easily involved with and won't be too over my head for whatever reason. I am not at all familiar with Italian politics and have read only a very little (just a couple of books about the tumultuous 70s). I do know what you mean by timing when it comes to books!

Danielle

Interesting about the Gruber--I might take a peek at it, but I think I will start with the Roggenkamp--as a matter of fact I have already started reading it and will see what I can manage over the weekend. I think I will also pick up something by Zweig who I always enjoy and maybe try some Handke finally. He was always highly recommended to me when I was living in Austria--it is really time I try his work!

Danielle

That is pretty much where I am coming from when it comes to Herta Muller. She sort of intimidates me, but I suspect that when I do pick up one of her books I will be just fine with it. Isn't that interesting about Northern Italy? I was so surprised when I met some Italian girls who spoke German! Of course Europeans always seem to know so many languages--and being so close to other countries maybe it is not so weird that there is that overlap culture-wise.

Danielle

I have yet to read a single book by Roth, but this will finally be my chance. I think it will be a good place to start. I have always been intrigued, too, by the Radetzky March but won't try and read it this time around. I can't tell you how many times I have picked up Reunion--I'm looking forward to reading it finally. I will try and pick a time when I can read it more or less straight through, or just over the course of a very few days.

LizF

I rather wish I had seen Litlove's comment myself before I rather rashly ordered Roman Elegy from Amazon but I suppose it doesn't do any harm to test challenge myself occasionally so I will give it a go and see what happens!
A lot of books set in Italy do tend to be set further south but Valerio Varesi's crime novels are set around (I think) Bologna, Sarah Dunant's wonderful historical novel Sacred Hearts is set in a convent in Ferrara (sounds as though it should be a bit boring but is in fact absolutely wonderful) Christobel Kent's detective novels are set in Florence and most of Marina Fiorato's historical novels are set no further south than Tuscany.
You can tell from that which genres I tend to read from can't you - history or crime (offer me historical crime and I am very happy!)
My daughter Cait is actually arriving back in the UK today for a flying visit for her 21st birthday on Tuesday but flying back out on Wednesday. She is currently in Toulouse for the French part of her year away and is absolutely loving it but she finishes there at the end of January after exams and is then going to Rome for the Italian leg. At the moment she is looking at staying in Rome for the summer and not coming back until she is due back at Birmingham for her final year but it depends what the job situation is like there so no firm plans have been made as yet!
BTW The Hangman's Daughter is very enjoyable so far!

Danielle

I do hope I didn't steer you wrong! If you have any inclination to start reading the book when you get your copy, do let me know. I will read along with you--really read along (unlike the Pat Barker book I said I was going to read earlier in the year and then didn't manage more than a few pages...). I am reading a novella by Stefan Zweig, but I do want to read some other German lit this month--will make a valiant effort at doing one more 'challenge' and sticking to it! I read the first Varesi novel and have always meant to pick up the second. And it is so cool that your daughter is studying abroad and living in Italy in the summer breaks--she must be very fluent by now. If she lives there permanently you can visit every year! Wouldn't that be nice...

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