Sunday, March 11, 2018

March Reads

Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart
After slinging through eleven books from January to mid-February, I hit a dry spell. Nothing I picked up was appealing, and after trying to force myself for the third time to read a Krimi a friend recommended, I finally put it down for good. I'd started out the year so well...

Schwiegermutter to the rescue!

Who needs a library card when this is only a small part
of your Schwiegermutter's extensive bilingual collection?
I shared my dilemma with her, and since she has a good idea what I like to read, she handed me an historical novel about a demesne (small feudal farm) facing the plague during the Middle Ages. I finished it in four days and came back for more 12th century stories. Since I braved my next drive to Esslingen with our car instead of the train and survived the ordeal, I could load up a bunch of books. Unfortunately I couldn't start reading them on the drive back.

These are also Krimis, but they take place in the Middle Ages,
and somehow that works for me. 
The titles sound a bit morbid, but she tells me the main character is a woman who was ahead of her time and knowledgable in the medical field, the human body, and autopsies (despite the fact that they were not actually permitted back then). I'm all for novels featuring strong female characters, and I am fascinated by life in the Middle Ages. Having just finished a biography about a Polish immigrant in Germany struggling with identity, language, and "home," I started on the first of the Ariana Franklin books this afternoon. And then promptly fell asleep. Not because it was boring, but because that's what happens when I read in the afternoon lying on the sofa. My only hope is to stay upright, and even that doesn't always work. I love naps...

I also picked up another book in a series I really like and recommend for anyone living in Germany:

These books each reveal 50 secrets of and from the city in the title, and the new one I'd ordered is the one about Berlin. I have read most of the books from Esslingen and Tübingen, and I have written (with permission from the author) about several of those secrets here and here. I bought the one about Berlin in preparation for my trip there with the Sheboygan exchange students in June this year, and already I've read about two things very close to our hotel that I've never noticed before. These books are fabulous for pointing out things that are in plain sight but that we don't notice when we're just walking around in a town or city.

They are only available in German, but I really do think there'd be a market for them in English! People love secrets and stories! I'd buy several copies of the Esslingen book in English to give as gifts. I wonder if I can plant that idea in the publisher's ear.

So I am content to say that I have my reading set and planned for the next few weeks. This is a relief, because I hate being "between books." I don't know how quickly I'll get through Franklin's books, but at some point I also need to get to the twenty other projects that are waiting for me involving cleaning, writing, more writing, more cleaning, and organizing.

What are YOU reading these days?

Do you have some good recommendations for me??
Modern-day Krimis need not apply.


  1. oh my gosh look at that library, yep no need for a community library when you know people with such lovely bookshelves!

    1. Although I'm a fan of libraries, too - especially that one in Stuttgart.

  2. Yay for Schwiegermutter! Her book collection looks like my dream home library.

    I like historical fiction sometimes, but I'm usually strangely reluctant to pick it up even if I think it sounds like a story I will enjoy. Other things always seem to sound more appealing.

    1. And that's only one set of shelves! Every room of her flat has books in it - except the bathroom (too humid in there). How you feel about historical fiction is how I usually feel about modern-day Krimis.