Being a English-language book blogger who lives in Germany can be frustrating. None of the American publishers want to send print books for review (though they do send ebooks often enough, for which I offer my thanks and 306 high fives) because it costs a fuck-ton to mail a book across an ocean. I understand. (But it still makes me sad.) The publishers in England seem similarly disinterested—their Net Galley rejection letters always say something about “territory rights”—though the English-language books that I buy at German bookstores are largely imported from that same island. The majority of Book Punks readers are in the United States and England, sooo, hey, long live the epub I guess. Also known as: (don’t) read it and weep.
Instead of banging my head against that wall, I’ve started querying German publishers for books, and my mail box has been like Christmas ever since. So I won’t get to read the latest American authors on paper (unless I wait, possibly forever, for the book to come out in Germany which would be stupid on several levels), but I will get to read the German authors I’m hot for in print. Lately, the books in the mail have been some real beauts, too.
Because pictures of pretty books are the best, and because publishers still willing to send out paper are fucking awesome and thus deserve a little extra-PR hug, get used to me regularly giving you a little peek into ye ole mail bag.
This month at the German Book Punks headquarters…
Finnisches Feuer by Johanna Sinisalo // Publisher: Tropen Roman
Original Finnish title: Auringon Ydin
This book has not been translated into English (though the German title translates to Finnish Fire, if you’re curious). Geezus. Can’t somebody translate Sinisalo’s life works alfuckingready? Everything she has written sounds wonderful. This one caught my eye at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and when I realized that I could at least read it in German, I jumped on it.
The cover is very shiny, and the story is apparently about surveillance and getting high on chili peppers. Finnish New Weird, here I come.
Apokalypse Z: Dunkle Tage by Manel Louriero // Publisher: Heyne
Original Spanish title: Apocalipsis Z: Los Dias Oscuros
This zombie apocalypse book has been translated into English (English title: Apocalypse Z: Dark Days), but I figure if I’m not going to read it in the original, it doesn’t matter if I read it in the English or German translation. While I am generally not interested in reading about zombies, I am interested in reading European post-apocalyptic literature, and I am willing to read some zombies to make that happen.
Faust, Der Zauberlehrling, and Wilhelm Tell // Publisher: Berlin Kindermann Verlag
The Kindermann Verlag brings out some very attractive children’s versions of classic literature (and, as of late, musicals). I’ve already written about Faust here. Sometime soon reviews of Faust and Der Zauberlehrling will appear on Book Punks. I have a soft spot for children’s books with gorgeous illustrations, and these hit all those buttons.
Die Seiten der Welt by Kai Meyer // Publisher: FJB
Undoubtedly the most beautiful of the books in the mail bag, this sparkly covered lit fetish story came to my attention when Kai Meyers did an event at a local bookstore. I couldn’t attend the event, but discovered in my curiosity that Kai Meyer has written over 50 novels, making him, presumably, a big name in the German SFF world. It does not yet appear to be translated into English, but in English the title would be, directly translated, The Pages of the World. The story has something to do with magical, unending libraries and book magic, and I can’t wait to read it. Until then I will be regularly petting it’s wonderful cover, and flipping through the many, many pages.
phantastisch! magazine // Publisher: Atlantis
With the exception of one very aggravating article, I have been immensely enjoying my read of the last three issues of this German SFF magazine (and learning SO much about the German SFF experience). Look for a review later this week.