Month: December 2011

Romane 2012: Neuerscheinungen, Empfehlungen

Interessante Bücher, 2012?

Update, Spätsommer 2012: Bis heute googeln viele Leser diesen Eintrag. Weil er schon älter ist (Dezember 2011), hier ein paar Ergänzungen / Empfehlungen.

Die besten Bücher, erschienen 2012, die ich bisher dieses Jahr gelesen habe?

  • Gerbrand Bakker, “Der Umweg”, Suhrkamp, März 2012. (große Empfehlung!)
  • Scott Snyder: “Batman: Court of Owls”, DC Comics, Mai 2012 (der beste Batman-Comic seit Jahren. Einsteigerfreundlich / kein Vorwissen nötig.)

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aktuelle Bücher von jungen deutschen Autoren / Freunden, auf die ich mich freue (noch nicht gelesen):

  • Sabrina Janesch, “Ambra”, Luchterhand, August 2012.

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Die ursprüngliche, erste Auswahl, von Dezember 2011:

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deutsche Autorinnen und Autoren:

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01) Christian Schüle: “Das Ende unserer Tage”: Hamburg-Roman

460 Seiten, Klett-Cotta, Februar 2012

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02) Franziska Gerstenberg: “Spiel mit ihr”: erotischer Thriller (?)

264 Seiten, Schöffling, 15. Februar 2012 [Artikel von mir über Gerstenbergs Kurzgeschichten: Link]

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03) Christian Kracht: “Imperium”: Abenteuerroman

256 Seiten, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 16. Februar 2012

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04) Lisa-Maria Seydlitz: “Sommertöchter”: Reise-/Urlaubs-/Familienroman

208 Seiten, Dumont, 22. Februar 2012

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05) Thomas von Steinaecker: “Das Jahr, in dem ich aufhörte, mir Sorgen zu machen, und anfing, zu träumen”: Gesellschaftsroman

400 Seiten, S. Fischer, 23. Februar 2012

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06) Bernd Schroeder: “Auf Amerika”: Dorfroman

200 Seiten, Hanser, 27. Februar 2012

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07) André Kubiczek: “Der Genosse, die Prinzessin und ihr lieber Herr Sohn”, DDR-Roman

612 Seiten, Piper, März 2012

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08) Felicitas Hoppe: “Hoppe”: Autobiografie / Satire

336 Seiten, S. Fischer, 8. März 2012

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09) Anna Katharina Hahn: “Am schwarzen Berg”, Stuttgart-Roman

236 Seiten, Suhrkamp, 12. März 2012 [Fortsetzung zu “Kürzere Tage”, 2009?]

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10) Klaus Siblewski, John von Düffel: “Wie Dramen entstehen”, Poetik / Ratgeber

288 Seiten, Luchterhand, 12. März 2012 [der Vorgänger “Wie Romane entstehen” von 2008 war sehr, sehr gut. Interessant auch DIESE Neuauflage [Link] zum selben Thema]

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11) Saskia Fischer: “Ostergewitter”: Familiendrama

220 Seiten, Suhrkamp, 16. April 2012

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12) Rainald Goetz: “Johann Holtrop”: Wirtschafts-/Gesellschaftsroman

200 Seiten, Suhrkamp, September 2012

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13) André Kubiczek: “Kopf unter Wasser”: Männerroman

240 Seiten, Piper, August 2012

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Übersetzungen:

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14) Sherwood Anderson: “Winesburg, Ohio”: Kleinstadt-Klassiker (1919), 3.78 von 5

328 Seiten, Schöffling, 2. Januar 2012 [Neuübersetzung von Mirko Bonné]

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15) Stephen King: “Der Anschlag”: Zeitreise-Thriler, 4.36 von 5

1056 Seiten, Heyne, 23. Januar 2012 [Titel der Originalausgabe: “11/22/63”]

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16) Ben Brooks: “Nachts werden wir erwachsen”: Szene-/Jugendroman, 3.62 von 5

272 Seiten, Berlin Verlag, 4. Februar 2012 [Übersetzer: Jörg Albrecht]

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17) Padget Powell: “Roman in Fragen”: experimenteller Roman (?)

192 Seiten, Berlin Verlag, 4. Februar 2012 [Übersetzer: Harry Rowohlt]

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18) Elisabeth Tova Bailey: “Das Geräusch einer Schnecke beim Essen”: Essay über chronische Krankheiten, 3.92 von 5

176 Seiten, Nagel & Kimche, 6. Februar 2012

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19) Rob Sheffield: “Mit Mädchen über Duran Duran reden”: Popliteratur / Musikjournalismus, 3.54 von 5

336 Seiten, Heyne, 13. Februar 2012

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20) Jennifer Egan: “Der größere Teil der Welt”: Baseball- und Punkroman, 3.65 von 5

392 Seiten, Schöffling, 15. Februar 2012 [Originaltitel: “A Visit from the Goon Squad”, Pulitzerpreis 2011]

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21) Joan Didion: “Blaue Stunden”: persönliches Essay über Selbstmord, 3.75 von 5

176 Seiten, Ullstein, 29. Februar

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22) Edmund White: “Und das schöne Zimmer ist leer”: Memoir, 3.79 von 5

256 Seiten, Gmünder, 1. März [Neuausgabe von “The beautiful Room is empty”, 1988]

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23) Erin Morgenstein: “Der Nachtzirkus”: Fantasy-Romanze, 4.08 von 5

464 Seiten, Ullstein, 15. März

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24) Francis Spufford: “Rote Zukunft”, Sowjet-Roman, 3.98 von 5

576 Seiten, Rowohlt, 2. April 2012

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25) Yu Hua: “Brüder”: Gesellschaftsroman über Shanghai, 3.88 von 5

768 Seiten, S. Fischer, 12. April 2012

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26) Tina Fey: “Bossypants: Haben Männer Humor?”: Comedy / Memoir, 3.96 von 5

256 Seiten, Rowohlt, 1. Juni 2012

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27) Patrick DeWitt: “Die Sisters Brothers”: Western / Satire, 3.88 von 5

368 Seiten, Goldmann, 25. Juni 2012

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28) Frank Bill: “Cold Hard Love”: Hinterwäldler-Kurzgeschichten, 3.98 von 5

ca. 288 Seiten, Suhrkamp, 16. Juli 2012

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29) Isabel Allende: “Mayas Tagebuch”: Frauenroman über Chile, 3.79 von 5

450 Seiten, Suhrkamp, 13. August 2012

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bereits gelesen – und nicht zu empfehlen:

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30) Stewart O’Nan: “Emily, allein”: Alltagsroman, 3.65 von 5

384 Seiten, Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 16. Januar 2012 [O’Nan ist einer meiner Lieblingsautoren. Alternative Empfehlungen: “Halloween”, “Abschied von Chautauqua”, “Das Blut der anderen”]

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31) Manu Joseph: “Genie ist relativ”: Farce / Satire, 3.59 von 5

370 Seiten, Suhrkamp, 18. Juni 2012.

[Bereits 2010 unter dem Titel “Ernste Männer” bei Klett-Cotta veröffentlicht.]

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32) Doug Johnstone: “Smokeheads”: Survival-Thriller, 2.95 von 5

320 Seiten, btb, 9. Juli 2012

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verwandte Links:

  • “Futter für die Bestie”: Literaturkritik in digitalen Zeiten [Essay, Link]
  • große Literatur: 250 Empfehlungen [Link]
  • große Literatur: 250 Entdeckungen [Link]
  • deutschsprachige Literatur: Entdeckungen 2011 [Link]
  • junge Literatur: 50 Empfehlungen [Link]
  • Buchtipps: Dezember 2011 [Link]
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Underdog Literature, December 2011: 15 fresh or brilliant, off-the-wall titles

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Here are 15 books that caught my interest lately.

Fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious titles that might deserve more attention:

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01: WALTER ABISH, ‘How German is it? Wie Deutsch ist es?’, 252 pages, 1980.

02: ANNA FUNDER, ‘Stasiland: Stories from behind the Berlin Wall’, 304 pages, 2000. [Journalism from a young Australian author]

03: ELENA FERRANTE, ‘Days of Abandonment’ / ‘Tage des Verlassenwerdens’, 254 pages, 2002.

04: HEIMITO VON DODERER, ‘The Demons’ / ‘Die Dämonen’, 1340 pages, 1965. [Austrian]

05: CLARICE LISPECTOR, ‘Near to the wild Heart’, 192 pages, 1943. [existentialist, lyrical short novel by a 17-year-old Brazilian author.]

06: LAUREN BINET, ‘HHhH’, 374 pages, 2009.

07: JOY WILLIAMS, ‘The Changeling’, 256 pages, 1978.

08: ELIZABETH VON ARNIM, ‘The enchanted April’, 247 pages, 1922.

09: PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR, ‘A Time of Gifts’, 321 pages, 1977. [Travelogue]

10: WILLIAM GADDIS, ‘JR’, 752 pages, 1975.

11: ALBERT COHEN: ‘Her Lover’ / ‘Belle du Seigneur’, 992 pages, 1968.

12: MIKLÓS BANFFY, ‘They were counted’, 600 pages, 1934.

13: RUSSELL BANKS, ‘Affliction’, 368 pages, 1989.

14: RAY FAWKES, ‘One Soul’, 176 pages, 2011. [Comic]

15: UMBERTO ECO, ‘The Infitiny of Lists’ / ‘Die unendliche Liste’, 408 pages, 2009. [Cultural History]

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Here are five books that made me curious enough to buy them:

01: LAWRENCE DURRELL: ‘The Alexandria Quartet’, 884 pages, 1957.

02: FREDERICK REIKEN, ‘Day for Night’, 336 pages, 2010.

03: JANICE GALLOWAY, ‘The Trick is to keep breathing’, 236 pages, 1989.

04: MICHAEL A. FITZGERALD, ‘Radiant Days’, 256 pages, 2007.

05: VESTAL McINTYRE, ‘Lake Overturn’, 448 pages, 2009.

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…and finally, here are three books that I read – and that were really good:

1: 5 of 5 stars: EVAN S. CONNELL, ‘Mrs. Bridge’, 246 pages, 1959.

2: 4 of 5 stars: SARAH GLIDDEN, ‘How to understand Israel in 60 Days or less’, 208 pages, 2007 [Graphic Novel / Travelogue].

3: 4 of 5 stars: FRIGYES KARINTHI, ‘A Journey round my Skull’, 312 pages, 1938 [Essay / Autobiography].

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related Posts:

and:

DC Super-hero Comics: Where to start? [Guide / Index]

This is the index for my 24-part-series “Super-Heroes: Best Place to start” [part 1: here].

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You’re interested in Super-Hero Comics [Link] or the DC Universe [Link]?

You want to start reading some of the new 52 comic books [Link] set in the world of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman?

All heroes – and heroines – have monthly series with different strengths, tones and sensibilities.

…and each of these comic book sagas have good entry points for new readers.

For 24 heroes, here are my selections and recommendations. Enjoy!

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related Links:

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my German comic book journalism:

The best place to start reading… the Flash!

This is part 3 of my 24-part-series “Super-Heroes: Best Place to start” [Link to the complete list… here!].

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You’re interested in The Flash [Link] / Barry Allen [Link] or Wally West [Link]?

To me, the best place to start is…

not yet released. If you want to start reading right away, a charming first look will be:

“DC: The New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke (Writing and Art), a limited series / trade paperback collection [Link to review] published in 2004.

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If you can wait until November 2012, though, I’d recommend the following collection by Francis Manapul (Writing and Art) and Brian Buccellato:

THE FLASH VOL. 1 HC Writers: Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato Artist: Francis Manapul Collects: THE FLASH #1-7 $22.99 US, 168 pg.

more info: here [Link]

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What’s the appeal of… Barry Allen and Wally West?

Created at the start of the quirky, optimistic and crazy 1950ies/60ies “Silver Age” of Comics [Link], “The Flash” tells inventive, but slightly nerdy and repetitive tales of street-level, everyday men: Barry Allen and his – temporary – replacement Wally West are doting, sweet and sometimes naive midwestern boys, perpetually almost ready to settle down.

A wide-eyed, but small-scale / suburban / rose-colored examination of life’s demands on your typical normal, late-twenties, All-American “regular” guy.

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two other books, good for beginners:

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good books for advanced readers:

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sub-par or disappointing books:

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common problems / grievances in “The Flash” books:

  • a plethora of (fairly likeable but flat) mentors, kids and sidekick speedster heroes… who have nothing to do.
  • never-ending “the tiger cannot change it’s stripes”-storylines about gimmick-themed thugs and gangsters like Captain Cold, Mirror Master or Trickster.
  • a fairly suburban / apolitical / rose-colored perspective on city life, long-term relationships and civic duty. Even more kitties waiting to be rescued than in Superman’s Metropolis. 🙂

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Is the current monthly “The Flash” book, launched in September 2011, any good?

Hell, yes! Francis Manapul’s “The Flash” is so lush, charming, engaging and reader-friendly… it feels more a like Disney / Pixar production than a DC super-hero book. Excellent, visually mature storytelling for an all-ages audience!

Interested in other comic book heroes?

I’d recommend bright and big-hearted series like “Supergirl”, “JSA” and the current “Aquaman”.

Here’s my full list [Link]!

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related Links:

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my German comic book journalism:

The best place to start reading… Batwoman (and Renee Montoya!)

This is part 2 of my 24-part-series “Super-Heroes: Best Place to start” [Link to complete list… here!].

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You’re interested in Batwoman [Link] / Kate Kane [Link]?

To me, the best place to start is:

“Batwoman: Elegy” by Greg Rucka (Writing) and John H. Williams III (Art), a trade paperback collection [Link: review] published in 2010.

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What’s the appeal of… Kate Kane?

A socialite, a military brat, a proactive, aggressive vigilante with a personality, every bit as intense as Bruce Wayne…

Ever since Kate Kane was introduced in 2006, she provoked great character moments and raised smart questions on the nature of morality, duty and loss. A mature, charismatic hero – and the first high-profile lesbian protagonist in superhero comics.

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Kate’s main storyline starts in “Elegy”. But her foes, friends and romantic foils were introduced in other, earlier “Batman” series.

For the whole picture, please read:

…as well as “Gotham Central”, a Greg Rucka / Ed Brubaker series that (co-)stars Renee Montoya, the most important side character / romantic foil in “Batwoman”:

after this – lengthy – backstory, the Batwoman character gets introduced in an important ensemble story (co-)starring Renee Montoya:

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both Kate’s and Renee’s story continue in:

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If you’re okay with missing *some* details, I recommend you skip these more peripheral and / or weaker volumes:

for a complete list of Kate’s appearances, please see [Link]

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common problems / grievances in “Batwoman” books:

  • Kate’s family has seen much drama, and Kate’s love life is equally complex. Since most “Batwoman” characters bottle up their feelings *very* hard, it constantly feels like important conversation just… fails to happen: The comic has many cold, angry and bitter character moments.
  • Both Kate and Renee are fan favorite characters. Still, months can pass without either of them making an appearance. Where *is* Renee, right now? What is her status?
  • Introduced in 4 different books and drawn by too many different artists, Kate’s main foes, the cultists of the ancient “religion of crime” have been a part of DC comics for 10 years… but still don’t feel conceptually strong or well-realized.

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Is the current monthly “Batwoman” book, launched in September 2011, any good?

Yes. Even though Greg Rucka, the writer who created Kate Kane in 2006, has left DC Comics, the current “Batwoman” storyarc, “Hydrology”, is even better-paced and more complex than “Elegy”. It’s a busy story with lots of side characters and backstory – but it still works as a starting point, and draws you in very quickly.

Update, 2014: The first 4 books of the new “Batwoman” series are excellent and tell one continuous and exciting story. Collections 5 and 6 are pretty bad and can be ignored.

Interested in other comic book heroes / heroines?

I’d recommend the character “The Huntress” (Helena Bertinelli), “Manhunter” (with vigilante attorney Kate Spencer) and “Starman” (Jack Knight), another artful, atmospheric and more mature series.

Plus: the 1990ies DC cult series “Chase”, drawn by J.H. Williams III, has story connections… and seems to have a similar tone / appeal.

Here’s my full list [Link]!

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related Links:

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my German comic book journalism:

The best place to start reading… Superman!

This is part 1 of my 24-part-series “Super-Heroes: Best Place to start” [Link to the complete list… here!].

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You’re interested in Superman [Link] / Clark Kent [Link]?

To me, the best place to start is:

“Superman for all Seasons” by Joeph Loeb (Writing) and Tim Sale (Art), a trade paperback collection [Link] published in 1999.

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What’s the appeal of… Clark Kent?

Clark won a Pulitzer for his work at the “Daily Planet”. He’s a self-aware, fiercely idealistic advocate. A loving husband. And a constant, smart reminder that we can change our worlds… once we harness our power, and work towards our best.

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3 other books, good for beginners:

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good books for advanced readers:

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sub-par or disappointing books:

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common problems / grievances in “Superman” books:

  • …endless fistfights / brawls with brutish, one-dimensional monsters, mutants and aliens.
  • …extremely likeable side characters… who have nothing to do and hardly change or evolve.
  • Every month, “Batman” has nearly one dozen of interconnected, complex titles with a variety of fully fleshed-out bat-characters working in Gotham City. “Superman” does not have that kind of editorial attention / worldbuilding / energy.

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Is the current monthly “Superman” book, launched in September 2011, any good?

Yes. Grant Morrison’s “Action Comic” is a faced-paced, engaging starting point for new readers. “Superman” is a little wooden, talky and old-fashioned… but likeable, too.

Interested in other comic book heroes?

I’d recommend “Supergirl”, “Wonder Woman” and “Green Arrow”.

Here’s my full list [Link]!

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related Links:

my German comic book journalism: