Books for the summer: Basti, monster slime

Reading in the summer is such a delightful pleasure.

Books for the summer: Basti, monster slime

Reading in the summer is such a delightful pleasure. Finally time, finally the opportunity to enter another world, physically and mentally. In the old tradition, we are presenting a few books here that the editors enjoyed reading or simply found interesting.

There are things that one cannot imagine: "Reichsleiter B. and Dr. med. B. are responsible for expanding the powers of doctors to be appointed by name in such a way that, according to human judgment, incurably ill people, if their condition is critically assessed, receive mercy death can be granted." Everyone can explain for themselves what this free letter from Adolf Hitler meant on September 1, 1939: It was permission to play God. It was empowering to put people to sleep like you do sick animals. What "sick" meant was at the discretion of one of the doctors empowered by the letter.

Stephanie von Hayek's first novel "As the days lost their light" tells the story of the sisters Linda and Gitte, daughters of a liberal middle-class family, who really only wanted to live and enjoy their lives. When Linda's husband doesn't come back from the war, she falls into a deep melancholy and is sent to a sanatorium. The above letter from Hitler makes it clear that she is not safe there, because based on these statements her life – in a sanatorium – would no longer be worth living. Fortunately, Linda's fighting spirit awakens just in time. Von Hayek tells the story of the two sisters in a sensitive and thoroughly researched manner and combines fiction and reality in the most masterful way. (Pendo Verlag) (soe)

It's a book the creators at Netflix are convinced there's - still - more to come: The New York Times bestseller becomes a series, and formerly homeless single mother Stephanie Land becomes a journalist and author. The American dream? Not quite. A Brief History of Fame and Fortune? Far from it, it's a long story. It is the story of a woman who managed to get out of her dire situation, ended up on the streets and, despite many setbacks, was able to build a future for herself and her child.

"My daughter took her first steps in the homeless shelter," writes Land, and elsewhere: "We made it." So much happens in between that it hardly seems to fit into one lifetime. But in a book that tells of the fact that a "happy meal" can sometimes mean the whole world for a child and that women can manage to free themselves from toxic relationships. (fisherman) (soe)

While short stories may not be right for many people, for others they are the ideal form of reading. Ewald Arenz's stories are perfect for the beach. Or for just before falling asleep, when there is not enough attention left for a 400-page tome. Arenz, who likes to take us along in the same tomes in "Altes Land" or tells us how "The Great Summer" of (his) youth was, can also be short.

His family has to do that, it's huge and offers 1000 occasions for short stories worth telling. Whether he locks himself out at home and his son doesn't let him in because it's too late to open the door to "men" (even if it's his own father), he "takes the Reeperbahn" or the family vacation is being dissected – Wife Juliane and children Theo, Phillys and Otto have to be used for all sorts of stories. Fortunately, the Arenzens seem to be really relaxed ... (arsvidendi Verlag) (soe)

A novel. About a hero. Not just any hero, but a football hero. This is God-equal. But it is only the Basti that is at stake here. When Schweini, as Basti is also called, enters the room (even if only via TV), then the sun rises in the hearts of 98 percent of Germans. At the same time, Sebastian Schweinsteiger mumbles, which is particularly noticeable since he no longer plays football, but comments. So be it – Basti can do whatever he wants, he's everyone's darling. And only whiners like the author can hardly believe that he and his wife advertise a pair of trousers for a brand. But that brings us to his wife, who is not just any woman, but Ana Ivanovic, and who in turn was a really good tennis player. The two are something like saints, at least like Gandhi and Mother Theresa, I don't immediately understand why, but if you claim otherwise, the 98 percent of Germans mentioned above will at least cut you short.

They were sports stars until they decided they weren't anymore. None of that matters, however, because anyone who wants to read a good novel based on facts should read "One of You" by Martin Suter. Because Suter can write about as well as the Schweinsteiger-Ivanovics could with balls. And it has to be said that this renowned writer has put a lot of effort into collecting so-called "fun" facts about a soccer player and his wife and then putting them on paper in such a way that even people who think: "Why is this top athlete doing now pants advertising with his wife?" in many places in "Aaaahs!" and "Ooohs!" could burst out with the pleasure of reading. (Diogenes Verlag) (soe)

The author has already worked in a number of professions. She remembered one so well that she wrote a book about it. Nine Olausen Nielebock (name is real, she was born in Norway) was a film props manager back when you could travel with plastic guns in your hand luggage and not get arrested. Nine has set itself the task of telling what it was like in film, before cell phones existed, when you sometimes had to step in as a stand-in because the star had already left and because the film business was wonderful Business is crazy and unpredictable. So why doesn't she work there anymore? Because she herself thinks that there are better people than her. Maybe not as nice as her, but better. Of course we can't judge that from the outside, but what is certain is that she can write very amusingly and takes the reader with her to many film sets.

Nine is an a.D. props manager, so off duty, but you don't really believe her, this "a. D." - she writes about it too enthusiastically. This job requires sensitivity, let's just take a scene that involves food: Is the actor or actress vegan? Alcoholic? Does the person have an eating disorder in general? An allergy? You can really get in trouble there, it takes preparation. Or improvisational talent. And lots of empathy and psychology. Nine Olausen Nielebock has plenty of everything - and so her book is also an enjoyable ride through time and the film sets on which she worked and worked, ranging from Sylt outdoor roses to Loriot cultural assets. (Charles Verlag) (soe)

The case histories from a neurological practice are about how people with psychiatric or neurological problems can be helped who could hardly expect help elsewhere: The Knoblochs investigate the causes of numb limbs, hellish headaches or delusions in a detective way and way after. Desperation sets in when a person goes from doctor to doctor, and while one always wants to hear from the doctor: "Everything is fine," this diagnosis makes some patients really unhappy.

They would love to know where their pain is coming from. Or her mental illness. Nicole and Christian Knobloch therefore talk about patients with seemingly hopeless problems, and the catalog ranges from bladder weakness to exhaustion to tremors, from inexplicable ADHD to an eternal down feeling to "turtles in the stomach". On the other hand, in addition to listening and showing understanding, two simple things often help: a good portion of Krötol - or a placebo. (Edel Publishing Group) (soe)

With "Girl, Woman etc", Bernardine Evaristo created an international bestseller that US President Barack Obama raved about at the time. She was in all the feuilletons and won the Booker Prize in 2019 at the age of 60. Evaristo makes it clear in her "Manifesto" that this success did not fall into the lap of a surprise shooting star or a literary debutante. In it she explores her childhood, her sexuality, her creative work, her activism. Beautifully and clearly structured and written, Evaristo describes in "Manifesto" a life that consists above all of building resilience.

To build inner strength and resistance to the constant hurt of being labeled an outsider as one of eight brown children in a British working-class mixed-race family. A decade of resisting the heteronormative world as a feminist theatre-making lesbian. Resistance and strength to escape a toxic relationship and admit to being interested in men again. And of course: Always finding the strength to believe in your own voice. What reads so easily and inspired by Evaristo is ultimately the result of many, many revisions, great perseverance in the fight against rejections and rejection and the self-assurance that one's own voice is important. Don't look enviously at others, accept constructive criticism, build networks, strengthen other voices and above all develop a strong vision of what you want to achieve. In the end, Evaristo's Manifesto recharges the creative battery when self-doubt threatens to eat it up. At least for me. (tropical publisher) (sla)

Caution! This book is for nerds. book nerds. Those who dream of classrooms in old brick walls, where the leaves are changing color outside and the old radiator is banging inside while you wonder whether Chekhov or Turgenev constructed their stories better. Or is it Tolstoy? George Saunders, the short story king and Booker Prize winner, has written a book for those who haven't yet taken his creative writing classes at Syracuse University. For "Swimming in a Pond When It Rains," Saunders took on four Russian grandmasters of literature, explained to us why their short stories work so well, and then gave them homework. So although it's a proper workbook, Saunders becomes a favorite teacher after just a few pages -- especially when he shares his own failures in a witty and refreshing way. But he also brings some uncomfortable truths for aspiring writers.

1. The writer we wanted to be isn't always the writer we are. That's what makes us unique. (Saunders himself wanted to be Hemingway and only became...Saunders.)2. Authors who end up publishing are the ones willing to revise their texts over and over again.3. Successful writers are the ones who sit at their desks for many, many, many hours. (see 2).

You can spend a few hours reading this book. And last but not least, learn how elegant gendering feels when you simply take advantage of many opportunities to use the feminine form without making a big story out of it. (Luchterhand) (sla)

Can a teacher, and an old one from England who is already deceased, write a woman's novel? Yes he can if he J.L. Carr means that she doesn't write a women's novel at all, but a coming-of-age novel and accompanies a young woman as she grows up and emancipates herself in a funny, pointed and at the same time astute manner. Her name is Hetty, she lives in East England and we are in the final stages of the 1980s, which might have been exciting in Berlin, but not necessarily in Hetty's middle-class family home. Hetty wants to move on, she dreams of studying literature, and when she finds out that she is adopted, she runs away for good - out of the close quarters, away from her choleric father and, above all, she is running away from a future she has in mind as follows: "I had a vague feeling that there must be more than being strangled by men's arms night after night for fifty years of marriage, dishing up a meal three times a day, and starting the same routine all over again the next day." As I said, it's the eighties, but according to Asbach, the fears sound very old.

As Hetty ventures out into the world, as she tries to achieve her goals, she realizes that it's not important where we come from but where we want to go, what weird guys she meets (including from the author's previous novels, which is a funny side -Effect is), that reads wonderfully. British humor plays the second main role in this book from 1988 (original title: "What Hetty Did"). (Dumont) (soe)

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