Best German/Austrian/Swiss Literature

Books originally written in German, or by those born in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
1

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4.24 avg rating — 5,245 ratings
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2

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3.81 avg rating — 566,217 ratings
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3

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4.12 avg rating — 123,917 ratings
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4

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3.98 avg rating — 209,224 ratings
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5

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3.93 avg rating — 55,406 ratings
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6

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3.97 avg rating — 336,509 ratings
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7

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4.13 avg rating — 66,455 ratings
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8

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4.03 avg rating — 6,676 ratings
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9

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4.02 avg rating — 531,328 ratings
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10

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4.02 avg rating — 291,682 ratings
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11

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4.44 avg rating — 726 ratings
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12

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3.66 avg rating — 72,583 ratings
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13

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4.43 avg rating — 6,721 ratings
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14

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4.14 avg rating — 31,563 ratings
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15

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4.15 avg rating — 19,918 ratings
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16

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4.06 avg rating — 98,805 ratings
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17

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4.32 avg rating — 43,976 ratings
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18

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4.30 avg rating — 139,362 ratings
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19

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3.73 avg rating — 6,419 ratings
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20

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4.11 avg rating — 29,794 ratings
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21

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4.30 avg rating — 57,374 ratings
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22

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4.20 avg rating — 41,617 ratings
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23

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4.12 avg rating — 755 ratings
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24

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3.75 avg rating — 162,408 ratings
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25

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4.12 avg rating — 8,689 ratings
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26

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4.13 avg rating — 1,294 ratings
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27

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3.96 avg rating — 36,872 ratings
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28

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4.67 avg rating — 389 ratings
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29

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3.83 avg rating — 1,175 ratings
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30

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4.18 avg rating — 150,412 ratings
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31

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4.35 avg rating — 22,821 ratings
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32

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3.90 avg rating — 19,389 ratings
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33

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4.23 avg rating — 301 ratings
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34

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3.96 avg rating — 40,230 ratings
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35

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3.87 avg rating — 5,779 ratings
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36

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4.36 avg rating — 2,591 ratings
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37

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3.95 avg rating — 2,016 ratings
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38

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4.08 avg rating — 6,647 ratings
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39

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3.85 avg rating — 6,497 ratings
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40

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4.08 avg rating — 9,233 ratings
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41

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3.78 avg rating — 8,929 ratings
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42

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3.70 avg rating — 10,356 ratings
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43

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4.47 avg rating — 10,017 ratings
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44

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4.24 avg rating — 378 ratings
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45

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4.53 avg rating — 167 ratings
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46

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3.74 avg rating — 15,871 ratings
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47

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4.04 avg rating — 12,736 ratings
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48

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4.03 avg rating — 15,073 ratings
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49

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3.85 avg rating — 12,292 ratings
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50

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4.02 avg rating — 5,772 ratings
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51

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4.01 avg rating — 19,602 ratings
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52

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4.56 avg rating — 107 ratings
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53

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4.43 avg rating — 4,899 ratings
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54

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3.25 avg rating — 8,700 ratings
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55

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3.80 avg rating — 2,887 ratings
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56

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3.96 avg rating — 9,853 ratings
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57

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4.33 avg rating — 135 ratings
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58

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4.08 avg rating — 1,809 ratings
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59

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3.81 avg rating — 2,391 ratings
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60

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3.74 avg rating — 6,797 ratings
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61

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3.73 avg rating — 8,882 ratings
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62

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3.88 avg rating — 5,312 ratings
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63

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3.96 avg rating — 29,287 ratings
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64

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4.74 avg rating — 141 ratings
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65

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3.35 avg rating — 4,549 ratings
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66

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3.75 avg rating — 21,465 ratings
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67

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4.19 avg rating — 1,061 ratings
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68

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3.99 avg rating — 166,440 ratings
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69

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3.34 avg rating — 8,022 ratings
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70

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3.52 avg rating — 8,727 ratings
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71

by
4.39 avg rating — 113 ratings
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72

by
4.08 avg rating — 290 ratings
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73

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3.43 avg rating — 5,248 ratings
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74

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3.61 avg rating — 1,837 ratings
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75

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4.32 avg rating — 47,845 ratings
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76

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3.52 avg rating — 2,855 ratings
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77

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3.65 avg rating — 14,500 ratings
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78

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4.25 avg rating — 104 ratings
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79

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3.73 avg rating — 7,888 ratings
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80

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4.24 avg rating — 21,645 ratings
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81

by
4.03 avg rating — 1,470 ratings
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82

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3.71 avg rating — 8,563 ratings
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83

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4.26 avg rating — 9,421 ratings
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84

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3.87 avg rating — 4,865 ratings
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85

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4.21 avg rating — 8,701 ratings
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86

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3.79 avg rating — 5,241 ratings
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87

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 3,327 ratings
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88

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3.88 avg rating — 11,623 ratings
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89

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3.72 avg rating — 11,656 ratings
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90

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4.09 avg rating — 1,148 ratings
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91

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3.55 avg rating — 3,289 ratings
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92

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4.05 avg rating — 3,690 ratings
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93

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4.31 avg rating — 3,651 ratings
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94

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3.86 avg rating — 4,996 ratings
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95

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3.81 avg rating — 5,663 ratings
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96

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4.44 avg rating — 250 ratings
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97

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4.17 avg rating — 6,920 ratings
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98

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4.35 avg rating — 85 ratings
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99

by
3.52 avg rating — 359 ratings
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100

by
3.84 avg rating — 5,363 ratings
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flag this list (?)
782 books · 976 voters · list created July 31st, 2008 by Amy (votes) .
536 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 888 books
107 friends
Muphyn 3315 books
57 friends
Steffi ~mereadingbooks~ 2468 books
331 friends
Pat 1020 books
259 friends
Eli 4 books
2 friends
Antoine 949 books
176 friends
Aaron 15 books
2 friends
Matthew 188 books
80 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-33 of 33 (33 new)

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message 1: by Clarice (new)

Clarice How about widening the circle and also including Swiss German writers, such as Duerrenmatt?




message 2: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Who wrote Antigone and the Garden Gnomes ? Loved that story. I'm wondering, as well, if there isn't somewhere a song book of all the old sentimental favorites that still get sung at Oktoberfest here in Cincinnati: Du, Du liegst mir im herzen; Du kannst mich liebe fur drei tolle Tagen; Die Lorelei; etc.


message 3: by 3535 (last edited Aug 31, 2009 11:59PM) (new)

3535 And where, may I ask, is Heinz G. Konsalik? ;D


message 4: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Sep 01, 2009 06:57AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) GOOD question -- where is he indeed? ;) (And Johannes Mario Simmel, come to think of it!)


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

is The Lorelei here? I would like to vote for it.


message 6: by Kakanier (new)

Kakanier Arthur Schnitzler? Kein Arthur Schnitzler?


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Kakanier: There are several collections of works by Arthur Schnitzler on the list (currently nos. 66, 70 and 155).

Canary: Heine's "Buch der Lieder" and "Collected Poems" -- in English translation -- are on p. 2 of this list. You could vote for them ... or add a book with the ISBN no. 3446123024, which is a short book on the "Loreley" poem specifically. (I'd do it myself, but I've already exhausted my 100 permitted entries! :) )


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Themis-Athena wrote: "Kakanier: There are several collections of works by Arthur Schnitzler on the list (currently nos. 66, 70 and 155).

Canary: Heine's "Buch der Lieder" and "Collected Poems" -- in English translation..."


Thanks! I voted for it here and may try to add it by ISBN number later but not up to it tonight.
Canary Alice


message 9: by Booklovinglady (last edited Dec 27, 2013 02:49AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (currently no. 202) is not German but Dutch and should not be on this list. Apart from him being Dutch, his Praise of folly was written in Latin, as far as I know, and not in German.


message 10: by Booklovinglady (last edited Oct 03, 2015 07:59AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Removed Praise of Folly (again). Not written in German, nor was Erasmus German. See above message.


message 11: by Robobobo (new)

Robobobo I've added Hans Henny Jahnn's Night of Lead . He should definitely be on this list with at least one book.


message 12: by Buddenbrook (new)

Buddenbrook I deleted some books, wich were not written in german.


message 13: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jun 11, 2016 09:42AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Leseratte wrote: "I deleted some books, wich were not written in german."

Please, next time do mention which books you've deleted (see for intance message 10). Thanks!


message 14: by Buddenbrook (new)

Buddenbrook Booklovinglady wrote: "Leseratte wrote: "I deleted some books, wich were not written in german."

Please, next time do mention which books you've deleted (see for intance message 10). Thanks!"


Sorry, the books were:
Legends of the Ring by Elizabeth Magee
Gordon by Edith Templeton
A Noble Radiance by Donna Leon
HHhH by Laurent Binet
Dorn by Lilly Axster
Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius by Ray Monk
You Are My Sunshine by Roberta Kagan


message 15: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 28, 2017 07:14AM) (new)

Booklovinglady @Leseratte
Gordon by Edith Templeton is one of the books I added. It was not writtten in German, I agree, but my reason for adding it is that the description of the Listopia says "... or by those born in Germany, Austria and Switzerland"

Edith Templeton was born in Prague, but as it was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, personally I'd say she belongs on this list (falls in the category of writers born in Austria, if you like), which is why I added the book (and which is why I took the liberty of adding it again).

Lilly Axster was born in Germany, according to her profile. And Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Austria...

@Amy
As you are the creator of the list, do books by authors born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire count or not? When their place of birth is not part of present day Germany of Austria, I mean. Borders of countries have changed over the years, and Gordon is not the only title I've added by an author born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire who didn't write in German.


message 16: by Tomasz (new)

Tomasz Hanna Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism was written orignially in English. In few days I will remove it , if there are no opposing votes.


message 17: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 28, 2017 07:15AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Tomasz wrote: "Hanna Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism was written orignially in English. In few days I will remove it , if there are no opposing votes."

I haven't read the book, nor do I know the author, but according to GR she was born in Germany, and the description of the Listopia clearly says "Books originally written in German, OR by those born in Germany, Austria and Switzerland".... (which is why I added a French novel written bij a Swiss author, an English novel by an Austrian author; see also my earlier comment)


message 18: by Tomasz (new)

Tomasz Booklovinglady wrote: "Tomasz wrote: "Hanna Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism was written orignially in English. In few days I will remove it , if there are no opposing votes."

I haven't read the book, nor do I know t..."


You are right. Her first books were written in German, but later in her life she started writing in English. OoT was (AFAIK) the first of them.


message 19: by Booklovinglady (last edited Feb 28, 2017 06:34AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Tomasz wrote: "You are right. Her first books were written in German, but later in her life she started writing in English. OoT was (AFAIK) the first of them. ..."

Being Jewish, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933, so it's only logical that she started writing in the language she then undoubtedly spoke (as, according to GR, she emigrated to the US in 1941 and the book you mentioned was published in 1951). Vicki Baum, for example, was also Jewish and wrote in English as well later on in her life.


message 20: by George P. (new)

George P. I've only read 7 of the top 100 even though I a have a German family name (my mother's maiden name was German too). I'd better get with it! The Magic Mountain is #17 in my TBR list so I expect to read it by the end of this year.


message 21: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady George wrote: "The Magic Mountain is #17 in my TBR list so I expect to read it by the end of this year...."

Not an easy book to read, but a great one!


message 22: by Margareta (new)

Margareta Lazar I am looking for a list where the German books are in German... So I might skip the translations… Somebody who knows??


message 23: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 04, 2019 12:36AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Margareta wrote: "I am looking for a list where the German books are in German... So I might skip the translations… Somebody who knows??"

On this list you'll find by far mostly books originally written in German... GR has the nasty habit to change books to the most popular edition, that's why there are translations on this list.

Also, have a look at
German Childrens' Books in German
German Contemporary Thrillers
Thrillers in German (original or translated)


message 24: by Margareta (new)

Margareta Lazar Thanks! So then I will just keep on scrolling, because it is the literature I'm looking for :)


message 25: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 04, 2019 08:03AM) (new)

Booklovinglady @Margareta

I personally have a shelf with mostly literature originally written in German:
german-austrian (The titles are in Dutch but the books were originally published in German)


message 26: by Margareta (new)

Margareta Lazar Great! Dat klinkt alsof we gewoon Nederlands kunnen schrijven. Now I start to remember all the names of novellists I heard about at school.


message 27: by Booklovinglady (last edited Aug 05, 2019 02:23AM) (new)

Booklovinglady Margareta wrote: "Great! Dat klinkt alsof we gewoon Nederlands kunnen schrijven. Now I start to remember all the names of novellists I heard about at school."

We kunnen inderdaad Nederlands schrijven 😃


message 28: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady @Margareta
Heb je er trouwens ooit aan gedacht om lid te worden van de Netherlands & Flanders group?


message 29: by Margareta (new)

Margareta Lazar Wist niet dat die bestond…. Ik begin nu net zo'n beetje wat meer rond te neuzen en 'gericht' te zoeken in GR. Wat behelst die groep?


message 30: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Margareta wrote: "Wist niet dat die bestond…. Ik begin nu net zo'n beetje wat meer rond te neuzen en 'gericht' te zoeken in GR. Wat behelst die groep?"

Kijk even rond, zou ik zeggen (volgens mij kan dat namelijk ook als je geen lid bent).


message 31: by Müffelo (new)

Müffelo I find it astonishing, as well as outrageous to merely see two female names in the first 100 authors. The canon of books worth reading, just like the resulting so-called "best literature" lists, where constructed under patriarchy and mostly by men. However, as should be clear, women writers have made important contributions to the field of literature in German-speaking countries. Let's acknowledge and further spread their work by equally including them here.


message 32: by George P. (last edited Aug 19, 2019 09:07PM) (new)

George P. Müffelo wrote: "I find it astonishing, as well as outrageous to merely see two female names in the first 100 authors. The canon of books worth reading, just like the resulting so-called "best literature" lists..."

It is remarkably disappointing. Are German-author readers historically more sexist than English- author readers? Germany does have a woman prime minister now.
I will plan on reading Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann, currently at #108. If one or two other readers do also, and vote for it, it can move into the top 100 in this poll.


message 33: by Müffelo (last edited Aug 21, 2019 12:16AM) (new)

Müffelo George P. wrote: "Müffelo wrote: "I find it astonishing, as well as outrageous to merely see two female names in the first 100 authors. The canon of books worth reading, just like the resulting so-called "best liter..."

Well, I believe it has everything to do with the patriarchal system(s) in German literary criticism in the past, as well as in the present. Works by male authors were celebrated as brilliant "classics" of world literature, whereas the (mostly male) critics did not even acknowledge women to have the potential to create literature as monumental as men, since they were assigned different competences. In patriarchy, men value other men, if any.

In the last couple of weeks, a hashtag has been trending on Twitter: #dichterdran (for those of you who understand German). It's all about current day literary criticism and how it treats genders differently. Women write about male authors just how male critics write about female authors. It's really entertaining and revealing, of course.

That sounds great. I would be interested in reading Malina. I'm currently trying to read more female authors published in the GDR, such as Christa Wold, Brigitte Reimann, or Maxie Wander.


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