Best German/Austrian/Swiss Literature

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

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3.83 avg rating — 670,054 ratings
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2

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4.23 avg rating — 5,733 ratings
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3

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4.13 avg rating — 139,587 ratings
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4

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3.96 avg rating — 241,741 ratings
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5

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3.93 avg rating — 59,383 ratings
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6

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3.99 avg rating — 361,653 ratings
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7

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4.13 avg rating — 76,126 ratings
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8

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4.01 avg rating — 7,245 ratings
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9

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4.04 avg rating — 599,635 ratings
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10

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4.02 avg rating — 342,724 ratings
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11

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3.68 avg rating — 89,350 ratings
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12

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4.43 avg rating — 784 ratings
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13

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4.09 avg rating — 39,560 ratings
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14

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4.16 avg rating — 22,370 ratings
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15

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4.43 avg rating — 7,293 ratings
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16

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4.05 avg rating — 115,043 ratings
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17

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4.27 avg rating — 148,941 ratings
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18

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4.31 avg rating — 52,622 ratings
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19

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3.73 avg rating — 7,032 ratings
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20

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4.29 avg rating — 73,173 ratings
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21

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4.12 avg rating — 32,353 ratings
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22

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4.21 avg rating — 46,711 ratings
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23

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4.16 avg rating — 172,356 ratings
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24

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3.76 avg rating — 173,708 ratings
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25

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3.96 avg rating — 38,873 ratings
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26

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4.11 avg rating — 840 ratings
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27

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3.83 avg rating — 1,321 ratings
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28

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4.13 avg rating — 10,633 ratings
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29

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3.91 avg rating — 15,981 ratings
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30

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4.11 avg rating — 1,499 ratings
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31

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4.35 avg rating — 23,838 ratings
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32

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4.66 avg rating — 413 ratings
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33

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3.96 avg rating — 45,838 ratings
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34

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4.20 avg rating — 321 ratings
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35

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4.33 avg rating — 2,917 ratings
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36

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3.86 avg rating — 6,245 ratings
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37

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4.09 avg rating — 7,853 ratings
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38

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4.08 avg rating — 10,034 ratings
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39

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3.85 avg rating — 7,318 ratings
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40

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3.94 avg rating — 2,135 ratings
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41

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3.70 avg rating — 11,640 ratings
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42

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3.75 avg rating — 18,304 ratings
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43

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3.85 avg rating — 13,907 ratings
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44

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3.96 avg rating — 16,277 ratings
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45

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4.51 avg rating — 180 ratings
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46

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4.49 avg rating — 12,576 ratings
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47

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3.78 avg rating — 10,547 ratings
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48

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4.04 avg rating — 17,995 ratings
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49

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4.03 avg rating — 7,320 ratings
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50

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4.24 avg rating — 398 ratings
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51

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3.99 avg rating — 22,275 ratings
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52

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3.95 avg rating — 10,365 ratings
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53

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3.79 avg rating — 3,055 ratings
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54

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4.56 avg rating — 108 ratings
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55

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4.32 avg rating — 5,955 ratings
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56

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3.74 avg rating — 10,132 ratings
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57

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3.88 avg rating — 6,005 ratings
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58

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4.08 avg rating — 1,902 ratings
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59

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3.73 avg rating — 8,099 ratings
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60

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3.26 avg rating — 9,903 ratings
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61

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4.29 avg rating — 146 ratings
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62

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3.96 avg rating — 33,354 ratings
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63

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3.80 avg rating — 2,690 ratings
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64

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3.35 avg rating — 5,195 ratings
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65

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3.75 avg rating — 23,325 ratings
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66

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3.99 avg rating — 174,944 ratings
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67

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3.31 avg rating — 9,528 ratings
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68

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4.75 avg rating — 153 ratings
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69

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3.53 avg rating — 9,626 ratings
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70

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4.09 avg rating — 309 ratings
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71

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4.32 avg rating — 55,688 ratings
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72

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3.73 avg rating — 9,129 ratings
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73

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3.43 avg rating — 5,901 ratings
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74

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4.25 avg rating — 24,496 ratings
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75

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4.35 avg rating — 124 ratings
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76

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3.66 avg rating — 15,604 ratings
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77

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3.52 avg rating — 3,100 ratings
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78

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4.19 avg rating — 1,175 ratings
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79

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4.25 avg rating — 108 ratings
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80

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4.04 avg rating — 1,704 ratings
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81

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3.60 avg rating — 2,110 ratings
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82

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3.88 avg rating — 13,839 ratings
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83

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4.02 avg rating — 3,721 ratings
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84

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4.25 avg rating — 10,730 ratings
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85

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4.22 avg rating — 10,240 ratings
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86

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3.71 avg rating — 10,609 ratings
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87

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3.74 avg rating — 13,819 ratings
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88

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3.89 avg rating — 6,022 ratings
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89

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4.41 avg rating — 110 ratings
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90

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4.06 avg rating — 3,991 ratings
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91

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3.55 avg rating — 3,845 ratings
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92

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4.30 avg rating — 3,957 ratings
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92

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4.46 avg rating — 272 ratings
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94

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3.79 avg rating — 5,662 ratings
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95

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4.17 avg rating — 7,608 ratings
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96

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4.08 avg rating — 1,241 ratings
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97

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3.80 avg rating — 6,289 ratings
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98

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3.85 avg rating — 5,220 ratings
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99

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4.54 avg rating — 168 ratings
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100

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4.04 avg rating — 4,330 ratings
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798 books · 1,004 voters · list created July 31st, 2008 by Amy (votes) .
605 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Amy 969 books
109 friends
Muphyn 3265 books
57 friends
Steffi ~mereadingbooks~ 2557 books
333 friends
Pat 1095 books
271 friends
Eli 4 books
2 friends
Antoine 949 books
180 friends
Aaron 15 books
2 friends
Matthew 188 books
80 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-32 of 32 (32 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

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 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 13: 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 14: 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 15: 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 16: 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 17: 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 18: 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 19: 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 20: 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 21: 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 22: by Margareta (new)

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


message 23: 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 24: 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 25: 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 26: by Booklovinglady (new)

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


message 27: 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 28: 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 29: 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 30: 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 31: 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.


message 32: by David (last edited Nov 28, 2020 05:29AM) (new)

David Yohalem I find it interesting that there are several titles by W.G. Sebald, who wrote in English but was German by birth and nationality, as well as several by Kafka, who wrote in German, but was most definitely not German, nor Austrian nor Swiss. What are the criteria for inclusion?

Would Beckett be included among a similar list of French writers?


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