Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: New Novels & Authors Quotes! #FBM17

The best thing of the Frankfurt Book Fair? For me, it’s that you see and meet all those inspiring authors. I am always impressed by everything they have to say – about their books, life, society or politics. Here are some authors and their books I saw, plus some remarkable quotes.

I wish you an inspiring start into the new week!

Sasha Marianna Salzmann (left) talking about her first novel Außer Sich // Beside Yourself, which made it into the short-list of the German Book Prize. All pics by Franzi.


Since the beginning there’s the two of them, twins Alissa and Anton: In the small two-bedroom apartment in Moscow during the post-Soviet years and later, in Western Germany, where they roam the hallways of the asylum home. When Alissa has already dropped out of university, Anton disappears without a trace. Eventually, a postcard arrives from Istanbul – no text, no return address. Alissa sets out on a search in the torn city by the Bosporus and within her own family history – looking for her missing brother, but most of all, searching for the feeling of belonging that isn’t connected to one’s native country, mother tongue, or gender.

Sasha Marianna Salzmann regarding the dealing with the “underground” topic of gender fluidity in her book:

“Ovid und Shakespeare sind keine Underground-Schriftsteller gewesen. Queer war auch damals schon Thema und kam in deren Werken vor.” // “Ovid and Shakespeare were no underground authors. Queer  was  a topic already back then and present in their works.”

Sven Regener talking about his latest book Wiener Straße (made it to the long-list of the German Book Prize).


This fourth “Frank Lehmann”-novel narrates what happened before the first three books: Kreuzberg, Berlin, early 1980s – a surreal world of artists, squatters, freaks, punks and newly arrived Berliners. Anyone could be a hero. Anything could become the next big thing. Frank Lehmann, slacker by nature, together with two artist friends has to move house because their landlord and flatmate, Erwin, wants them out of the way now that he is to become a father. Chaotic times… and things finally escalate completely when a rival artist collective decides to copying Erwin’s new business idea of  a “bar plus gallery”, sparking an art war that may lead to ruin for everyone.

Sven Regener on why he wrote again about Frank Lehman:

“Man muss Romane schreiben, wie sie einem einfallen. {…} Bei mir ging das mit dem Schreiben los, als mir eine Figur zugelaufen ist, nämlich dieser Frank.” // “Novels appear as an idea to you. {…} I started writing when a character appeared in my mind – and this character was Frank Lehmann.”

Richard David Precht in an interview about his book Erkenne Dich Selbst // Know Yourself (the second book of a trilogy about the history of philosophy).


In the second volume of his three-part history of philosophy, Richard David Precht explores the development of Western thinking from the Renaissance to the end of the Age of Enlightenment.

Richard David Precht about Jean-Jacques Rousseau:

“Ein Arschloch deluxe. {…} Diese Schizophrenie, dass er Frauen ausnutzte und seine Kinder ins Findelheim steckte, aber die romantischsten Romane und einfühlsamsten Erziehungsromane seiner Zeit geschrieben hat.” // “An asshole deluxe. {…} This schizophrenia that he used women and sent his children into a foundling hospital, but wrote the most romantic novels and the most insightful Erziehungsromane (educational novels) of his time.”

Paula Hawkings (left) talking about her latest thriller Into the Water.


In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool…

Paula Hawkings about reading while working on a new book project:

“I do love to read non-fiction. As a novel author, reading non-fiction is a relaxed way of reading – without the risk of adopting foreign ideas.”

Ulla Hahn (right) talking about her book Wir werden erwartet // They Are Expecting Us .


This is the fourth (and last) novel of an autobiographic-inspired series by Ulla Hahn. It narrates the story of a young, gullible woman in the tumultuous years after 1968: Hilla Palm has the world at her feet. After a long search, the girl of humble origins has at last found where she belongs: to the world of literature and with Hugo, the man who accepts Hilla as she is, with all her bitter experiences. They discover love together and witness the 1968 upheavals, when everything seemed possible. But then fate puts a spoke in the wheel of her plans, and in desperation Hilla looks for support with people fighting for a more peaceful and fairer world. The philosophy of Marxism becomes her new spiritual home. She resolutely follows her convictions and in the end has to painfully realize that freedom without freedom of words is not possible.

Ulla Hahn about finally finishing her four-part series:

“Ich glaube mit dieser Erleichterung und Freude bin ich noch nie über eine Buchmesse gelaufen.” // “I believe I never walked along a book fair with this relief and happiness.”

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2017! #FBM17 #FraFra2017

This year’s guest of honor: France! All pics by Franzi.

I am just back from Frankfurt where I visited once more the Frankfurt book fair. This year’s guest of honor was France and it was wonderful to hear people talking French everywhere. Of course, there were also lots and lots of books and inspiring authors I wanna share with you the next weeks. Today I would like to show you some impressions of the fair and its atmosphere, in case you are interested :):

I wish you a wonderful start into the new week – enjoy the sunny fall days and take some time reading good books!

With France as guest of honor at a book fair, there has to be an Asterix!

A wall of books!

The light-flooded French pavilion!


The creative business festival THE ARTS+ took also place on the book fair.

The inventive Hendricks gin booth (yeah, there was some booze offered at the fair ;)).

There was also an impressive antique book fair included.

The main stage in the French pavilion.

A view on Frankfurt and the fairground.

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Golden Corn Soup!

Pic by Franzi.

The last days offered typical fall weather: storm and rain, but also some sunny hours. What could be better than arriving home at such days  and enjoying a thick, tasty and warm soup? For me, this golden corn soup is pure comfort food love.


Ingredients: Serves 4.

4 corn cobs (shucked), 2 potatoes (peeled), 3 TblSps coconut oil, 1 white onion (diced), 1 garlic clove (minced), 3 carrots (peeled and chopped), 3 stalks celery (chopped), 1 red bell pepper (cored and chopped), 1 1/2 TSps salt, 2 TSps Cajun seasoning, 1/2 TSp paprika, 1/4 TSp ground cumin, 160 ml coconut milk, 480 ml vegetable stock.


Place corn cobs into a large pot and fill the bottom with water. Place a steamer basket in the pot. Add the corn and cover the pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer it for 8 to 10 minutes.

Use a pair of tongs to take the corn out of the pot, and transfer it to a cutting board.

Chop one of the potatoes in half and carefully place into the same pot of boiling water you used to cook the corn. Allow potato to cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

While the potato is cooking, roast the rest of the vegetables: Heat the coconut oil in a large pot, than add the other diced potato, the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, sea salt, Cajun seasoning, paprika and cumin. Roast for app. 10 minutes.

Use a knife to remove the corn kernels from the corn cobs. Blend half of the kernels, along with the cooked potato, the coconut milk and the vegetable stock until completely smooth.

Add the remaining corn kernels to the pot with the roasted vegetables, and pour the blended corn/potato mixture into the pot. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potato has softened, about 10 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and season to taste.


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A Nice Fall Stroll (With New Boots)!

I love those beautiful fall colors! All pics by Franzi.

Last weekend I stayed in my mom’s house and made a wonderful stroll through the autumnal streets. I wore my new boots and enjoyed the fall air, the fall sun and the colorful leaves. This is really my favorite season :). What is yours?

Have a colorful start into the fresh fall week!

New boots for walking :).

The sound of stepping on dry leaves… there’s nothing better.

This typical fall light – a pale yellow-orange.

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What I’m Listening To Right Now!

It’s time to present you once again the songs that are on my personal playlist right now. There are some old favorites of mine but also two new discoveries.

Have fun listening!

Always and for ever: The National! With the song Day I Die from their just released album Sleep Well Beast:

A fun track – Another Weekend by Ariel Pink:

Relaxing dream pop – Heavy Eyes by Palm Ghosts:

Last but not least: Another  favorite of mine – The War On Drugs with the song Up All Night from their new album A Deeper Understanding:

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Late-Summer / Early-Fall Vacation 2017: At the Darss!

A small artwork I found at the “Weststrand” (west beach) near Ahrenshoop. All pics by Franzi.

It’s already one long week ago since we came back from our vacation at the Bay of Barth at the Darss. It was such a relaxing time: With lots of books, ice-cream, delicious meals, day trips – and even a bath in the (cold) Baltic Sea. Here are some impressions of those two fantastic weeks for you.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Have a wonderful time :)!

We made two hiking trips near Barth:

At Barth’s harbor we observed stunning sunsets:

Both of us adore the “Weststrand” (west beach) between Ahrenshoop and Prerow:

We also made a day trip to the city Greifswald, which we both really liked:

The old harbor in Greifswald.

The old wooden bridge in Wieck.

The stunning ruins of the monastery Eldena – famous because artist Casper David Friedrich painted them.

The Bay of Greifswald.

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My Vacation (in) Books!

The six books I read during the last two vacation weeks. All pics by Franzi.

Our (late summer / early fall) vacations are already over. Those two weeks were incredible relaxing and fun. And finally there was time for reading :)! Here are the six books I indulged in.

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray:

In spring 1936 seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family owned “Café Paradis” in the small French village Juan-les-Pin. The already famous artist Pablo Picasso stays incognito in a nearby villa and makes a deal with the “Café Paradies” that they are responsible for his food. Thus, Ondine rides everyday with her bicycle to Picasso’s villa and cooks for him her extraordinary dishes.

Céline is a Hollywood makeup artist in New York of the present days. From her mother Julie, she learns that her Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso and that she may once owned a Picasso painting. But where’s the painting got to?

This was a perfect vacation book – French Riviera atmosphere, excellent food descriptions, a gripping story and plot that combines the real facts wonderfully with imagination.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This is a historical letter novel that plays shortly after WWII and is about a young English author on the search for a topic for her new book and a bunch of people located on Guernsey who created the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” during the German occupation on Guernsey. The plot is hilarious and entertaining and sometimes sad. But then there’s also a romantic story-line ;)… A big must-read recommendation!

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

This is the first book of a crime series around the Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his young sergeant Gemma James:

Overworked Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid plans to make vacation at the time-share “Followdale House” in northern England. Some of his fellow guests have been to the time-share hotel before. Others are newcomers. Then someone dies…

I am a big fan of good-written crime series (I love the Elizabeth George series!) and this book was a good start into a new addiction :).

Becks letzter Sommer (Beck’s last summer) by Benedict Wells

A bored teacher in his 30s, his depressed and addicted black best friend and a 17-year-old Lithuanian, who’s a highly talented musician. Those three people are experiencing not only a summer together, but also a road trip to Istanbul full of adventures that have consequences for all of their futures.

A nice German book that’s well written, easy to read and has a clever plot.

Ein Kind für mich allein (A child all for myself) by Elfriede Brüning

This is a German 1950s classic about a woman who is trying to find her life’s purpose. Shortly after the war ended, she works as a nurse in a hospital in Berlin. She falls in love with a doctor of the same hospital who is not interested in a long-term relationship with her. Then she believes she’s pregnant…

At the moment, I am interested into German literature of the 1950s – especially if it is about the life of women during this time. The book illustrates a woman on her search of independence – which was a lot harder in the 1950s than it is now. But some of her thoughts are nevertheless up to date. Like: What is one’s purpose in life? Or: When is the right time to get a child and with whom?

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This novel from 1926 was one of the first successes of Hemingway. It describes not only the “lost generation” of the 1920s in Paris but plays also in Pamplona during the Fiesta of San Fermin where the protagonist Jake Barnes travels with a bunch of friends to visit the running of the bulls. He is in love with a typical 1920s girl named Brett. Unfortunately Jake was injured during the war and, as a consequence, is now impotent. Brett on the other side loves life and men – her fiancée Mike is with her in Pamplona – as is also her latest affair Robert Cohn.

The story is typical Hemingway – fast and with a passionate plot it narrates the story of Jake and Brett and the destiny of all those involved.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have an entertaining one :)!

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Two Cookbooks I Love: a modern way to eat & a modern way to cook by Anna Jones!

Pic by Franzi.

Today I would like to present you two current cookbook favs of mine: a modern way to eat and a modern way to cook. Both are written by Anna Jones – a cook, stylist and writer. The books are a wonderful collection of vegetarian recipes that are not quite ordinary but easy to prepare and totally convenient for everyday.

Plus, every recipe is accompanied by a little story told by Anna Jones: Why and how she did create the recipe in the first place, at which season it should be served or she gives some clever tips regarding the preparation. I have the German versions of the cookbooks – simply because those books are printed on apple paper (yes, that’s indeed paper made from apples). I just think that’s wonderful – not only because it’s sustainable, but also because it looks and feels really beautiful.

Two weeks ago, Anna Jones announced her third cookbook – its name will be The Modern Cook’s Year and it will be released (in English) on October 5, 2017. Yeah :)!

Enjoy your week!

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Lately … on Instagram!

Race! All pics by Franzi. See more on Instagram.

Today just some new pictures from my Instagram account I made during the last four weeks. I use Instagram mainly as a way to live out my artsy moments ;). So, I thought it would be great to share the latest pics with you from time to time. Last month I discovered not only a loooong (chalk) snake in my courtyard, but I also visited for the first time a horse race, saw some stunning 1980s architecture in Chemnitz and enjoyed the evening sun at the Alster in Hamburg.

I wish you a wonderful new week! Have a beautiful one :)!


Architecture (Chemnitz)

Evening (Alster – Hamburg)

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Si jamais j’oublie by ZAZ!

“Si jamais j’oublie – Les nuits que j’ai passé – Les guitares et les cris – Rappelle moi qui je suis – Pourquoi je suis en vie – Si jamais j’oublie – Les jambes à mon cou – Si un jour je fuis – Rappelle-moi qui je suis – Ce que je m’étais promis”

A song that’s an attitude of life: Si jamais j’oublie by  French singer-songwriter (and everybody’s darling) ZAZ. It’s from her 2015 live album Sur la route. The message of the song is simple and important: Never forget where you come from and all those wonderful experiences that created yourself, your dreams and your personality. A perfect mood-lifter for rainy late-summer days!

Happy listening!

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