Since I arrived early on Friday afternoon, my sister-in-law, Christiane (the one who orders an entire laundry basket of books after each book fair – see blog post from November 25, 2015 in the German section) showed me Frankfurt. I can certainly recommend the marzipan cake at Café Mozart (Töngesgasse 23) and next time we are definitely going to the Bitter & Zart Salon on Braubachstr. 14 (https://www.bitterundzart.de/). Römerberg is worth a visit, as is the Stadel Museum located directly on the River Main.
Saturday and Sunday were spent at the Book Fair, where else? We made it to the wake-up slam on Saturday, with Micha-El Goehre and David Friedrich – the perfect way to start the day! Halls 3.0 and 3.1 were – as always – filled to the brim with visitors, so I spent a lot of time in the halls with international exhibitors and in 4.1 where you find smaller publishers and the art books. Sadly, the hall with the English language publishers had pretty meagre pickings – most of them were already packing up their wares when I arrived.
Browsing through the thick books at Gestalten was a highlight. Honestly, if one were to start collecting books from a certain publisher, well, this is probably where I’d start. (We already have one: Rock the Shack). Absolutely gorgeous. This kind of stuff literally makes my heart beat faster.
For those greedy for beautiful thick tomes, the German editions of Simon Sebag Montefiore’s histories looked good enough to eat (I just ordered Catherine the Great and Potemkin: The Imperial Love Affair) - as did Sigmund Freud by Peter André Alt and the Alexander Humboldt biography by Andrea Wulf, titled The Invention of Nature.
Seeing nice German editions of Christopher Morley’s books reminded me that they’ve been on my list for a long time. And did you know that Jack London wrote a thriller called The Assassination Bureau Ltd? Well, I didn’t, until I saw the German translation of that. (Actually, according to Wikipedia, London wrote 20,000 words of the novel and it was finished posthumously by Robert L. Fish.)
This complete immersion into the world of books for a few days pretty much makes me feel like a kid in a candy shop. Even though I tried to be extremely selective, I still ended up with close to fifty interesting new titles on my list. I know I’m not able to buy and read them all, but I won’t be at a loss for what to read next. (Granted, that’s not a situation I’ve ever been familiar with…)
And, as always, the people bustling around in their extravagant Cosplay costumes really brightened up the halls.
A small publisher, ebersbach & simon caught my eye, and I added four titles to my list there.
I may have to get a copy of Adam Fletcher’s How to be German, even though I’ve lived here for over twenty years, just because it looked funny.
And if my other plans don't work out, I can always reach for Tom Wainwright’s Narconomics. How to Run a Drug Cartel. (it did look interesting...)
Tiikerinsilmä, the fourth in the bodyguard series by Leena Lehtolainen made the train trip from Hamburg to Frankfurt feel very short. In fact, the entire weekend seemed to just fly by. But there's always next year to look forward to! (October 11-15 and the Guest of Honor will be France)