November and the first days of December saw a co-ordinated effort of many book bloggers that participated in the fourth edition of German Literature Month, hosted by Caroline and Lizzy. It was a great and overwhelming experience.
As for my own rather ambitious reading and reviewing plans, I managed to read all the books I had originally on my list plus a few more that caught my attention in the last moment. However, since the writing of a review in a foreign language takes quite some time for me and I don’t want to hasten things, I was lagging behind a bit regarding the publication of the forecasted reviews. Additionally I had to travel abroad several times – traveling seems to be for me a good time for reading, but not the perfect time to write reviews.
Out of the nine books on my TBR list I published seven reviews in time plus one additional for a new book that has not yet been translated but deserves a swift publication in English and other languages. The missing reviews will follow very soon.
What is my experience with this event?
First, it was a lot of work but also a lot of fun. I made the decision to embark on a rather ambitious personal program and this turned out to be the most busy month so far in my blogging “career”. Nevertheless I never had the feeling that it was stress or that I regretted for a moment my rather big-mouthed announcement at the beginning of German Lit Month. I thoroughly enjoyed the process to devote a whole month to German-language literature and I was extremely delighted that not only such a big number of other book bloggers participated but also their choice of books and the tremendous quality of the output was truly amazing me.
Second, while reading and reviewing books is usually a solitary experience, this one was a community experience. Checking on a daily basis what my colleagues are reading, going through their thoughtful and erudite reviews, commenting on some of them or reading comments to my own posts, made me feel to be part of a group who shares the same interest, the same passion for literature. This experience to be part of a community was – beside the possibility to discover new authors or re-discover titles I had read before and comparing my own opinion with that of other reviewers – the most exciting aspect of this month for me.
Third, I realized that such an event needs time to grow. Since it was organized for the fourth time, it is already a kind of well-established event that seems to draw each year more interest from the readers and the blogger community. This is only possible since the two heads and hearts behind this event, Caroline and Lizzy, do a lot of background work that I really very much appreciate. This includes not only the lobbying for participation of readers and bloggers but also contacting publishers, setting up a website for this event (which I find extremely useful).
Fourth, I tried to follow the other participants’ posts as good as possible and left also some comments. But I still have to follow up some of the posts and will try to read all reviews because I enjoyed really each single opinion. There is such a big variety of individual voices among the book bloggers that I very frequently discover aspects in these reviews that make me see a book in a slightly different light. What better could be said about this event?
Fifth, I am very happy and a bit embarrassed too that one of my posts was singled out by Caroline as “Best Post” – thank you so much and the titles of the two books I won sound very appealing: Just Call Me Superhero and The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky. I guess I had a little newcomer bonus since the quality of many posts was outstanding and would have deserved the prize too!
To sum it up: a great experience – and I am already waiting for German Literature Month 2015. Thanks to Caroline and Lizzy as hosts, and to all participants who made this such a terrific event!
© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplicationof this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.