for little money


What further helps




children's things




Something extravagant

Illustration: Kat Menschik

Our Christmas recommendations

November 30th, 2022 · There is still enough time for the really important things: In six sections, the feuilleton editors recommend films, books, albums, series, ideas, attitudes, hopes and hits.

For little money

Petra Ahne recommends:

Sally Coulthard: The Book of the Earthworm.

HarperCollins, Hamburg 2022. 176 p., hardcover, €16.

The British bestselling author's homage to Charles Darwin's favorite animal is now also available in German.

Word gets around that earthworms are indispensable because they keep the soil fertile.

But who knows that they also make music?

Matthew Alexander recommends:

Thomas Urban: "Distorted View".

German Ostpolitik.

Edition fotoTapeta, Berlin 2022, 192 pages, br., €15.

Completed shortly before the outbreak of the Ukraine war, confirmed by events: A sharp analysis of German arrogance and ignorance from Brandt to Merkel and Steinmeier.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Edward N. Zalta, Uri Nodelman (eds.): "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy".

Annual membership to download pdfs, $5/$10/$25.

There are well-founded philosophical overview articles on every conceivable topic – free of charge in the online version, for paying members also to download. 

Jan Brachmann recommends:

Franui & Nikolaus Habjan: Kreisler songs.

1 CD, col legno music, approx. €16.

Songs by Georg Kreisler in the insidious, cozy village band arrangement, sung by Nikolaus Habjan as if he were the son of Helmut Qualtinger and Gisela May.

Dietmar Dath recommends:

Greg Bear: "Eon".

Translated from the English by Reinhard Heinz.

Heyne Verlag, Munich 2013. 652 p., br., €13.

The author died in 2022 but deserves to be read further.

Paul Ingenday recommends:

Pixi Set of 8 37: "Merry Christmas with Pixi".

Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2022. 8 volumes, 192 pages in total, br., €7.92.

Why not go around among friends and acquaintances and give them little books that cost next to nothing and are easy to read?

And see what happens when others become children again?

Jürgen Kaube recommends:

Guy de Maupassant: "Pleasure".

Four stories.

Translated from the French by Elisabeth Edl.

Alexander Verlag, Berlin 2022. 148 pp., br., €16.90.

Distraction is half the life, Maupassant has analyzed it uncomfortably and masterfully without moral reproaches.

Sandra Kegel recommends:

Voucher for a visit to the Romantic Museum, Großer Hirschgraben 21, Frankfurt am Main.

Only ten euros - and you experience the diversity and contradiction of this key epoch of European cultural history, which still has an impact today.

We recommend the appropriate "Romantic Quiz" for friends of puzzles, published by Grupello Verlag for 12.90 euros.

Freddy Langer recommends:

Walter Trier: "Nazi German in 22 Lessons".

Favorite Press, Berlin 2022. 82 p., ill., hardcover, €12.

A Berlin children's book illustrator, right?

Yes, that too. But in 1942, while in exile in London, Walter Trier formulated the vocabulary for 22 pamphlets in Nazi Germany with analytical sharpness and biting irony.

Now it's available as a reprint.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Jean-Christophe Bailly: "Paris quand meme".

Éditions La Fabrique, Paris 2022. 233 pp., br., €13.

His “Streifzüge durch France”, which was also published in German, had only touched on Paris on the Périphérique.

Here he is now wandering through his city, trying to understand how it is changing.

Melanie Mühl recommends:

The newsletter of The Kyiv Independent.

It costs nothing and provides comprehensive information about the war in Ukraine.

Excellent journalism under life-threatening conditions.

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

Leo Tolstoy: "The Death of Ivan Ilyich".


Translated from the Russian by Johannes von Guenther.

Reclam Verlag, Ditzingen 2022. 80 p., br., €8.

Well, ten cents a book page isn't even a little, but for this new edition of Tolstoy's classic, which doesn't look like Reclam at all, it's a very good investment.

Edo Reents recommends:

Hans Zippert: "How Hitler Saved My Life".

Sloppy Works 1980-2030.

Critica Diabolis.

Edition Tiamat, Berlin 2022. 208 p., br., €18.

A serious danger is that you can't read the title and the blurb for laughing anymore.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

Raphael Schoen: "Bitcoin".

Reclam Verlag, Ditzingen 2022. 100 p., br., €

10.00 Instead of unsuspectingly burning your hard-earned money in blockchains while fleeing inflation, it is better to do some research beforehand: for example with this little book on cryptocurrencies, that costs even less digitally.

Kai Spanke recommends:

Jessie WareFree Yourself

MP3 song.

EMI (Universal) 2022. €1.29.

With her electro-funk-pop tracks, Jessie Ware has been making disco competition look old since her album "What's Your Pleasure" (2020).

"Free Yourself" sets the tone for the next record: staccato beats, jagged strings, maximum burst of energy.

Dua Lipa can pack up.

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

ETA Hoffmann: "The Fräulein von Scuderi".


Reclam Verlag, Ditzingen 2022. 128 pages, hardcover, €10.

An early detective novel at its finest, in which the classic question of who committed the murders is replaced by the even more interesting: why?

Jan Wiele recommends:

"Movie Pearls of the Fifties".

5 DVDs, 16 films, approx. €12.

Some part with DVDs, others are now starting to collect.

And it's much nicer to give away films as gifts - especially since not all of them are available on streaming services.

A start is the box series "FilmPERLENS", which has classics and surprises in store, not only in the fifties.

Elena Witzeck recommends:

"The New Twenties".

Apple Podcasts.

Try one month for free.

Nothing beats this newspaper's podcasts.

In addition, this one is a good address for anyone who has enough time to try on opinions and hear attitudes that one can also stumble upon.

An Apple subscription is required for the "Salon".

Next chapter:

Which further helps


Illustration: Kat Menschik

Which further helps

Petra Ahne recommends:

Jan de Hond, Eric Jorink, Hans Mulder: "Crawly Creatures".

Nai010 Publishers, Amsterdam 2022. 200 p., ill., br., €26.

Like insects and other crawling creatures because: important for biodiversity?

With the astonishing drawings of Albrecht Dürer or Joris Hoefnagel, which turn every beetle into a miracle, this is very easy.

Matthew Alexander recommends:

Heinz Strunk: "A summer in Niendorf".


Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 2022. 240 p., hardcover, €22.

A lawyer falls.

And falls soft.

The story of a change of milieu, depressing and comforting at the same time.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Michela Massimi: "Perspectival Realism".

Oxford University Press, Oxford 2022. 416 pp., hardcover, €79.25.

How can science, on the one hand, strive for truth and, on the other hand, be rooted in the zeitgeist as a social enterprise?

The philosopher Michela Massimi provides a differentiated view of the question of scientific realism.

Jan Brachmann recommends:


Polish art songs of the 19th-21st centuries


Jakub Józef Orliński (countertenor), Michał Biel (piano).

1 CD, Erato (Warner), approx. €17.

Pushkin in Polish, sung by one of the most beautiful voices of our time - that's what we need now.

Dietmar Dath recommends:

Roar: "Schatzitude".

Buback Tonträger 1997, 1 CD, antiquarian, different prices, around €20.

The singer of this band, Kristof Schreuf, died in 2022, but he definitely deserves to continue listening.

Paul Ingenday recommends:

"Spanish and Hispanic-American Poetry".

Ed. and from the Spanish by Martin v.

Koppenfels et al. CH Beck, Munich 2022. 4 vols., 2641 pp. in total, hardcover, €148.

Not just for specialists: a team effort by many translators and a breathtaking monument of beauty and poetic obstinacy.

Jürgen Kaube recommends:

Sergio del Molino: "Empty Spain".

Travel to a land that never was.

Wagenbach, Berlin 2022. 201 p., hardcover, €24.90.

We have to adjust to empty stretches of land.

A fabulous book of reportage that does just that.

Sandra Kegel recommends:

Kolja Reichert: “Can I do that too?

50 Questions to Art”.

Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2022. 272 ​​pages, illustrations, brown, €20.

Everything you need to know about art: from making and talking about it to how it feels when you visit a museum.

The admonition: "It is difficult to achieve lasting profits through art theft."

Freddy Langer recommends:

Andrea Wulf: "Fabulous rebels".

The early romantics and the invention of the ego.

C. Bertelsmann, Munich 2022. , 526 p., hardcover, €30.

Anyone who wants to know why he behaves as if he were the center of the world will get the answer here in three steps from Kant to Fichte to Hegel.

Plus erotic escapades.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Norbert Miller: "The Artificial Paradises".

Literary creation of dreams, imagination and drugs.

Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2022. 888 p., ill., hardcover, €48.

Last but not least, it helps you to read texts that you have long wanted to read again.

By an author who you would forgive a nine-hundred-pager. 

Melanie Mühl recommends:

Serhiy Zhadan: "Heaven over Kharkiv".

News of War Survival.

Suhrkamp, ​​Berlin 2022. 239.p.

born, €20.

The war in Ukraine rages on, even as many look away and focus on their own worries.

Zhadan's book is one about the power of civil society - and persevering in dark times.

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

Miles Davis: "The Bootleg Series, Vol 7. That's What Happened 1982-1985".

Sony Music, 3 CDs, approx. €30.

The most disreputable phase of the greatest jazz genius of the last seventy years.

But if you're listening to Miles Davis blowing Cindy Lauper's "Time After Time", you don't need to worry about winter warmth.

Edo Reents recommends:

Andrea Roedig: "You can't trust mothers".

Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2022. 240 p., hardcover, €20.

Doing justice to everyone: a special art in a difficult life story.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

Holly Black, James Cahill, Mikkel Sommer: "The Art Game".

New edition.

Laurence King Verlag, Berlin 2022. 50 cards, €14.90.

Magritte or Kahlo, Kusama or Basquiat: there are as many men as women in this quartet of gender equality in the art world.

Whoever plays it learns a great deal about their works.

Kai Spanke recommends:

Scott Weidensaul: "On Swings Around the World".

The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds.

Translated from the English by Sebastian Vogel.

Hanserblau Verlag, Munich 2022. 416 p., ill., hardcover, €26.

An enthusiastic birder explains clearly and with commitment how the great theater of bird migration takes place in detail.

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

Christian Grataloup: "The History of the World".

an atlas.

From the American by Martin Bayer and others CH Beck, Munich 2022. 640 p., ill., hardcover, €39.95.

Excellent infographic maps and clever accompanying texts sharpen the view for a view of the world that is as multipolar as it is enjoyable.

Jan Wiele recommends:

Kai Sina: "Transatlantic".

Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Gaston Salvatore and their journal for western Germany.

Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen 2022. 219 p., hardcover, €20.

Reminiscent of the meritorious project of a German "New Yorker" and thus of the slacking Enzensberger: They don't make 'em like that anymore. 

Elena Witzeck recommends:

Livia Gerster: "The New".

A generation wants power.

C. H. Beck, Munich 2022. 335 p., hardcover, €24.

My colleague was traveling with me in Berlin, showing that you can write about politicians without getting bored and helping to understand the crises and the ever smaller youth in this country.

Next chapter:



Illustration: Kat Menschik


Petra Ahne recommends:

Sempé: "Holiday at last".

Diogenes, Zurich 2022. 84 p., ill., hardcover, €36.

The world has become poorer this year because Sempé's benevolent gaze is no longer directed at its undaunted happiness-seeking inhabitants.

This book was published shortly after the draftsman's death in August.

And, small consolation: Two more will follow in the coming year.

Matthew Alexander recommends:

"John Pawson 1995-2022".

El Croquis, Madrid 2022. 532 p., hardcover, €100.

Lush exhibition of the most sensuous minimalist among living architects.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Naomi Oreskes: "Merchants of Doubt".

‎ Reprint Edition.

Bloomsbury Press , London 2015. 400 pp., br., €19.99.

This historical study teaches much about how interest groups deliberately manipulated public opinion: highly relevant insights into debates about tobacco use, climate change and other environmental issues.

Jan Brachmann recommends:

Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations.

Ragna Schirmer (piano).

1 CD & DVD, approx. €28.

Live recording of the last concert before the lockdown in November 2020. Tenderness, cleverness and affection in concentrated form.

Dietmar Dath recommends:

Jean-Luc Godard: "Everything in Butter" and other films.

In: Jean-Luc Godard Edition 2, Studiocanal 2011, 7 DVDs, antiquarian, different prices, around €13.

The director died in 2022, but he definitely deserves that his work continues to be watched and listened to.

Paul Ingenday recommends:

Virginia Woolf: "Mrs.



Translated from the English by Melanie Walz.

Afterword by Vea Kaiser.

Manesse, Munich 2022. 400 pages, hardcover, €24.


Dalloway said she'll buy the flowers herself.” And here we are in the mind of a woman a hundred years ago, the heroine of one of the deepest novels of all time.

Jürgen Kaube recommends:

William Marx, The Tomb of Oedipus.

Why Greek Tragedies Were not Tragic.

Verso Books, London 2022. 212 pp., br., €24.

A wise exploration of our vast ignorance of ancient tragedy and the tragic.

Sandra Kegel recommends:

"Heinrich Böll's Irish Diary", Typographical Library, Vol. 19. Wallstein, Göttingen 2022. 104 pages, hardcover, €34.

On December 10, fifty years ago, Böll received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

High time to deal with him again, for example with his "Irish Diary", which first appeared as a sequel in the FAZ.

Freddy Langer recommends:

Edgar Reitz: "Home - A German Chronicle".

Director's Cut, theatrical version remastered.

Arthouse 7 DVDs, 890 minutes in total, €39.99.

If you want to know why great-grandparents, grandparents and parents behaved the way they did all their lives, you only have to watch this series in which Schabbach becomes a model case in Germany.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Michel Leiris: "Phantom Africa".

Translated from the French by Rolf Wintermayer and Tim Trzaskalik.

Edited by Irene Albers.

Matthes & Seitz Verlag, Berlin 2022. 967 p., ill., hardcover, €68.

A dissident surrealist on the way to a classic of autobiographical writing in an excellent new edition.

Melanie Mühl recommends:

F. Scott Fitzgerald: "The Great Gatsby".

Translated by Hans-Christian Oeser, illustrated by Adam Simpson, Reclam, Stuttgart, 2022. 238 pp., €28.

Because decadence can be illustrated wonderfully and one leafs through this magnificent book with great pleasure.

Of course, reading is also fun.

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch: "We didn't do well".

The correspondence.

Suhrkamp and Piper Verlag, Berlin and Munich 2022. 1039 p., ill., hardcover, €40.

A classic that's only a month old?

But yes: classic, as has been judged and condemned for years without knowing these sources.

Edo Reents recommends:

The Beatles: "Revolvers".

Super deluxe box, 4 LPs + 7" single.

Parlophone/Apple Records, Universal Music 2022. €189.

Of course (also) wasting money, Beatles for sale, and the music is well known;

you still have to have it.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

George Orwell: "Animal Farm".

Translated from the English by Ulrich Blumenbach.

Manesse, Munich 2022. 192 p., hardcover, €18.

“No animal should ever tyrannize its own kind.

Weak or strong, clever or simple, we are all brothers.'

Unfortunately, this fable by George Orwell from 1945 is always relevant.

Now retranslated.

Kai Spanke recommends:

The Beatles: "Revolvers".


Super deluxe box.

5 CDs.

Apple (universal).


How much does that cost!

And we're not even promoting the more expensive vinyl edition.

But the potpourri of orchestral pomp, psychedelic strumming and the giggly prank version of "And Your Bird Can Sing" should make you forget the prize.

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

Luzius Keller: "The Marcel Proust Alphabet".

Friedenauer Presse, Berlin 2022. 1366 pages, hardcover, €68.

The sum of a researcher's life can also pull an encyclopedia: Never get tangled up in the world of the Guermantes again!

Jan Wiele recommends:

Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Unlimited Love" & "Return of the Dream Canteen".


1 CD each, approx. €15 each.

Basically a double album, only released individually: The great Californian rock band of our time takes stock of their music and life - and again and again the sun goes down.

Elena Witzeck recommends:

Joan Didion: "The White Album".

Translated from the English by Antje Rávik Strubel.

Ullstein, Berlin 2022. 352 p., hardcover, €23.

Didion tells us stories so that we (sur)live.

And Antje Rávik Strubel translates in such a way that we don't miss a word of it.

Next chapter:

kids stuff


Illustration: Kat Menschik

kids stuff

Petra Ahne recommends:

Piotr Socha, Monika Utnik-Strugata: "The Book of Dirt".

Gerstenberg, Hildesheim 2022, 216 p., ill., born, €30


It could also be called "The Book of Cleanliness", but let's be honest: which child would want to read that?

A fun and humorous cultural history of hygiene, full of aha effects for parents too.

Matthew Alexander recommends:

"Apollo 10 ½.

A Space Age Childhood” (Netflix).

The story of a Houston boy who flies to the moon in the late 1960s.

An animated film of nostalgic magic.

Also shortens the wait for the next film by Richard Linklater.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Will Gater, Daniel Long, Angela Rizza: "Wonderful World of Stars".

Ais the English by Birgit Reit.

Dorling Kindersley Verlag, London 2022. 224 pp., ill., hardcover, €19.95.

Modern telescopes provide such beautiful and diverse images that you hardly need more for a wonderful picture book that can delight the whole family.

Jan Brachmann recommends:

Katia Tchemberdji: Theorina - Sorceress of Music.

Singspiel for children's choir.

Somni Edition, Berlin 2022, 78 pages, hardcover, €26.22.

Score with piano accompaniment and drawings by the composer.

Children sing together, learn ear training and save the music from the evil Vampyrus virus.

Dietmar Dath recommends:


Children supposedly get more out of it than adults, who are usually closer to the end, but there's no harm in adults giving the kids some of their time from time to time. 

Paul Ingenday recommends:

"Bond Cars".

The ultimate story of 160 iconic Bond cars.

Frederking & Thaler, Munich 2022. 336 p., ill., hardcover, €45.

You don't have to drive these things, you can't and you shouldn't.

But looking, that's possible with this wonderful volume: Cars from innocent times!

Jürgen Kaube recommends:

Moni Port: “Are dwarves allowed to ride the Ferris wheel?” Big questions for little thinkers.

With illustrations by Philip Waechter.

Klett children's book, Leipzig 2022. 48 p., ill., hardcover, €12.

Children's questions that adults cannot answer either.

A book to read together.

Sandra Kegel recommends:

Charles Dickens: "A Christmas Carol".

‎ Penguin Verlag, Munich 2022. 144 p., br., €10.

First published in 1843, Dickens' most famous story since 1901 has been filmed fifteen times.

The recommendation especially to all early readers: first take the book to hand.

Freddy Langer recommends:

Gauri Gill: "Acts of Appearance." Edition Patrick Frey, Zurich 2022. 188 p., ill., br., €62.

The Bohada Festival traditionally has 52 masks of figures of religion and myths of India.

But what about today, asked the photographer Gauri Gill and asked the residents of a village to portray themselves with their own modern masks.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Timon Meyer, Julian Meyer: "How many poodles are in a pack?" Diogenes Verlag, Zurich 2022. 40 p., ill., born, 16.00 .

Ages 4 and up. The title is not misleading, the rhymes here are holterdipolter across the animal kingdom.

And because there is a lot to discover in the pictures, you can continue straight away with rhyming feet.

Melanie Mühl recommends:

Paul Maar: The Sams and the great Christmas search, Oetinger Verlag, Hamburg, 2022. 176 pages, hard copy, €15.

Because Christmas is just a lot more fun with the Sams than without.

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

Aymar du Chatenet: "La grande histoire du Petit Nicolas".

Les Archives inédites de Goscinny et Sempé.

IMAV Editions, Paris 2022. 256 p., ill., hardcover, €39.80.

A month before Sempé died in August, this magnificent volume with countless pictures and facts about the most lovable children's series in the world was published.

This is how you can go.

Edo Reents recommends:

"Minions - In Search of the Mini Boss".

DVD, Universal Pictures Germany 2022. 1 DVD, 83 min., €12.69.

Bit fast-paced for parents, like most animations today;

but the characters go through the chaos again with funny eyes.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

Marc-Uwe Kling: "The day Tiffany rocked the water out of the tub".

Illustrated by Astrid Henn.

Carlsen, Hamburg 2022. 72 p., ill., hardcover, €12.

Wellness for young and old: there is always something going on in the family of grandma who broke the internet.

This time there is a small flood.

Kai Spanke recommends:

Chris van Allsburg: "The Garden of Abdul Gasazi".

Translated from English by Mirko Düringer.

Kraus Verlag, Berlin 2022. 32 p., ill., hardcover, €17.90.

Brilliantly drawn, ambiguously told.

Whether dogs can be turned into ducks is a question that has been discussed here.

We have doubts but are open to anything.

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

Nadia Budde: "Dog View Berlin".

Reproduct, Berlin 2022. 112 p., hardcover, €18.

What would the capital look like if you experienced it as a dog?

Less historical anyway, a lot more sensual and a lot less grumpy.

Probably only Nadia Budde can get this perspective.

Jan Wiele recommends:

Jeff Tweedy: "How do I write a song?".

Heyne Verlag, Munich 2022. 160 p., hardcover, €19.

Maybe not just for kids - but it sounds child's play as one of America's finest younger songwriters shares his wealth of experience like a real motivational speaker: "It's time to let the magic begin!"

Elena Witzeck recommends:

Experimental advent calendar with the mouse.

Francis, €28.

Not an expert on children's desires, but advent calendars are one of those things that digitally just look sad.

And this also appeals to adults' desire to experiment.

Next chapter:



Illustration: Kat Menschik


Petra Ahne recommends:

Lucy Cooke: Bitch.

A Revolutionary Guide to Sex, Evolution and the Female Animal.

Doubleday, London 2022. 400 pp., hardcover, €23.99.

Cooke convincingly challenges the stereotype of the passive, nurturing feminine as the biological norm in the animal world.

Adds momentum to tedious sex and gender party talk.

Matthias Alexander recommends:

Dave Goulson: "Dumb Earth".

Why we need to save the insects.

Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2022. 368 pages, hardcover, €25.

For pragmatic activists: Finally, 18 pages with concrete suggestions on how something can be done to combat insect mortality.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Martin Mosebach: "Pigeon and wild duck".


Dtv, Munich 2022. 336 p., hardcover, €24.

A work of art leads the hidden into the open and thus sets events in motion that teach a lot about vice and sin, about conventions and individual deviations.

A novel that reveals a lot. 

Jan Brachmann recommends:

Ivan Bunin: "Night at Sea".

Stories 1920-1924.

Dörlemann-Verlag, Zurich 2022. 334 p., hardcover, €26.

"This is the end, farewell, Russia," I said to myself resolutely.

Dietmar Dath recommends:

Douglas Trumbull: "Silent Running".

Universal 2002, 1 DVD, antiquarian, different prices, around €10.

The director, who also worked as an effects artist for Stanley Kubrick, died in 2022. What applies to Godard applies to him (see box on the left). 

Paul Ingenday recommends:

Irene Vallejo: "Papyrus".

The history of the world in books.

Translated from the Spanish by Maria Meinel and Luis Ruby.

Diogenes, Zurich 2022. 750 pages, hardcover, €28.

From the library of Alexandria to the fall of the Roman Empire: a foray through the book and reading culture of antiquity, told in a masterly way.

Jürgen Kaube recommends:

Honoré de Balzac: "The Theory of Walking".

An hour of my life.

Friedenauer Presse, Berlin 2022. 249 p., hardcover, €24.

The novelist thought he could draw up a code of gaits from his observations in Paris.

Anyone who reads it feels differently afterwards.

Sandra Kegel recommends:

Luzia Braun, Ursula March: "See each other".

Conversations about the face.

Galiani, Berlin 2022. 248 p., hardcover, €26.

Who is that looking at us in the mirror?

The authors talk about this with people as diverse as the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk, the boxer Axel Schulz or a child – eye-opening!

Freddy Langer recommends:

"Joseph Beuys: Actions 1963-1986".

Box with 8 DVDs, 605 minutes in total, accompanying publication & index, €99.

When art becomes religion, Joseph Beuys is its high priest, and each of his performances became a service of its own kind. Those who missed the ceremonies back then are sitting in the front row here.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Guy de Maupassant: "Pleasure".

Four stories.

Edited and from the French by Elisabeth Edl.

Alexander Verlag, Berlin 2022. 148 pp., br., €16.90.

Of course, it could also be a classic.

And not just because of the author, but also because Max Ophül's film from 1952 was selected. 

Melanie Mühl recommends:

Kim de l'Horizon: "Blood Book".

Dumont Verlag, Cologne 2022. 336 pages, hardcover, €24.

This book by a non-binary person shakes and touches.

It is also suitable for those who are afraid of contact with trans people.

Maybe one or the other would like to reduce their prejudices.

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

Catherine Meurisse: "Nami and the Sea".

Translated from the French by Uli Pröfrock.

Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg 2022. 128 pages, hardcover, €22.

Sempé's legitimate heiress tells of her stay in Japan.

The best of both worlds: French comics, Japanese way of life.

Also in French as a ridiculously expensive but much nicer black and white edition.

Edo Reents recommends:

Heinz Strunk: "A summer in Niendorf".


Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 2022. 240 p., hardcover, €22.

Again, no fun: Strunk remains the master of misery – and comforts.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

Annabel Wahba: "Chameleon".


Eichborn Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2022. 285 pages, £23.00.

The story of one's origins is always a novel.

For the journalist Annabel Wahba, the moment has come to tell her brother's deathbed: a Bavarian-Egyptian family saga, familiar, strange, irresistible.

Kai Spanke recommends:

Mitski: "Laurel Hell".

MP3 album.

Dead Oceans 2022. €9.99.

Some things on this record sound strangely atonal, shifted into one another and cranky, then jangly, clear passages follow again.

Sparkling eighties synth pop here, flashing guitars there.

Highly recommended: "Working for the Knife" and our favourite, "Should've Been Me".

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

Earth furniture: "Good morning, Ragazzi".


Industry (Trade), 1 CD, approx. €17.

The insight that you can sing about physics with love, that life has a lot to do with a shower curtain and that the world is a warm place thanks to palindromes, we owe to this near-perfect record.

Jan Wiele recommends:

Jan Factor: "Idiot".


Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2022. 400 pages, hardcover, €24.

Producing jokes through mourning: Jan Factor manages this feat so well that one could cry.

Elena Witzeck recommends:

Etna: "Push Life".

Humming Records.

1 CD, approx. €13.

Constantly striking new tones, the electro duo from Dresden comes from jazz.

Inéz recently recorded the anti-Zeitgeist song "Zukunft Pink" with Peter Fox, but his own stuff is particularly beautiful and crazy.

Next chapter:

Something extravagant


Illustration: Kat Menschik

Something extravagant

Petra Ahne recommends:

Tabula Peutingeriana.

Wbg, Darmstadt 2022. 128 p., hardcover, ill., €100.

The roads of the Roman Empire, from Spain to India, on seven meters of papyrus: the document, preserved in a medieval copy that can be compared more with a subway plan than with a map, is now handy to marvel at.

Matthew Alexander recommends:

Tim Flach: "Birds".

Knesebeck, Munich 2021. 336 p., hardcover, €68.

The Audubon of photography: Tim Flach portrays birds in front of a neutral background.

They look back the way we would like to be: beautiful, colourful, friendly and, yes, confident.

Sibylle Anderl recommends:

Tim Maudlin, Philosophy of Physics: Quantum Theory.

‎ Princeton University Press, Princeton 2019. 256 pp., hardcover, €20.99.

The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 2022 for experiments to understand quantum mechanical entanglement.

Anyone who wants to know what that means is confronted with many philosophical questions.

Jan Brachmann recommends:

Martin Plueddemann: ballads and songs.

Ulf Bästlein (baritone), Hedayet Jonas Djeddikar (piano).

2 CDs, Naxos, approx. €17.

Martin Plüddemann (1854 to 1897) from Kolberg in Pomerania was a protégé of Richard Wagner.

His ballads: captivating and scary.

"The Bell Casting in Breslau" - a shocker!

Dietmar Dath recommends:

Stop for a moment and, if you can and see a reason for it, be thankful that you are there.

As bad as life can get, there are always opportunities. 

Paul Ingenday recommends:

Beth OrtonWeather Alive.

Pias/Partisan Records (Rough Trade).

1 CD, approx. €16.

If the winter mood in life is too much for you, you can either flee the country or throw yourself firmly into the arms of the gloom, for example with this brooding, self-produced album by Brit Beth Norton.


Jürgen Kaube recommends:

Irmgard Siebert: "Erwin Quedenfeldt - From photography to photographic art".

Klostermann Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2022. 778 p., ill., hard copy, €99.

The great landscape photographer of the Lower Rhine: The captivating biography of an aesthetic pioneer

Sandra Kegel recommends:

Patti Smith: "Book of Days." Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2022. 400 pages, hard copy, €34.

A radiator is a radiator is a radiator - unless Patti Smith photographed the good piece.

With her 366 Instagram pictures, the artist provides insights into her view of the world - and into the obsessions of a true collector's soul.

Freddy Langer recommends:

David Hockney: “My Window.” Taschen Verlag, Cologne 2022. 248 p., ill., born, €100.

There are people who are reluctant to leave their bed in the morning because it is so cozy.

David Hockney, on the other hand, stays on the ground to work and draw the view out the window from there first thing of the day.

Always surprisingly different.

Helmut Mayer recommends:

Raymond Roussel: "The Sight".

Edited and from the French by Maximilian Gilleßen and Stefan Ripplinger.

Zero sharp Verlag, Berlin 2022. 163 pages, illustrations, brown, €22.

You don't need splints made of calf's lung to achieve something extravagant that this author wasn't even aiming for.

Melanie Mühl recommends:

Charles Simic: "Scribbled in the Dark".


Hanser, Munich 2022. 168 p., hardcover, €24.

Maybe not extravagant, but all the more beautiful: "I was still small when I came here, a wind-up toy.

Saw a road in hell, one in paradise.”

Andreas Plathaus recommends:

David Bowie: Divine Symmetry - The Journey to Hunky Dory.

Parlophone Label Group (Warner).

5 CDs, 1 Blu-Ray Disc, approx. €130.

It's a bit extravagant to hear such music recordings, which mostly sound like something straight out of the ashtray.

But they are test recordings and live concerts by David Bowie from 1971. And he was never better.

Edo Reents recommends:

Quentin Tarantino: Cinema Speculation.

The movies of my life.

Translated from the English by Stephan Kleiner.

Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2022. 400 pages, hardcover, €26.

It comes down to both: giving life more films and giving films more life.

Ursula Scheer recommends:

Sponsorship in the Senckenberg Natural History Museum, from €50.

Cute and useful: the stuffed porcupinefish from the Senckenberg Museum is just one of thousands of objects that can be sponsored – or given away.

A plaque, one free entry per year and more reward the commitment.

Kai Spanke recommends:

Luxury bird feeder from Hummenberg.

Made of larch and oak wood, with a copper roof.


Birds should be fed all year round (please no letters to the editor now).

The Hummenberg house is handcrafted, stays clean and is easy to fill - guests and the buffet are doubly decorative.

Tilman Spreckelsen recommends:

Sun's Sons: "You & My Mind"., 1 LP, approx. €20.

Sparingly and effectively instrumented productions, unpretentious voices and songs that you carry around with you for a long time: you like to follow the undeterred path of this beautiful record.

Jan Wiele recommends:

Margret Atwood: "Innigst/Dearly": Poems of a Lifetime.

Bilingual edition.

Translated from the English by Jan Wagner.

Berlin Verlag, Berlin 2022. 240 p., hardcover, €28.

Like a sailor's letter that arrives after he's drowned: Is it all too late?

Not when you read these poems.

Elena Witzeck recommends:

"Mithu Sanyal on Emily Brontë".

Books of my life, vol. 2. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne 2022. 160 p. hardcover, €20.

Funny, clever and well-researched reflection on Brontë reception, on love, origin, class and madness and important accompanying reading for the recently released film "Emily".

With the best recommendations for Christmas 2022

Christmas menu to prepare!

A relaxing party is guaranteed!