German

Der Tastenficker…what a great read

Before we go on: Don’t be put off by the title…

I don’t normally care for books by or about celebrities but Der Tastenficker* is an exception. Probably because it doesn’t feel like an “autobiography” as such. It is quite refreshing hearing about life and experiences in the former DDR yet not going on and on about the negatives and politics. And for a change, not about a terrible childhood and how hard and depressing life was – that’s what most biographies and autobiographies seem to be about. I enjoyed that fact that minimal names were mentioned and that it wasn’t about the famous band he is in. In fact, I never felt like I was reading about Flake of Rammstein but about Flake (real name Christian Lorenz), a normal everyday person and his experiences. Overall, interesting and light to read. And lots of fun (pianos aren’t practical to take to and from rehearsal and camping trips can become quite a challenge). The “random” photos add something different. I devoured this book in a matter of days. And felt so positive when I’d finished. (I also had a totally different view of this man who always comes across as the underdog when on stage)

*I’d only noticed after I’d received this book that it is actually a numbered, autographed first edition. Not that it is important but, I guess subconsciously, it added a little special touch.

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Schwingfest – Verliebt in einen Bauern

 “Schweizer Bestseller” (Swiss Bestseller) is stuck on ever cover of Schwingfest and gazed lovingly at me from every book shop! I just couldn’t get away from it. So, with my belief that a book finds me (and not the other way round), I decided to give it a go. I needed a holiday read after all. Besides, I just couldn’t resist that cute cover.

The story is about Bea, a freelance journalist and freelance-whatever-comes-her-way, who meets Sämi, a farmer, while writing an article to accompany his photo in a calendar. They have totally different lifestyles…naturally, otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. Attracted to Sämi, Bea takes an interest in Schwingen and farming and thus it all unfolds. Some developments I didn’t see coming which is what made me enjoy this book. Initially I thought it would be just another routine light romance.

I must admit, that I get very nervous of the newer German and Swiss books. I find they bring in too much English and tend to use expressions in the wrong context. Anyway, that’s the way languages evolve I guess. This one wasn’t too bad, although kept going on about “that’s what friends are for” and such. It didn’t really fit in.

That aside, once I’d gotten used to the “clipped” writing style and come to terms with the fact that this was a very, veeery, light read, I quite enjoyed it. Reading so many books, many with similar settings, it was really refreshing to be transported to the Central Swiss region with which I’m familiar. I thoroughly enjoyed the use of Schwingen (Swiss wrestling) as a central theme. It made for something a bit different.

At the end of it all, it is still a girl-meets-boy story but very sweet and a fun quick read. Perfect for the holidays and as a bridging book between ‘heavier’ books.

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