You know what it's like - you're a complete German book freak and you just long to spread the love, bringing the joy of Teutonic writing to all your nearest and dearest. But your average book store doesn't cater to your taste, perhaps considering it strange or idiosyncratic for some unfathomable reason. So you're left wallowing in a mire of confusion over what books to buy for all those friends and relatives sadly incapable of reading German.
But never fear, for the Great Love German Books Seasonal Gift List is here! With recommendations of German-language books published mostly this year in English translation. Loosen your purse-strings, Germanic literature evangelists, and go shopping.
Small print: I must add that I haven't test-driven every single one of these books personally, but I'm sure any German book that passes the translation hurdle must be of above-average standard. The list does, however, reflect love german books' personal taste in that it is almost entirely devoid of dead writers. Sorry.
For intelligent sports fans – Ronald Reng: A Life Too Short. The Tragedy of Robert Enke (trans. Shaun Whiteside)
For true crime fans – Ferdinand von Schirach: Crime (trans. Carol Brown Janeway)
For Russian food fans – Alina Bronsky: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine (trans. Tim Mohr)
For poetry fans with a sense of humour – Monika Rinck: To Refrain from Embracing (trans. Nick Grindell)
For people who long for summer – Ingo Schulze: Adam and Evelyn (trans. John E. Woods)
For the modern woman – Annemarie Schwarzenbach: Lyric Novella (trans. Lucy Renner-Jones)
For the modern woman traveller – Annemarie Schwarzenbach: All the Roads are Open (trans. Isabel Cole)
For romantics – Daniel Glattauer: Love Virtually (trans. Katharina Bielenberg/Jamie Bulloch)
For romantic anthropologists – Thomas Pletzinger: Funeral for a Dog (trans. Ross Benjamin)
For gender anthropologists – Thomas Meinecke: Tomboy (trans. Danny Boyle)
For thriller fans with a strong stomach – Zoran Drvenkar: Sorry (trans. Shaun Whiteside)
For Ireland fans – Heinrich Böll: Irish Journal (trans. Leila Vennewitz)
For witty crime fans – Jakob Arjouni: Happy Birthday, Turk! (trans. Anselm Hollo)
For historical graphic novel fans – Hannes Binder/Lisa Tetzner: The Black Brothers (trans. Peter F. Neumeyer)
For musical graphic novel fans – Arne Bellstorf: Baby's in Black (trans. Michael Waaler)
For Kafka fans – Alois Hotschnig: Maybe This Time (trans. Tess Lewis)
For European literature fans – Aleksandar Hemon (ed.): Best European Fiction 2012 (trans. various artists)
For Berlin fans – Inka Parei: The Shadow-Boxing Woman (trans. Katy Derbyshire)
For working-class heroes – Clemens Meyer: All The Lights (trans. Katy Derbyshire)
For traceurs – Rusalka Reh: This Brave Balance (trans. Katy Derbyshire)
For anyone who thinks outside of even the obscurest categories – Dorothee Elmiger: Invitation to the Bold of Heart (trans. Katy Derbyshire)