Matsuo Basho

Matsuo Basho

Does true poetry flourish in the depths of the wilderness?

Matsuo Basho is a Haiku poet of the Japanese Edo-period who likes to wander about and write poetry in the process. He takes long solo hikes or goes on treks with friends, sometimes..

Heinz Helfgen

Heinz Helfgen

What were German readers looking for in a travel book after World War II?

Heinz Helfgen is a former journalist turned POW who returns to Germany in 1946, only to find that things aren’t exactly easy work-wise. Thus, after struggling for a few years, he decides to support his family by..

Ji Xianlin

Ji Xianlin

Are these travel memoirs worth reading, or have they been flawed by political circumstances?

This book is a collection of essays and stories from Ji Xianlin’s years in Germany, his visits in India, Japan and Taiwan, and his life in China. I found his style of writing a bit weird at first: here was an outstanding scientist, an intellectual, who seemed to be continuously talking about..

Heinrich Schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann

Is this guy more than just a worthy rival to Albert von Le Coq?

We’re in the mid-19th century. Heinrich Schliemann is a German businessman with a gift for languages and a passion for history who will later go on to discover the ruins of Troy. But first, he decides to go on a journey to China and Japan, both of which are currently..

Fernão Mendes Pinto

Fernão Mendes Pinto

If this is a great classic in Portuguese literature, why is it such a slow read?

This book was a big success in Europe during the 17th and 18th century. It was published a few decades after Fernão Mendes Pinto’s death and describes the quixotic ways..

Hans Ulrich Kempski

Hans Ulrich Kempski

Are these just some minor slip-ups or are we looking at an expert exposing himself?

We’re in the mid-1950s, and the world has just entered the Cold War. Hans Ulrich Kempski is one of the best known journalists in West Germany. He visits Japan and China, both of which are on the..

Yu Ying

Yu Ying

Does the Chinese literary world need to train tougher editors?

Yu Ying is a 20-something girl from Southwest China who lives and works as PA for a fashion model in Beijing. In 2009, she applies for the „Best Job In The World“, a project hosted by Tourism Queensland that places..

Gregor Sieböck

Gregor Sieböck

What’s wrong with Bono, and why do I think you should use this book to smash bugs?

Gregor Sieböck is a young idealist from Austria who walks around the world to promote environmentalism. He sets out in Austria in 2003 and makes his way to the southern tip of Portugal. (Throw in a Camino there.) Then he does..