Harald Braun

Are other authors’ ideas off-limits or is this just a bad book?

Harald Braun is a German journalist who fancies the iconic 1980s travel book “Deutschland umsonst” written by Michael Holzach, in which the author goes on a long, moneyless walk through Germany. Braun comes up with his own version this idea, but with a twist: he wants to publish live updates of his journey on social media, thus increasing his chances of getting support from…


Richard Halliburton

This author has been called the “grandfather of travel writing” – but is he really that good?

At first I really liked this book. RH reminded me of Patrick Leigh Fermor, who set out as a young man to see the world and find adventure. And RH seemed even more extreme in the way was willing to embrace hardship, sometimes apparently looking for disaster. I appreciated that, and I still do…

Henry Rollins - "Get In The Van"

Henry Rollins

Is this book going to be any good for you even if you’re not a fan of hardcore punk?

We’re in Washington, D.C. around the year 1980, and young punk enthusiast Henry Lawrence Garfield gives himself a new last name, thus becoming Henry Rollins. His favorite band Black Flag asks him to become their new lead singer, which he accepts. They record the album “Damaged”, and it goes on to become a milestone in the world of hardcore punk. Over the next half decade, the band makes a few more records, they go through several line-up changes, grow their hair long, change their musical style and tour extensively. Their shows take them through…

Huang Nubo - "Herr Huang in Deutschland"

Huang Nubo

Can this be a new way to write travel literature, or will it always turn out terrible?

Huang Nubo is a Chinese billionaire who enjoys a challenge. He climbs mountains and writes poetry, he gives to charity, and his company supposedly tries to protect cultural relics in China. In 2013, he decides to embark on a mission that is supposed to last him ten years: a visit to each and every World Heritage Site on the face of the earth. He starts with Germany, spanning the 30+ sites that the country has to offer within…

Xiao Peng's "Ten Years Of Backpacking"

Xiao Peng

If this guy writes so well and goes to so many cool places, then just why is this book he wrote so bad?

Xiao Peng is a young Chinese white-collar worker who decides that he wants to see the world. He first travels around China, then ends up as an exchange student in the Netherlands. From there, he sets out to…

Ben Donald's "Springtime for Germany"

Ben Donald

Who came up with the idea to spoil an otherwise fine travel book with a bunch of nonsense?

Ben Donald is a British journalist who formerly used to love traveling but has somehow grown sick of it. He then runs into a guy who claims to be a sort of “travel coach” and gets sent to Germany by said guy. Well, Germany doesn’t…

Adam Fletcher's "How to be German in 50 Easy Steps"

Adam Fletcher

is this book about Germans for foreigners or for Germans?

Adam Fletcher is a young British dude who for obscure reasons decides to spend some time in Germany, first in Leipzig then in Berlin. He slowly gets to know the population and its peculiarities and eventually…

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow's "Xenophobe's Guide To the Germans"

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow

Are clichés funny enough to write a whole book about them?

Stefan Zeidenitz & Ben Barkow are authoring this issue of the “Xenophobe’s Guide”. The Guide is a well-known book series that deals with countries or rather inhabitants one at a time, trying to be funny and informative in the process. This issue…

Carol Kloeppel's "Dear Germany"

Carol Kloeppel

Is this author trying to show us how to alienate ourselves from our surroundings?

Carol Kloeppel is an American journalist who gets a job working for a German news guy called Peter Kloeppel, only to eventually return home with him. Home to Germany. They settle down in Cologne, they marry and…

Cem Gülay's "No Döner Country"

Cem Gülay

If migration basically means people moving from one place to another, can it really be a bad thing per se?

Cem Gülay is a German of Turkish descent who has published an autobiography about his abortive attempt at a “career” as a criminal. While promoting his book, he travels all over Germany, reading mostly at schools and

Gunther Plüschow's "The Adventures of the Aviator of Tsingtao"

Gunther Plüschow

Can we read about warfare as if it was just an adventure?

At the outbreak of WW1, Gunther Plüschow, a young pilot in the German air force, gets dispatched to the German colony of Qingdao (they called it “Tsingtau” back then). He is supposed to be one of only two pilots on guard against the…

Tuvia Tenenbom's "I sleep in Hitler's Room"

Tuvia Tenenbom

What happens when a cynic get outsmarted by an even bigger cynic?

Tuvia Tenenbom is a Jewish American author and theater guy who gets invited by a German publishing house (Rowohlt) to travel around Germany and write about his experiences. They know he is a cynic, and they invite him anyway. He thus…

Dennis Gastmann's "Walk to Canossa"

Dennis Gastmann

Should travel writers deliberately look for interesting stories, or should they rather go with the flow?

Dennis Gastmann is a young German TV journalist, probably best known for his subtle use of humor in revealing political misgivings. After having done a show about different places in the world, he decides to walk from his home…

Wolfgang Büscher's "Berlin - Moscow"

Wolfgang Büscher

Will the search for the “Russian soul” ruin what is otherwise a good book?

Wolfgang Büscher is a journalist who has a thing for walking, so it seems rather natural that he would decide to venture into Eastern Europe on foot. He starts in…

Heinz Helfgen's "I'm Cycling Around The World"

Heinz Helfgen

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

in 1946, Heinz Helfgen, a former journalist from Germany turned Wehrmacht soldier comes from a POW camp, only to find out that things are pretty bad at home, especially money-wise. After struggling for a few years, he decides to support his family by riding a bicycle around the world and publishing a series of newspaper articles about it…