Book look: French fun, Viennese tunes and Rafati’s story

Foreign language calendars are increasingly popular as they help learners to improve day by day. Langenscheidt’s French calendar for next year features facts about France and its people as well as langenscheidtrecipes and various informative but also entertaining facts. Solutions to the exercises can be found on the back pages – accompanied by helpful additional information about grammatical rules. The author of the calendar, which is nicely illustrated, is Fabienne Schreitmüller. Further features of this new Langenscheidt release are quotes by famous authors and philosophers. “Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2014 Französisch” also informs what happened on that very day 15, 25 or 40 years ago – from landmark political decisions to the decease of celebrated artists.

Langenscheidt Sprachkalender 2014 Französisch
By Fabienne Schreitmüller
Published by Langenscheidt (

The Perlen-Reihe publishing house and its series of pocket-sized books of the same name have a long tradition. Previously, books about card games, knitting and mushroom-picking have been released. The broad spectrum of the company has now been expanded further by a new edition: a quick guide into the Wienerlied, a legendary genre of Viennese songs. Wienerlied tunes have a history of around 200 years. They are sung by artists at Vienna’s popular Heuriger wine taverns. Often, guests sing along as many of the songs are well known. For “Das Glück is a Vogerl. Die schönsten Wienerlieder”, Herbert Zotti has collected the notes and lyrics of famous tunes and newer Wienerlied songs. Short texts inform about their background and topical range. The “Wiener Fiakerlied” from 1885 and “Ein Krügerl, ein Glaserl, ein Stamperl” – a song written by Gerhard Bronner in 1960 – are just two of the many songs featured in this wonderful book.

Das Glück is a Vogerl. Die schönsten Wienerlieder
By Herbert Zotti
Published by Verlag Perlen-Reihe (

Football fans all over the world were horrified to hear that one of Germany’s most renowned referees tried to kill himself. Babak Rafati, who was born to Persian parents in Hanover in 1970, was found seriously injured by his refereeing team colleagues in his hotel room hours before a Bundesliga match in Cologne in November 2011. Rafati survived – and decided to speak out about his depression and how he finally managed to get over it. However, the former FIFA referee also reveals all about the dark times before his suicide attempt. Rafati started refereeing matches in Germany’s top-flight league eight years ago. He previously worked as referee in lower leagues. After several matches in international competitions, Rafati felt increasingly pressurised. “I’m doomed to lose this game,” he often thought to himself ahead of matches in front of tens of thousands of rivalling clubs’ supporters. The former referee’s decision to end his life sent shockwaves across the globe around two years after German national team keeper Robert Enke killed himself. Rafati’s story had a happy end after all – now he is ready to tell it.

Ich pfeife auf den Tod!
By Babak Rafati
Published by Kösel (

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