Book look: stage stars & the Spanish Riding School

The Austrian Kabarett is experiencing a fresh boom as several young stage artists are performing to sold-out crowds across the country. At the same time, veteran Kabarett stars are popular as ever. How did that happen and who is responsible for this remarkable phenomenon? A new book takes fans behind the stage to portray the performers and those who influenced them. “Wissen. Schmäh. Kabarett. Österreichische Kabarettstars hautnah” by historian and teacher Marion Maier and journalist Heimo Potzinger does not just feature comprehensive portraits of current stage stars like Andrea Händler and Thomas Stipsits. The Styria Premium release also includes an informative introduction describing the developments in Austrian Kabarett since the first decades of the 20th century. The scene suffered a severe blow by the Nazi regime’s terror and repression of Jewish authors and actors. However, young performers quickly revived the venues of Vienna. Later on, more and more artists from the countryside succeeded in various provinces. Today, all of them are performing to big crowds all over Austria as well as in different TV shows such as ORF’s “Die Staatskünstler” and “Bist du deppert!” on Puls4. “Wissen. Schmäh. Kabarett. Österreichische Kabarettstars hautnah” – which features information on the intention and approach of Alfred Dorfer, Florian Scheuba and others – is a great guide to the domestic Kabarett as no end of the hype is in sight.

Wissen. Schmäh. Kabarett. Österreichische Kabarettstars hautnah
By Marion Maier and Heimo Potzinger
Published by Styria Premium (

Sisi, Schönbrunn Palace and the Spanish Riding School (SRS) are arguably Vienna’s most reliable assets in tourism. Now a spectacular photo book celebrates the 450-year history of the famous institution strongly linked with the Hofburg situated in the heart of Vienna. “450 Jahre Spanische Hofreitschule” reveals that there is much more to the SRS than the popular performances in Vienna’s Innere Stadt district. On more than 200 pages, the Edition Lammerhuber publication features comprehensive information in German and English on the history of the iconic magnet for holidaymakers. The team of authors consists of Elisabeth Gürtler, who heads the SRS since 2007, Rene van Bakel and Arnim Basche. Van Bakel is an award-winning Dutch photographer and writer while Basche – a German journalist – is one of Central Europe’s most renowned horse-riding experts. “450 Jahre Spanische Hofreitschule” features fascinating photographs documenting the breeding of the Lipizzaner horses. Readers are taken backstage to witness vet’s examinations, preparations for a show – and the pleasure of a horse solarium. The book is just one of many remarkable Edition Lammerhuber releases focusing on photography. The publishing house recently also presented “Buffalo Ballad. On the Trail of an American Icon” by Heidi Koch and Hans-Jürgen Koch. The book features brilliant black and white pictures of American bisons. Some of these images were also on display at the Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Natural History Vienna).

450 Jahre Spanische Hofreitschule
By Elisabeth Gürtler, Rene van Bakel and Arnim Basche
Published by Edition Lammerhuber (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Reng & reflections

One of Germany’s most prolific sports writers has created another brilliant football background report. “Mroskos Talente. Das erstaunliche Leben eines Bundesliga-Scouts” portrays Lars Mrosko who has many years of experience working as scout and agent across Germany. Author Ronald Reng once more manages to offer extraordinary insights, way beyond the glitzy facades of the Bundesliga. “Mroskos Talente” focuses on people engaged in soccer who are fascinated by the sport. Reng writes about their professional relationships and personal encounters. This 400-page book is much more than another football biography. Reng has made a name for himself by offering a broader view on football. He does not just focus on the glamorous superficialities of professional competition. His books about late national team keeper Robert Enke, who committed suicide in 2009, and ex-Nürnberg manager Heinz Höher, demonstrated his outstanding talents. “Robert Enke. Ein allzu kurzes Leben”, a heart-wrenching portrait of a desperate man who had to endure so many throwbacks, was released in 2010. “Spieltage. Die andere Geschichte der Bundesliga”, the gripping 480-page Höher portrait, was presented three years later. Reng – who also created a kind of manual for the capital of Great Britain called “Gebrauchsanweisung für London” – did not shy away from writing about Höher’s alcohol and gambling addiction and his depressive phases caused by unemployment and his son’s death in a car accident.

Mroskos Talente. Das erstaunliche Leben eines Bundesliga-Scouts
By Ronald Reng
Published by Piper (

Refugees, the financial crisis of Greece and record temperatures. These topics dominated the past year. A recently released selection of cartoons offers an amusing reflection on everything that happened in 2015. “Rekord-Hitze & Jahrhundert-Winter” features articles and caricatures by Daniel Jokesch and HYDRA regarding significant occurrences in politics, business and sports in 2015. They reveal why Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann appreciated the heatwave and redesign the Greek flag, now featuring a dead-end road sign. Furthermore, “Rekord-Hitze & Jahrhundert-Winter” discloses what happens when a finance minister is having dinner in a restaurant. The artists also considered weird but real headlines which were published by newspapers and websites throughout last year. “Rekord-Hitze & Jahrhundert-Winter” is great entertainment on 100 pages. The release follows Holzbaum Verlag’s “Gay Nazi Dolphins at a Gang Bang” by Oliver Ottitsch and Theres Denzinger’s “Lexikon der Untiere”.

Rekord-Hitze & Jahrhundert-Winter
By Daniel Jokesch & HYDRA
Published by Holzbaum (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Frankfurt & football

Frankfurt am Main is much more than banks and big business, as a new book shows. Kiki Krebs and photographer Ralf Löhr created a lovely city portrait. In 55 chapters, the former resident of Paris and the internationally renowned snapper reveal the Hessen hotspot’s top locations for partygoers and lovers of art. Krebs interviewed Mayor Peter Feldmann, an actress who loves the city’s cemetery and the owner of an old-fashioned hairdresser’s. Other chapters focus on sports in the city, blues nights and Apfelwein, the legendary local drink. “Stadtgespräche aus Frankfurt a. M.” is another part of Gmeiner publishing house’s Stadtgespräche series. It also features books on Hamburg and Vienna. For the Hamburg edition, Nina Paulsen interviewed hotel managers, charity activists and the city’s creative thinkers. Clara Hein wrote about the Austrian capital. Her book includes portraits of Wienerlied legend Roland Neuwirth, stage star Josef Hader and many more.

Stadtgespräche aus Frankfurt a. M.
By Kiki Krebs and Rald Löhr
Published by Gmeiner (

One of the most prolific experts on German football has released a new book. “Die Bundesliga wie sie lebt und lacht” is a celebration of the sport’s amusing aspects. Ben Redelings searched the archives for the most hilarious front pages and the funniest statements by players, coaches and referees in the history of the Bundesliga. From Gerald Asamoah to Hennes Weisweiler, from Walter Eschweiler to Rudi Völler – fans will not be disappointed. “Die Bundesliga wie sie lebt und lacht” focuses on the different personalities’ well known characteristics and antics, but also tries to look under the surface of professional soccer’s curtains. Redelings writes about Günter Netzer’s cars and the legendary conflicts between stars like Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthäus and Mario Basler. On 400 pages, fans find funny facts about 100 Bundesliga stars as well as brilliant photographs, memorable newspapers snippets and autograph cards.

Die Bundesliga wie sie lebt und lacht
By Ben Redelings
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Deutschland & Dagobert

From Luther to Humboldt, from Cologne Cathedral to culinary traditions. A team of writers has deciphered a country’s DNA in spectacular manner. On nearly 400 richly illustrated pages, “Die Deutschlandsaga” documents the history of Germany and people’s love for the forest, literature and sports. Peter Arens and Stefan Braunburger – who cooperated with six further authors – analyse the country’s origin, its development throughout the decades to people’s achievements today. “Die Deutschlandsaga”, which features 15th century paintings as well as fantastic photographs, informs about life in medieval times, sociological changes after World War Two and Germany’s prospering economy after the reunification of 1990.

Die Deutschlandsaga
By Peter Arens and Stefan Braunburger
Published by C. Bertelsmann (

The Entenhausen (Duckburg) stories about Donald, Tick, Trick und Track (Huey, Dewey, and Louie) and Dagobert Duck (Scrooge McDuck) have been entertaining generations of cartoon fans. Created by Carl Barks, the exciting and amusing adventures of his lovely characters are still a thrill. Apart from ensuring reading pleasure for millions, the series’ legacy for the genre is vital. On 400 pages, “Onkel Dagobert. Milliardenraub in Entenhausen” features more than 20 coloured stories. This time around, especially Dagobert is under pressure as the Panzerknacker gang (Beagle Boys) and Gundel Gaukeley (Magica De Spell) are once again eying his fortune. Can the grumpy penny pincher prevent a robbery or will the felons have the last laugh? Find out in this great collection of tales from Entenhausen translated by Erika Fuchs. “Onkel Dagobert. Milliardenraub in Entenhausen”- which features introducing words by Andreas Platthaus and Don Rosa – is just one of many Disney publications by Ehapa Comic Collection. The publishing house also releases German versions of Asterix and other cartoon classics.

Onkel Dagobert. Milliardenraub in Entenhausen
By Carl Barks and Don Rosa
Published by Ehapa Comic Collection (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas

Book look: Mack & meteorology

From fashion shootings to portraying artists and documenting the Six-Day War of 1967. A new photo book recounts the impressively wide spectrum of topics covered by Ulrich Mack in the 1960s and 1970s. The photographer worked for leading magazines like Quick and Stern. He portrayed painters like Friedensreich Hundertwasser and Oskar Kokoschka but also created fascinating architecture pictures showing factories in Germany as the economy prospered. “Mack. Reporter” features intense documentation of humans and their actions as well as global politics. Mack was in Berlin when John F. Kennedy visited the city in 1963. He travelled to Sri Lanka without neglecting developments at home. German artists like Max Ernst and politicians such as CSU icon Franz Joseph Strauß – they were all in the focus of his work. “Mack. Reporter” does not just convince by creating a comprehensive reflection of the snapper’s career on roughly 150 pages. The book, now out by Hirmer, also offers an analysis of the 81-year-old’s approach and intentions as well as of developments in photography in the 20th century by Hans-Michael Koetzle, a renowned curator. Koetzle organised photo exhibitions in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin and many other places. He was most notably in charge of an acclaimed Rene Burri retrospective. Mack’s works were on display in Münster, Chemnitz and Boston. He received a World Press Photo Award in 1964 and, 30 years later, the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande (Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany).

Mack. Reporter
By Hans-Michael Koetzle
Published by Hirmer (

Science has rarely been so entertaining. German geologist Axel Bojanowski informs about astonishing research results and examines mysterious weather developments. In his new book, 1the Spiegel Online columnist takes readers on a wild ride through nature in 37 chapters. He analyses apparently inexplicable climate issues and investigates global warming-related subjects. A few years ago, Bojanowski scored a bestseller with “Nach zwei Tagen Regen folgt Montag”. Back then, one of the key topics was many people’s theory that bad weather mainly occurs at weekends. “Die Erde hat ein Leck” has the potential to become a worthy successor of the popular science journalist’s acclaimed 2012 release.

Die Erde hat ein Leck
By Axel Bojanowski
Published by DVA (

::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas