Book look: Baitar & Sußebach, Berlin & Grünlich

An award-winning journalist and a Syrian student have teamed up to write about their experiences in living together. “Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen” is a blunt and open account of how different lifestyles can collide when a German family decide to help a refugee stuck in an overcrowded room in a camp for asylum seekers in Saxony. Amir Baitar worked and studied in Deir ez-Zor when he decided to leave his country due to the intensified armed conflict in the city and increasingly intimidating IS checkpoint policies. After an odyssey through Serbia, Hungary and other countries during which he was confronted with several dangers – from rough weather to hostile residents who tried to rob him – Baitar arrived in Hamburg in December 2015 after the family of Die Zeit author Henning Sußebach, a married father of two, decided to offer a refugee a room in their house in the suburbs. “Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen” is structured like a diary, with Baitar and Sußebach taking turns in writing about misunderstandings, funny situations and profound discussions concerning faith, German grammar and local traditions. Baitar was irritated by women’s liberal approach to clothing in summer while Sußebach was stunned by the Syrian’s harsh criticism of asylum seekers from Algeria, Afghanistan and Albania. Eventually Baitar opened up towards western lifestyle in general and moved into his own flat. He loosened his strictness concerning praying five times a day – and considered marrying a German one day.

Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen
By Amir Baitar & Henning Sußebach
Published by Rowohlt (

Peter Grünlich and Katja Berlin have released another bunch of hilarious statistics on well-known daily life situations. The duo previously succeeded with “Was wir tun, wenn der Aufzug nicht kommt”. Their new book is called “Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken”. Grünlich and Berlin reveal young fitness fanatics’ preferred muscle groups, mushroom preparation rules and the true reasons for joining a strike. The book also includes pie charts and diagrams concerning relationships and working at the office. Heyne, the publishing house which released “Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken” also presented several “Neon Unnützes Wissen” books like “Neon Unnützes Wissen 4” by Sascha Chaimowicz and Oliver Stolle. The authors list almost 1,400 remarkable fun facts concerning science, celebs and economy.

Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken
By Katja Berlin and Peter Grünlich
Published by Heyne (

Book look: Bundesliga & Champions League

Hilarious quotes, funny photos and rare autograph cards of club legends are the essential ingredients of Ben Redelings’ VfB-Album. The Bundesliga expert has collected memorable interview statements and perused photo archives for images which are just too good to get dusty in the files forever. “Buffy” Ettmayer, Jens Lehmann, Fredi Bobic and many other stars of VfB Stuttgart are featured in this 160-page pocket-sized release by Verlag Die Werkstatt. The VfB-Album about the club which still tries to recover from the shock of being relegated is part of a series which also includes 1. FC Köln, Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and several other popular German football teams.

Ben Redelings’ VfB-Album
By Ben Redelings
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (

From the miracle victory of Liverpool against Milan to Bayern Munich’s triumph in 2001 after the trauma of 1999. “60 Jahre Champions League” by Ulrich Kühne-Hellmessen summarises the most spectacular moments of the most important European football competition. Kühne-Hellmessen wrote and published more than 60 sports books. He worked for Blick, dapd and Sport-Bild. The prestigious trophy, which underwent several reforms and a renaming process, has seen great drama and many emotions. This 160-page publication features a comprehensive statistics section, brilliant photos and portraits of the game’s decisive personalities – from former AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti to ex-Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. In an interview with the author, the former manager of the national team of Switzerland speaks about his strategy to get his team back on their feet after the bitter defeat against Manchester United in the Champions League final of 1999 in Barcelona. He also analyses the various structural changes of the tournament such as the installation of the Europa League.

60 Jahre Champions League
By Ulrich Kühne-Hellmessen
Published by Riva (

Book look: Berlin & Bremen

Famous locations and popular touristic attractions are not the only ingredients of a new book about a hyped district of the German capital. “Berlin-Mitte. Porträt eines Bezirks” by Berlin-based author and journalist Bettina Schuler also helps discovering hidden beauty spots in a city which seems capable of offering surprises day by day. Schuler interviewed Peer Kusmagk about his Berlin experiences. The television and radio presenter, who grew up in the city, speaks about typical elements of the city’s vibe and reveals which drink characterises Berlin best. Kusmagk also admits what made him take part in the German version of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!” (Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus!) six years ago. Elsewhere, Schuler portrays actor Edgar Harter and the Distel, a tradition-rich theatre venue. Other chapters of “Berlin-Mitte. Porträt eines Bezirks” focus on the Berlin Wall, Pariser Platz – and Hotel Adlon Kempinski’s Austrian chief bartender.

Berlin-Mitte. Porträt eines Bezirks
By Bettina Schuler
Published by Gmeiner (

A Viennese publishing company has released a pocket-sized guide featuring copious information about a northern German city. On 130 pages, “Unnützes Bremen Wissen” informs about Nobel Prize laureates, residents’ love for cycling and everything you need to know about local football team Werder Bremen. Furthermore, the Holzbaum publication includes comprehensive facts and figures concerning migration to the United States, culinary specialities and Bremen’s monuments. Previously Holzbaum presented a Hamburg guide (“Unnützes Hamburg Wissen” by Tim Kempers & Katrin Hauk) as well as “Kaffee in Wien” and “Frühstück & Brunch in Wien”.

Unnützes Bremen Wissen
Published by Holzbaum (

Book look: Kirchner & Kermani

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner kicked off a colourful revolution. His paintings questioned well-known colour concepts. Elitist art experts were stunned – and outraged. Pressurised and persecuted by the Nazis, Kirchner committed suicide in 1938. His most important works of art can be found in “Kirchner” by Norbert Wolf, a low-priced art book now out by Taschen. Wolf – who previously released books about Diego Velazquez and Caspar David Friedrich, examines Kirchner’s artistic approach but also portrays the painter as an individual. “Grünes Haus” from 1906, “Straßenszene bei Nacht” (1925) and several self-portraits are featured and analysed. The Taschen Kleine Reihe art book series also features publications about Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Claude Monet and many others.

By Norbert Wolf
Published by Taschen (

“Wer ist Wir? Deutschland und seine Muslime” features essential contributions to the ongoing debate about radicalised Islam, terrorism and changes in society in general. In nine chapters, author Navid Kermani – who has been praised by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as “brilliant writer” – analyses sociological developments and underlines the importance of intercultural dialogue. “Wer ist Wir? Deutschland und seine Muslime” also contains two of his speeches. In one of them, the author of “Ungläubiges Staunen. Über das Christentum” and “Ausnahmezustand. Reisen in eine beunruhigte Welt” shares his point of view concerning Muslim teachers wearing headscarves. The other speech featured in the book was held a few days after the terror attacks at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris in January 2015.

Wer ist Wir? Deutschland und seine Muslime
By Navid Kermani
Published by C.H. Beck (

Book look: Cuba & Austria

A German magazine’s Latin America correspondent has teamed up with a top snapper to create a fantastic book about Cuba. Jens Glüsing has reported from Rio de Janeiro for Der Spiegel for many years. Now he wrote some essays full of insight and expert knowledge about Cuba and its people. Michael Pasdzior – who has worked for GEO, Vogue and other respected publications in the past – contributes the photos. “Kuba. Von der Revolution der Armen, Havanna und Chevrolets, Amis und Zuckerrohr” offers differentiated perspectives on a country hoping for a bright future following the improvement of relations with the United States. Barack Obama’s visit to the island in 2016 was the first trip of an American president to Cuba in almost 90 years. With Donald Trump rampaging in the Oval Office, it has to be seen how strong economic and political bounds will remain. The book by Glüsing and Pasdzior underlines the strong contrast dominating daily life in Cuba where residents are tangled up between nostalgia and the need for basic food supply. “Kuba. Von der Revolution der Armen, Havanna und Chevrolets, Amis und Zuckerrohr” follows “Jerusalem. Menschen und Geschichten einer wundersamen Stadt”, an intense portrait of the city in Israel by popular German actress Iris Berben and photographer Tom Krausz. Corso also published a book about Venice. “Venedig, Geliebte des Auges” features essays, poems and short stories about the picturesque Italian city selected by journalist and author Elke Heidenreich.

Kuba. Von der Revolution der Armen, Havanna und Chevrolets, Amis und Zuckerrohr
By Jens Glüsing & Michael Pasdzior
Published by Corso (

Prejudices towards fellow Austrians from other provinces, favourite drinks and the positive and negative aspects of consulting a private practitioner. “Österreich in leiwanden Grafiken” is a hilarious collection of pie diagrams based on clichés, stereotypes and jokes about Austrians’ preferences and traditions. It informs about car brands, holidays in Wachau and living in Austria with newborns and as a pensioner. This Holzbaum publication follows “Unnützes WienWissen” and “Unnützes WienWissen 2”, a two-volume release listing fun facts about the federal capital of Austria – from composers who worked here to astonishing information regarding monuments and tourist attractions. “Schimpfen wie ein echter Wiener”, meanwhile, provides you with a decent stock of Viennese dialect swearwords.

Österreich in leiwanden Grafiken
By Clemens Ettenauer & Katja Ettenauer
Published by Holzbaum (

Book look: paintings & Putin

Home sweet home? Well, not necessarily. For most of us, home is a lovely place making us feel safe and comfortable. Now a collection of paintings shows various approaches disclosing interiors’ mysteries. “Unheimlich. Innenräume von Edvard Munch bis Max Beckmann” (The Uncanny Home. Interiors from Edvard Munch to Max Beckmann), which features essays in German and English, has been published to mark an exhibition at Kunstmuseum Bonn, a top cultural institution. Paintings by Edouard Vuillard, Odilon Redon, Erich Heckel and many others have been contributed on loan from renowned museums and private collection especially in Germany but also in Belgium and Norway. The works of art of different genres portray interiors as spooky places full of confusion causing discomfort and fear. Johannes Binotto, Felix Krämer and others contributed articles for this spectacular publication. “The Uncanny Home. Interiors from Edvard Munch to Max Beckmann” has been released by Hirmer. The German publishing house previously presented “Esprit Montmartre. Bohemian Life in Paris around 1900”, a portrait of the capital of France as a melting pot of creativity between 1890 and World War One. The book – which is based on an acclaimed exhibit at Schirn Kunsthalle, a gallery in Frankfurt – features more than 200 paintings and lots of photographs.

Unheimlich. Innenräume von Edvard Munch bis Max Beckmann
The Uncanny Home. Interiors from Edvard Munch to Max Beckmann
By Volker Adolphs
Published by Hirmer (

An expert on Russia has created a colourful portrait of the country’s youth. “Generation Putin. Das neue Rusland verstehen” focuses on the hopes and dreams of young residents of the country. Author Benjamin Bidden not only concentrates on federal capital Moscow. He also spoke with teenagers and twentysomethings growing up in the countryside and previously embattled regions like Chechnya. In 17 chapters, the former Der Spiegel correspondent offers new perspectives on a country entangled in a propaganda news war with Europe and a truly violent conflict with Ukraine. Bidden was based in Moscow for seven years before returning to Germany in 2016. His book is now out by DVA, a German publishing house which also released “Nordkorea. Innenansichten eines totalen Staates”, a spectacular insight report on dictatorial regime of Kim Jong-un by University of Vienna professor Rüdiger Frank.

Generation Putin. Das neue Rusland verstehen
By Benjamin Bidden
Published by DVA (

Book look: Pluhar & Portisch

A popular singer and actress has released a new novel – three years after presenting an autobiographically influenced release. Erika Pluhar was part of the Burgtheater ensemble for many years. After this period in her life, the Viennese actress focused on roles in films (“Der Strick um den Hals”, “Tod oder Freiheit”) – and on writing. Over the years, Pluhar has created several acclaimed novels and short stories such as “Verzeihen Sie, ist das hier schon die Endstation?”, “Paar Weise. Geschichten und Betrachtungen zur Zweisamkeit” and “Im Schatten  der Zeit”. In  2013, she released “Die öffentliche Frau”, a book featuring various autobiographical elements. Now Pluhar presents “Gegenüber”. Her new 340-page novel is out by Residenz Verlag, a publishing company which is also in charge of several other top-selling releases like “Sissi, Stones and Sonnenkönig. Geschichten unserer Jugend” by Erwin Steinhauer and Fritz Schindlecker and “Franz Sedlacek. Chemiker der Phantasie”, a fantastic Wien Museum exhibition catalogue.

By Erika Pluhar
Published by Residenz Verlag (

Increased spending on nuclear weapons, a wall at the border with Mexico and ridiculing the European Union. Donald Trump failed to avoid any political minefield on the trail last year. Hugo Portisch, the respected Austrian author and journalist who recently turned 90, describes the US presidential election campaign as “the most exciting but also contradictory I have ever witnessed”. In his new book, the former ORF news editor analyses possible Trump action towards Russia and China. “Leben mit Trump. Ein Weckruf” – now out by Ecowin – examines potential developments concerning the role of NATO and American interventions in Syria and other crisis regions. The 80-page publication – which costs a hefty 20 Euros – further features Portisch’s point of view regarding the impact on the Trump administration by the president’s controversial advisors. The experienced journalist also offers an outlook on possible future developments concerning US-European cooperation and the war of words between the States and its global opponents like Iran and Russia.

Leben mit Trump. Ein Weckruf
By Hugo Portisch
Published by Ecowin (

Canadi confidence as Rapid face SVM

Rapid manager Damir Canadi is under pressure ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Mattersburg – despite pledges by superiors he will not be sacked.

Rapid snatched just 0.77 points per game since the former Altach coach took over – fewer points than the team managed to win with any other manager in the history of the club. Tomorrow on 4pm, the Green-Whites – who lost against Sturm Graz 1-2 last Sunday – face SV Mattersburg.

“Considering attitude and performance of the squad, we are not questioning the manager,” the club’s sports director Fredi Bickel said after the defeat in Graz.

Meanwhile Rapid announced that Srdjan Grahovac will leave the club. The 24-year-old midfielder from Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to join Kazakh team FC Astana. Grahovac joined Rapid in 2014.

Rapid are currently only in sixth, just two points ahead of eighth-placed SKN St. Pölten. Mattersburg have garnered 23 points so far this season, three points more than tail lights SV Ried who have 20.



The Austrian Bundesliga after 25 of 36 rounds:

Red Bull Salzburg, 53 points
Altach, 49
FK Austria, 47
SK Sturm Graz, 45
Admira Wacker, 30
SK Rapid, 29
Wolfsberger AC, 29
SKN St. Pölten, 27
SV Mattersburg, 23
SV Ried, 20