The Sargnagel scandals

She writes about bizarre encounters in Vienna’s most infamous tram line, obscure gatherings of her all-female student fraternity and other wondrous things. Stefanie Sargnagel just does not give a flying f***. The 31-year-old author from Vienna became a hyped modern literature star by posting daily life observations and unfiltered thoughts about various topics on Facebook. Books like “Fitness” sold like hot cakes. But it was her online feud with novelist Thomas Glavinic that raised the attention of a broader audience. A spike in book sales was certain. Sargnagel kept causing outrage by badmouthing right-wing politicians who had attacked her over a trip to Morocco which was allegedly funded by the state. In a satirical travel diary, Sargnagel made fun about killing kittens and claimed being disappointed by young natives as she had expected more considering what happened on New Year’s Eve in Cologne. Her new book “Statusmeldungen” is out now.

By Stefanie Sargnagel
Published by Rowohlt (

Prejudices & the president

Reasonable debates concerning migration, sociological changes and economic developments are often ravaged by prejudices, fake news and unfounded accusations. “Gegen Vorurteile. Wie du dich mit guten Argumenten gegen dumme Behauptungen wehrst” can function as a guide and compass in difficult situations. Nina Horaczek and Sebastian Wiese provide statistics and facts regarding migration, xenophobia, EU regulations, youth violence and other controversial topics. Horaczek has released several books. She works for Viennese weekly Falter. Wiese is a lawyer and lecturer who looks back on a string of juridical publications.

Gegen Vorurteile
By Nina Horaczek & Sebastian Wiese
Published by Czernin (

John F. Kennedy was at the helm for just two and a half years but the myth JFK is unbroken. In his 100-page book on the 35th US president, Peter de Thier investigates Kennedy’s difficult youth dominated by his father’s harsh authority and the pressure to succeed in an ambitious family among eight siblings. Despite various physical complications, Kennedy became a World War Two hero before snatching a spot among the country’s political elite. The author describes Kennedy’s rise, writes about alleged election fraud and the president’s numerous affairs. His death in Dallas on the 22nd of November 1963 sent shockwaves all over the planet but there is still a vivid debate about his legacy. Did Kennedy manage to match the high expectations heaved onto him or was his short period in power just a glimpse of hope ahead of the gloomy Cold War era? Peter de Thier’s book not comprehensive enough to dive deeper but it offers a great opportunity to discover the legend.

John F. Kennedy
By Peter de Thier
Published by Reclam (

Transfer tornado as Rapid face LASK

A LASK defender is about to join Rapid just a few days ahead of the team’s Bundesliga duel.

Felix Luckeneder has got on the Rapid radar after it emerged that Maximilian Wöber will join Ajax Amsterdam. The Dutch club has not shied away from luring the 19-year-old despite Rapid’s decision to slap a €7.5mn price tag on the centre back.

Luckeneder, 23, could replace Wöber who convinced scouts and agents after just a handful of superb performances for Rapid’s first squad. The tradition-rich Viennese team face LASK on Saturday (kickoff: 6.30pm). Rapid recently suffered two defeats in a row while the newly promoted team from Linz achieved a 0-0 draw against Europa League competitors Altach.

Just a few days ago, LASK confirmed the transfer of Mergim Berisha. The 19-year-old striker scored 14 goals in 30 appearances for Liefering in Austria’s second-highest soccer competition. Rapid are eyeing up Altach defender Galvao and Werder Bremen midfielder Thanos Petsos. Coach Goran Djuricin hopes that Galvao could stabilise his team’s brittle defence while Petsos is known for being rock solid when performing just in front of the back four. The Greek left Rapid only last year to join Werder.

Meanwhile Rapid sponsors and the press are upping the pressure on club officials over incidents involving the club’s infamous Ultras supporters. Fans threw flagpoles on the pitch during the match against Admira before unveiling a controversial poster just ahead of the clash with Sturm Graz. On the banner, the supporters accused journalists of being terrorists.

Rehage’s round trip

Chinese tourists travelling through Europe – does this mean super-fast expeditions including the most important sights and shops? Christoph Rehage wanted to find out. He joined a group of holidaymakers who started their journey in Beijing to visit top attractions like Florence, Paris and Munich in just 13 days.

Rehage became some sort of celeb due to his outspokenness in posting messages and videos about annoying aspects of living in China. He also wrote a book about an extraordinary trip. After having been based in the Chinese capital for two years, the German planned to travel back home – by foot.

Eventually the author was forced to abandon his astonishing project prematurely since his girlfriend has bad news for him. “The Longest Way” found fans not just in China. The book also sold well in his home country.

“Neuschweinstein. Mit zwölf Chinesen durch Europa” offers many surprising insights into the tourists’ perception of European traditions and lifestyle. Rehage manages to create carefully drafted portraits of the different members of the group. He not just writes about funny coincidences and misunderstandings but also their hopes and dreams regarding life.

Rehage had to stump up just 1,300 Euros for the bus trip throughout the continent. The other members of the group acted extremely reluctantly towards him at first but he soon found friends. Together they enjoyed visiting sights in Pisa, Rome and Frankfurt but also underwent culinary nightmares in Chinese restaurant all over Europe.

Rehage never tries to sensationalise what he experienced. His words seem authentic and honest as there is no interest in making look anyone ridiculous. This approach also means that some parts of the book are not as exciting or amusing as you may have expected.

Rehage eventually returns to China three months later to meet with some of his companions. Unfortunately the chapter about his encounters is a truly full affair and utterly superfluous. “Neuschweinstein. Mit zwölf Chinesen durch Europa” could have done easily without it.

Neuschweinstein. Mit zwölf Chinesen durch Europa
By Christoph Rehage
Published by Malik (

Dortmund & Vienna

What does “Borussia” actually mean? How many players appeared just once for the club throughout the years? Which BVB team members were the oldest and who acted as skipper in the history of the club? A new book answers these and many other Borussia Dortmund-themed questions. “Alles BVB! Unverzichtbares Wissen rund um die Schwarzgelben” is packed with fun facts and serious information about one of Germany’s most popular clubs. Sports journalist Uli Hesse has created a perfect mixture of serious statistics and rather obscure anecdotes about subjects like BVB songs.

Alles BVB!
By Uli Hesse
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (

Information concerning Viennese coffee, stars and sights – Holzbaum has released the fourth part of its popular “Unnützes WienWissen” series. This time around, the Viennese publishing company’s team of editors provide facts about animals living in the Austrian capital, the number of rubbish bins and many other topics. The book also reveals a ridiculous wedding ban which existed until 1984. Once more, “Unnützes WienWissen” will manage to make you chuckle. However, it has to be conceded that the listed figures are less astonishing as books of this title are being published. While the number of facts which are indeed useless is soaring, there are fewer which are uniquely surprising and extraordinary for a certain reason. “Unnützes WienWissen 4” should be seen as a good opportunity to call it a day on this series.

Unnützes WienWissen 4
By the Stadtbekannt team
Published by Holzbaum (

Fitness & football

A renowned personal coach has created a workout book for everyone aiming at being in better shape. Mark Maslow, who has been writing a popular sports blog and creating a regular fitness podcast for some time, does not just offer various exercises but also recipes for a balanced diet. In his articles featured in the book, Maslow debunks various nutrition myths and informs about ingredients like fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Looking good naked
By Mark Maslow
Published by Südwest (

Football means passion to Jochen Raiß and Jochen Schmidt. The photo agency manager and the author (“Gebrauchsanweisung für Ostdeutschland”) have now published a book which celebrates the good old days. Raiß started collecting images from private archives around 25 years ago. For “Ballverliebt”, the hobby footballer selected photos which are much older. The black and white images show intense action on muddy pitches in front of just a few spectators, a soccer team of women and an injured player being carried away. Schmidt contributed essays about nostalgic memories and changes concerning football as part of our culture throughout the decades as the sport becomes increasingly dominated by the big clubs’ marketing efforts in a globalised world.

By Jochen Raiß & Jochen Schmidt
Published by Edel (

Schwarz & Schäfer

European leaders are still at loggerheads concerning the relocation of refugees arriving in Greece and Italy as the war in Syria rages on. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of young Africans leave their homelands to seek a brighter future in Europe. In his latest book “Die neue Völkerwanderung nach Europa. Über den Verlust politischer Kontrolle und moralischer Gewissheiten”, Hans-Peter Schwarz analyses the failures of European policies – from problems concerning German leadership among the EU member nations to the inadequate Schengen border regulations and current migration laws. Born in 1934, Schwarz is one of Germany’s most respected historians and the author of several remarkable biographies, including books about legendary editor Axel Springer and late German chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Die neue Völkerwanderung nach Europa
By Hans-Peter Schwarz
Published by DVA (

Austrian youth were hit by the global spirit of revolutionary fervour almost a decade later. However, 1966 is the year when it all started. Appalled by conservatism in politics, war and breaches of human rights, students took to the streets across the globe to express their frustration. Debates derailed quickly and riots rattled elitist leaders in the United States and Western Europe. Frank Schäfer’s book “1966. Das Jahr, in dem die Welt ihr Bewusstsein erweiterte” is an intense trip back in time when rebellious musicians such as Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix shot to eternal fame. Charts in Germany, Britain and overseas may have still been dominated by mainstream crooners like Chris Andrews, Freddy Quinn and Roy Black – as listings at the beginning of every chapter of the book show – but things escalated within months: at universities, on the streets and on the radio.

1966. Das Jahr, in dem die Welt ihr Bewusstsein erweiterte
By Frank Schäfer
Published by Residenz Verlag (

Struggling Rapid face super-confident Sturm

Rapid are under enormous pressure after several scandalous incidents involving their supporters and poor performances on the pitch.

The league champs from 2005 and 2008 took a 1-3 pounding against Admira on Sunday. Now the Green-Whites are facing leaders Sturm (Saturday, Allianz Stadion Vienna, 4pm). The Graz-based team started astonishingly solid into the new season. Sturm won all of their first four matches.

Rapid only garnered five points and have still not managed to win a game on home soil. Once more, some of the team’s fans caused anger among officials and other supporters. As several times in the past, dozens of Rapid supporters threw lighters and other objects towards players of the opposing team on the pitch against FK Austria before hurling flagpoles and cups on the pitch against Admira.

Retired Rapid stars have expressed their disappointment over the recent developments. Former goalkeeper Michael Konsel accused the violent supporters of “destroying football” while Kurt Garger claimed that the current squad lacks quality.

Sturm seem to be in better shape and much more confident. The team of Franco Foda want to end the long wait for the Bundesliga title. Sturm most recently won the league in 2011.