The Greatest Kenyan, German "Contemporary" Books of All Time

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Contemporary

Contemporary books are a genre that focuses on stories set in the present day, often exploring current social, cultural, and political issues. These books are typically written in a modern style and often feature relatable characters dealing with real-life situations. Contemporary books can cover a wide range of topics, from romance and family drama to coming-of-age stories and thrillers. The genre is constantly evolving to reflect the changing world we live in, making it a popular choice for readers who want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and issues.

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German

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  1. 1. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

    The novel follows the story of Jacques Austerlitz, an architectural historian who was brought to England on a Kindertransport from Czechoslovakia during World War II. As an adult, Jacques embarks on a journey to uncover his past, including his original identity, his parent's fate, and his own lost history. The narrative is a haunting exploration of memory, identity, and the lasting impact of the Holocaust.

    The 469th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald

    "The Rings of Saturn" is a richly detailed travelogue that follows the narrator's journey along the coast of Suffolk, England. The narrative weaves together history, literature, and personal anecdotes, exploring topics as diverse as the decline of the herring industry, the horrors of colonialism in the Congo, and the life of philosopher Sir Thomas Browne. The book is characterized by its melancholic tone, its digressive style, and its meditative reflections on memory, time, and decay.

    The 1004th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. Halftime by Martin Walser

    "Halftime" is a thought-provoking novel that explores the life of a successful businessman who, in the midst of his midlife crisis, begins to question the meaning and purpose of his life. As he grapples with his own mortality and the emptiness of his achievements, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, seeking to reconcile his past and present and find a new path forward. The book delves deep into the human psyche, offering a profound exploration of existential crises, personal transformation, and the quest for authenticity.

    The 2471st Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. The Young Man by Botho Strauß

    "The Young Man" is a philosophical novel that explores the transformation of a young man from a passive observer to an active participant in life. The protagonist, initially a detached observer of his own life and the world around him, is forced to confront his own existence and identity when he falls in love. The narrative delves into his introspective journey, his struggle with societal norms, his search for meaning and purpose, and his ultimate acceptance of his own individuality and humanity.

    The 3099th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. The Invention of Curried Sausage by Uwe Timm

    The book is a fictional account of the creation of the popular German fast food, curried sausage. The story unfolds through the narration of a young journalist who visits an elderly woman, believed to be the inventor of the dish during World War II. It explores the woman's tumultuous love affair with a young sailor during the chaotic final days of the war, her struggle for survival, and the circumstances that led to the creation of the spicy sausage. The novel is a blend of romance, war-time survival, and culinary innovation.

    The 4067th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Floating In My Mother's Palm by Ursula Hegi

    The book is a poignant coming-of-age story set in a post-war German town, where a young girl navigates the complexities of her family life and the secrets of her community. Through her eyes, readers experience her relationships with colorful local characters, her discovery of love and loss, and her quest for identity amidst the lingering shadows of World War II. The narrative is a tapestry of small-town life, capturing the essence of growth and the bittersweet nature of memory, as the protagonist learns about the resilience of the human spirit and the fluidity of time, much like floating in the comforting yet unpredictable embrace of her mother's palm.

    The 5133rd Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Das verborgene Wort by Ulla Hahn

    "The Hidden Word" is a poignant coming-of-age novel set in post-war Germany, which follows the life of a young girl from a conservative, working-class family as she discovers the transformative power of language and literature. Struggling against the constraints of her rural, religious upbringing and the societal expectations placed upon women of her time, she seeks solace and freedom in the world of books. Her intellectual and emotional journey is marked by the tension between her burgeoning individuality and the traditional values she is expected to uphold, leading to a narrative rich in both personal growth and the exploration of the capacity of words to both conceal and reveal profound truths.

    The 5357th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

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Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download