January's Germany Read

The Residenz in Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria

I’m happy to say that most members seemed to love the new methodology we’re using to determine which book to read. We also had some suggestions on how we could further improve the method & we’re taking these under serious consideration.

The winning book this month just edged out the 2nd book as you’ll see below. All the books looked great, but I’m excited about the winner for a few reasons. This book happens to be one of Ivor’s first suggestions (good choice, Ivor!), the book club hasn’t read something similar, & the author’s background is very interesting.

Not only has the author’s books been translated into more than 35 languages, but they’ve sold millions of copies worldwide making the author "an internationally celebrated star of German literature" according to Focus Magazine. The author also has a very unique perspective as:

  • The child of a businessman

  • The grandchild of the head of the Hitler Youth who was also the wartime governor of Vienna & a war criminal sentenced to 20 years for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg war trials

  • The great-grandchild of Hitler’s official photographer

  • A descendant of a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence

  • An attorney (the author is actually one of Germany’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers)

Note: The author does not sympathize with the Nazis. I’m sure you’re curious, but I’d urge you not to read any articles about this book or this author in advance because there are TONS of spoilers out there. However, I did find a short essay by the author about the Nazi grandfather which contains no spoilers & gives some perspective.

So which book are we reading next?

“The internationally bestselling courtroom drama centering on a young German lawyer and a case involving World War II.

A bestseller in Germany since its 2011 release—with rights sold in seventeen countries—The Collini Case combines the classic courtroom procedural with modern European history in a legal thriller worthy of John Grisham and Scott Turow.

Fabrizio Collini is recently retired. He’s a quiet, unassuming man with no indications that he’s capable of hurting anyone. And yet he brutally murders a prominent industrialist in one of Berlin’s most exclusive hotels.

Collini ends up in the charge of Caspar Leinen, a rookie defense lawyer eager to launch his career with a not-guilty verdict. Complications soon arise when Collini admits to the murder but refuses to give his motive, much less speak to anyone. As Leinen searches for clues he discovers a personal connection to the victim and unearths a terrible truth at the heart of Germany’s legal system that stretches back to World War II. But how much is he willing to sacrifice to expose the truth?”

View on Amazon (US) | (UK)

Happy reading!