The Frankfurt Book Fair or 'Buchmesse' is taking place from the 16th-20th of October, with Norway selected as the guest of honour. The Forum's own Book Club will speak during a session on Sunday the 20th.
What is the World Economic Forum's Book Club?
The World Economic Forum launched its official Book Club on Facebook in April 2018. Readers worldwide are invited to join and discuss a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction. It is a private Facebook group dedicated to discussing one book every month.
Each month, we announce a new book on our social media channels. We then publish an extract and begin a chapter-by-chapter discussion with group members. Selected comments and questions are sent to the author, who in return sends us a video response.
Unlike other book clubs, the group features the direct involvement of the authors, giving you - our global audience with members all around the globe - a chance to directly connect with some of the most influential thinkers and experts in the world.
We have featured authors such as Steven Pinker, Elif Shafak, Yuval Noah Harari, and Melinda Gates.
You can join the Book Club here.
Follow us on Twitter here.
Follow us on Instagram here.
Here are five book recommendations from its CEO and President, Juergen Boos.
Translated from Norwegian by Maximilian Stadler
Norway is the Guest of Honour at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, and a wonderful benefit is that I get to explore Norwegian literature to my heart’s content. Allow me to introduce Matias Faldbakken, one of the many great writers to come to us from the far north, whose novel The Hills is set in a gourmet restaurant of the same name. Steeped in tradition, it’s a universe in its own right, where clear hierarchies, fixed routines and the most sophisticated of manners apply. But when a young stranger enters the scene this delicate balance is disturbed, causing uproar among the staff and regular diners. There’s a duality to this novel – it feels like it’s fallen out of time on the one hand, but is extremely politically and socially topical on the other.
Translated from Spanish by Peter Kultzen
Mercedes Rosende (born 1958 in Montevideo, Uruguay) is a lawyer and journalist as well as a novelist, and this professional background has clearly given her a sharp eye for the social ills of criminality. The recipient of numerous awards for her novels and stories, including the 2008 Uruguayan National Literature Prize, Rosende won the German LiBeraturpreis for her novel Krokodilstränen in 2019. This tragicomic heist story centres on the planning, preparation and execution of a (for the most part) spectacular robbery. When the hold-up of the armoured vehicle goes wrong, Rosende adds a strong female figure to her cast of criminal losers – underrated policewoman Leonilda Lima, who, urged on by readers, uses cool logic to investigate the case in a Montevideo shrouded in fog. Krokodilstränen is a crime caper that will keep you guessing and defies all genre conventions.
Saša Stanišić was born in Bosnia. The son of a Yugoslav father and a Muslim mother, he fled Visegrád for Germany via Serbia, Hungary and Croatia at the age of fourteen in 1992, before settling with his family in Heidelberg. His debut novel Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert (How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone) has been translated into 31 languages. Now, with his latest work Herkunft, the Hamburg-based writer has secured a place on the 2019 German Book Prize shortlist. It tells of the loss of homeland – and its reconstruction in memory – of new beginnings in precarious circumstances, of learning a new language, and of trying humiliations and early successes. Written in a poetic, precise language, this is a book brimming with wit and imagination.
Ernst-Wilhelm Händler: Das Geld spricht (Money Talks)
He’s studied economics, run the family business, and written award-winning novels for a number of years – author Ernst-Wilhelm Händler certainly has a pretty unusual profile in the world of German literature. His novels and essays repeatedly explore the capitalist system and its seductive power and influence on people – and his latest novel, Das Geld spricht, is no exception. In it, a successful tech entrepreneur decides to invest the 500 million dollars raised from his company’s stock market flotation, and commissions a Frankfurt banker to carry out the task. But to whom should the latter entrust this vast sum? The book fascinated me, because after reading it I finally understood what was going on in the heads of those sitting on the top floors of Frankfurt’s bank towers. And because I always suspected that money had something to say, but never really knew what it was. And because Händler shines a literary spotlight for us on the highest levels of finance.
Translated from English by Petra Bös
Jason Reynolds is one of the new stars of the American young adult book scene. He was recently a National Book Award Finalist with his novel Ghost, and received the German ‘Luchs des Jahres’ from DIE ZEIT and Radio Bremen. His new novel tells the story of Will, a young man who wants revenge for his brother’s murder. Will finds himself going down in a lift, a gun in his waistband, pondering the bleak chapters of his life so far. In verse! This is where translator Petra Bös really shows off her skills: she successfully transposes the idiosyncratic rhythm of the text, reminiscent of a slam poetry session, into captivating German verse. Readers who open themselves up to this unconventional work will be taking a lift ride of just seven floors, but one which nevertheless tells the story of an entire fate.
Translated by Kat Hall, https://peabodyink.com
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