We were extremely pleased to discover that along with some of our own favourite places to eat, shop and have fun in Berlin, the Circus Hostel and Hotel were featured in the newly published National Geographic Styleguide. The selections were made by a pair of Berliners, and as you can imagine we have a couple of copies in our libraries at Fabisch and the Kitchen so you can take a look for yourself. If you are interested in getting a copy, you should know that it is in German, and you can order it from the National Geographic shop online.
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Followers of the Circus blog will know that we are big fans of the pocket-sized wonders that are Readux books – a Berlin-based publishing company that release three times a year short works of literature in both English translation and English language originals. We liked the first series so much that we are selling them at the Circus Hotel reception, and now we are pleased to announce that as of today the second series are ready and waiting to be read.
Here is more on the books for Series #2:
Picnic of the Virtues presents a series of vignettes by Felicitas Hoppe, 2012 winner of Germany’s most prestigious literary award, the Büchner Prize. These stylistically daring, extremely refined pieces offer a darkly comic vision of family life, and they constitute a significant and original contribution to contemporary German literature.
Philipp Schönthaler’s work is notable for its formally rigorous and highly polished treatment of fascinating themes, in this case the emotion toll of living as a high-performance athlete. When the Heart Drowns in Its Own Blood is a portrait of a professional free diver who faces relentless pressures both above and below the surface.
Translated from the Swedish, Cilla Naumann’s The Lesson is a finely shaded depiction of a power struggle between a student and a teacher. Naumann has a deep talent for understanding the workings of human interactions—which, after all, is one of literature’s great tasks. Watch her tackle it in this little gem of a psychological study.
You’ll read Adrian Todd Zuniga’s Flight with a contemplative and heartfelt grin on your face. It tells the story of an infatuation that begins in an airport and ends somewhere very unexpected. On the way, it ponders the question: what’s to be done once that celestial glow wears off?
We hope to have Series #2 in the Hotel very soon, but for now you can order print and e-book versions through the Readux website, and if you want to learn more about the project, check out this article from Slow Travel Berlin.
Our friends at Slow Travel Berlin – one of our favourite English-language guides to the city – are about to publish their first book, and we are extremely excited about it. 100 Favourite Places is written and photographed by members of the Slow Travel Berlin team, and draws on their knowledge and love for the city to create a guide that is timeless rather than trendy, and which favours the obscure over the obvious.
The book will be available in both print and e-versions, and if you want to get a copy join the STB team for the launch party on the 21 November at Naherholung Sternchen on Berolinastrasse at 8pm. Admission to the party is free and you can find the event page on facebook here.
For more on the book, including the chance to view a few sample pages, check out the 100 Favourite Places page on the Slow Travel Berlin website.
This week we were extremely pleased to meet Amanda DeMarco, the brains behind a new publishing project here in Berlin. Starting this October, Readux Books will individually publish short works of literature, in translation as well as English originals. They will be releasing four small format books three times a year, and they will be available in e-book editions as well a wonderful print volumes, fantastically illustrated. For the first series, the cover illustrations come from the talented André Gottschalk.
The launch series include two little books focus on our ever-fascinating home-city of Berlin: The brilliant writer-translator Franz Hessel’s In Berlin takes an intimate look at turbulent Weimar-era Berlin with two classic 1929 essays, whilst Gideon Lewis-Kraus examines what it is that makes him return to the topic of Berlin again and again in his In City of Rumor: The Compulsion to Write About Berlin.
The other two books that make up series one are German-writer Francis Nenik’s The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping, a moving and formally virtuosic exploration of talent, fate, and chance in the lives of two twentieth-century poets, and Swedish literary star Malte Persson’s smart, ironic story Fantasy, about the fallout in the wake of a failed Stockholm movie production, investigates the shifting boundaries between fantasy and reality.
We will be selling these books at The Circus Hotel, or you can also order them online from the Readux Books website. We are very much excited about this new project, and we are not only looking forward to the first series, but also seeing how the project develops in the future.
Can it be nearly September already? Well, yes, is the short answer, but if the coming of autumn fills you with gloom, never fear, because there is one thing that September means in this city more than simply the shortening of the days, the start of the new football season (which has already happened), or the coming of the conkers on Kastanienallee. Yes, that’s right. September means the International Literature Festival here in Berlin, which runs from the 4th to the 15th September, and as the tickets are already on sale, we thought we’d better give you a heads up as to what you can expect.
We always love to hear what our old compadres from the Circus crew are up to once they leave the hostel, hotel or apartments for pastures new… and with the first Circus Hostel opening in 1997, there are certainly a lot of them spread out around the world up to all kinds of weird and wonderful things. Luba, who many of you may have met on the reception a few years back, is in the process of launching a new space in Berlin that we are not only extremely happy to support, but we are looking forward to checking out in person.
Luba comes from Vladivostok, Russia, and with plenty of experience in hospitality, project management, festival service, translations and teaching, is well suited to run the new space called OstPost, to be found on Dolziger Straße here in Berlin. The planned launch is for September 2013, and once those doors are open, OstPost will be the place to learn East European languages, read and buy books, or simply grab a coffee or a tea. I know certain members of the Circus team who are particularly fascinated with Russia and all things “Ost” will most certainly be queuing at the door on opening day. As Luba gets the space up and running we will bring some more information and pictures to the Circus blog, but for now, make sure you follow OstPost on Facebook, and we wish Luba all the success in the world for this new beginning.
Last Saturday we headed down to Kreuzberg to our favourite bookshop, and supplier of good reads to both The Circus Hotel and The Circus Apartments, Dialogue Books. After three years in the city, Sharmaine, Nerys and the team were closing down the shop, which meant of course a farewell in style with plenty of cake and wine, plus offers on the remaining books, to keep a constant stream of people happy.
But the end of the bookshop, sad as it is, does not mean the end of Dialogue… and within a few hours of the hangovers clearing they sent out their first invitation to their first post-Bookshop event – part of their Literary Lounge series at Soho House – and it seems fitting in this time of shift and change for both Dialogue and the wider industry, that it is their first eBook event:
“This month in the Literary Lounge, Dialogue Books is thrilled to mark the launch of Frisch & Co eBook imprint with a very special evening of conversation and reading.
Founded in 2012, Frisch & Co. Electronic Books is a Berlin-based eBook publisher of contemporary fiction in English-language translation. Joining Dialogue Books’ owner Sharmaine Lovegrove are E.J Van Lanen, founder of Frisch & Co. and Anna Kim, winner of the 2012 EU Prize for Literature and author of Anatomy of A Night (“one of the most exciting and beautiful German language texts in recent years”).
Please Note: This a bi-lingual reading with English language discussion.
Spaces are – as ever – extremely limited, so please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.”
The Literary Lounge takes place on May 14th, just a short stroll down the Torstraße away from The Circus, but as they mention in their information places are VERY limited so make sure you register at the email address above.
For more on the future of Dialogue in Berlin, take a look here, whilst if you are (like us) bereft because of the closure of the shop, check out this post with alternative foreign-language booksellers in Berlin.
We were extremely pleased and excited to find out that The Kitchen at The Circus Apartments – the ground floor café and lounge designed by our good friend Rani al Rajji – has been featured in the book “Let’s Go Out! Interiors and Architecture for Restaurants and Bars” published by Gestalten. Here’s what they say about their book:
“Let’s Go Out! presents engaging architecture and interior design for restaurants, bars, and clubs.
The pleasure we get from going out to eat, drink, and spend time together no longer just depends on the quality of food and beverages offered and the company we keep. Today, our level of enjoyment is also determined by how a location enables us to experience and share what we undertake. Consequently, more and more creatives are applying their talents to designing memorable atmospheres for the places we choose to meet.
Against this background, Let’s Go Out! is a stunning contemporary survey of extraordinary possibilities for going out from around the world. In addition to new interpretations of restaurants, bars, and clubs, the book documents striking temporary events, concept spaces, and installations.”
We are extremely proud to have been included in such a wonderful collection of spaces – and if you get a chance to flick through the 280-odd pages packed with beautiful pictures and lots and lots of inspiration.