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Thanks to our mates at ocelot, not just another bookstore we have a new selection of books for you to explore in the Fabisch Library at the Circus Hotel. Not only have Maria and Frithjof helped us make our picks, but we have made some our own and you can read about why we have chosen the books that we have. First up for Circus staff picks are Hotel Manager Katrin, who chose ‘Why we took the car’ by Wolfgang Herrndorf, and the Communications team Lisa and Paul, who chose ‘All the Lights’ by Clemens Meyer and ‘The Berlin Wall’ by Frederick Taylor respectively. Keep an eye out on the Fabisch Library during the upcoming renovations, as we will be extending our choices and adding more staff picks for you to try, and thanks again to our friends at ocelot for helping us with our selection.


About ocelot, not just another bookstore…

You can find ocelot on Brunnenstraße 181, only a few meters away from The Circus. What makes ocelot so special is not only the café, where you can hang out with your friends and family after an exciting tour through the city or read your new book right away, but the fact that it’s a place full of people who love literature. And who won’t hesitate to help you with even the most desperate calls for help – “I’m looking for this book with the blue cover, it shows a dog on the beach”. It is a short walk from the hotel, so why not go check it out?



For those of you who read the Circus Blog on a regular basis, you will know that we like the pocket books from Berlin-based publishers Readux so much that we sell them in the Circus Hotel. Next Wednesday will see the launch of the third series of four books, and there is a launch event taking place at one of our favourite Berlin craft breweries, Vagabund in Wedding. You can find out more information about the launch party here, and here is a brief intro to the books that make up series #3:

“For those of you who loved our translation of Franz Hessel’s 1929 In Berlin, we’re proud to present Arthur Eloesser’s Cities and City People. Published a decade earlier, in 1919, it takes Berlin’s meteoric growth as the starting point for examining the meaning of urbanity.

Flash forward to the end of the 20th century, and you’ll find David Wagner visiting Friedrichstrasse, Schönhauser Allee, and Café M in Berlin Triptych. Wagner revisits those locations again in 2013, noting the changes he observes and creating a fascinating record of Berlin in the past fifteen years.

Berlin-based author Brittani Sonnenberg casts her eye further afield with Hong Kong Buffet. Her story about the patrons and employees of a restaurant in Pocahontas, Mississippi is an entertaining tour de force in the voices of rural America. We’d also like to congratulate Brittani on the tremendously successful launch of her debut novel Home Leave.

Amanda Svennson’s Where the Hollyhocks Come From is a story of attraction and repulsion with a compelling, lyrical style. It makes up the third installment in our series presenting stories from Sweden’s most exciting contemporary authors.

Our covers for this series are by Berlin illustrator Lisa Schweizer.”

We will hopefully have the books available to buy in the Circus Hotel very soon, and in the meantime, you can of course buy both print and electronic versions from the Readux website.

100 Fav PlacesLast year our friends at Slow Travel Berlin produced a wonderful book, collecting together 100 of their favourite places in Berlin to provide inspiration and ideas for travellers and Berliners alike. The selection includes everything from cafes, restaurants and museums, to parks, monuments and architecture, many of which were even a discovery to members of the Circus team who are Berlin born and raised! The book proved to be extremely popular, and sold out its initial print run before we could even get some copies for sale at the Circus. Thankfully they have ordered a re-print and it is available now. Here is some more about the philosophy behind the book:

“As long-term residents of Berlin, we are still very much in thrall to this wonderful city. Rather than dictating your itinerary or telling you what’s ‘hot’, our aim is to provide a charming and inspirational companion to Berlin for visitors and residents alike. Our favourite places have, as the title suggests, been hand-picked by core members of the Slow Travel Berlin team and reflect our overall ethos of slow, sustainable travel: taking time to explore the fringes of the city, discovering lesser-known delights, and supporting smaller, independent businesses.”

We will hopefully have some copies available for sale in the Circus Hotel in the not-too-distant future, but for now we would highly advise you to buy the book directly via the Slow Travel Berlin website.

Style Guide Blog 1

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.

Style Guide Blog 2

readux 2

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.

Cover_Front_Hi-ResOur 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.

RX_Bookcover_Hessel_WebThis 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.

literature festivalCan 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.

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