I haven’t been updating this as much as I should, but other stuff has been keeping me busy. Anyway, I’ve been reading German stuff and really enjoying it, especially as it’s all been very short. I love short novels and novellas.
Wolfgang Koeppen’s Death in Rome, which was short and chilling and bitterly angry, an examination of Germany after the war. Four men reunite in Rome: a former Nazi mayor, now democratically elected Bürgermeister and his brother, a former SS-man now wanted for war crimes, and their respective sons, a conductor and a priest. As a discussion of what Germany and the Germans are, it’s pretty brutal, but the structure and balance of the book is wonderful: a review I saw described it as ‘choreographed like a ballet’. I want to read his other books about post-war Germany, Pigeons on the grass and The hothouse, but only found A sad affair in the library, his novel about a true life obsession with a cabaret singer. Not such an interesting theme or gripping book, but a fab Weimar-decadence atmosphere: even ze orchestra are beautiful. Thanks to N for the initial recommendation of Death in Rome.  
Two more books of Joseph Roth’s (I seem to be reading my way through his complete works, but he’s so brilliant, it’s great). Left and right, a novel about two brothers during the rise of the Nazis, and some of Roth’s journalism from 1920s Berlin, collected as What I saw. The journalism is great and really captures the uneasiness of the time, as well as being funny.  
And another German writer, another short book, and another recommendation from a friend, Stefan Zweig’s Twilight, which was charming and sad.