Search for books, people and lists
Read This Twice
HomePeopleBooksSonaLibrariesSign in

Best Books About Germany

Journey through Germany's rich history and vibrant present with these top-ranked books. Highlighting the country's influence and spirit, these books have earned their stripes by appearing in numerous ‘best of’ compilations by recognized literary critics.

Recommendations from 16 articles, Donald Trump, Marianne Williamson, Ben Shapiro and 15 others.
20 books on the list
Sort by
Number of Articles
The Reader book cover
The Reader
Bernhard Schlink - 1997-06-26 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
A haunting story of love, secrets, and horror set in postwar Germany, this novel follows the relationship between a young man and an older woman who suddenly disappears. When he sees her again years later, she's on trial for a terrible crime. As he uncovers the truth about her past, he must reconcile his own feelings with the shocking reality of her actions.
Recommended by
Alastair Humphreys
Berlin Alexanderplatz book cover
Berlin Alexanderplatz
Alfred Doblin - 2009-12-01 (first published in 1929)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the gritty underbelly of Weimar Berlin with a story of redemption, tragedy, and survival. Follow Franz Biberkopf, a pimp and petty thief, as he struggles to turn his life around after serving time for murdering his girlfriend. As he navigates the corrupt and terrifying world of 1920s Berlin, Franz gets drawn into criminal and political schemes that threaten to destroy him. One of the most important works of 20th-century literature, Berlin Alexanderplatz depicts modern life in all its shocking violence and splendor. This new translation brings Alfred Doblin's masterpiece to life like never before.
Every Man Dies Alone book cover
Every Man Dies Alone
A Novel
Hans Fallada - 2009-01-01 (first published in 1947)
Goodreads Rating
Set in Nazi-ruled Berlin, this gripping and heart-wrenching story follows a working-class couple who risk everything to resist the regime after their son is killed in battle. Based on a true story and never-before-translated, it offers a vivid window into life under Nazi oppression and a reminder of the power of love and courage in the face of injustice.
Recommended by
Ben Shapiro
Germany book cover
Memories of a Nation
Neil MacGregor - 2015-02-01 (first published in 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the collective imagination and shared experiences of the new Germany in this unique book. Author Neil MacGregor argues that no coherent narrative of Germany's history can be constructed, making it unlike any other European country. He examines objects, ideas, people, and places that still resonate in the new Germany, providing insight into its culture and identity. From porcelain and Bauhaus design to the gates of Buchenwald, this book offers a fascinating look into one of the most influential powers in continental Europe.
Recommended by
David Frum
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich book cover
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
A History of Nazi Germany
William L. Shirer - 1990-11-15 (first published in 1960)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the catastrophic events of the Third Reich, Hitler's thousand-year empire that lasted only 12 years. William L. Shirer's monumental study is the definitive record of this intense time period in human history. With mountains of evidence including testimonies, diaries, transcripts, and private letters, Shirer's work offers unprecedented insight into Hitler's drive to conquer the world. This classic work also covers the US's involvement and Hitler's usage of Mussolini and Japan. A worldwide bestseller, this book is a must-read for those interested in one of the most frightening chapters in human history.
Recommended by
Ed Morrissey
Stasiland book cover
Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall
Anna Funder - 2004-01-15 (first published in 2003)
Goodreads Rating
"Stasiland" by Anna Funder is a captivating and heartbreaking portrayal of life in East Germany under the iron fist of the Stasi. Through personal and harrowing tales of resistance against communist dictatorship, Funder's prize-winning investigative reporting is a must-read. With compelling intensity and novelistic vividness, "Stasiland" is a masterpiece of non-fiction that sheds light on a dark period of history.
Germany book cover
A Nation in Its Time
Helmut Walser Smith - 2020-03-17
Goodreads Rating
Explore Germany's complex and fascinating history in this groundbreaking 500-year volume by Helmut Walser Smith. Challenging traditional perceptions, Smith reveals a nation far more complicated than previously imagined. From the earliest glimmers of a nation, to the tension between the idea of the nation and the ideology of nationalism, Smith traces Germany's constant reinvention of itself. He examines the devastating effects of World War I and II, the role of German women throughout history, and the horrors of the Holocaust at both a high echelon and local level. With poignant prose and original maps, this comprehensive book redefines our understanding of Germany for the twenty-first century.
Recommended by
Gerald Butts
The German Genius book cover
The German Genius
Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century
Peter Watson - 2010-06-22
Goodreads Rating
Explore the fascinating world of German culture and ideas with The German Genius. Renowned historian Peter Watson takes readers on a journey through 250 years of intellectual history, highlighting the contributions of influential figures such as Bach, Goethe, Freud, and Einstein. From arts and humanities to science and philosophy, this accessible and engaging book offers a captivating overview of Germany's vast cultural influence. Learn about the devastating effects of World War II and how culture advanced in its aftermath.
Dresden book cover
Tuesday, February 13, 1945
Frederick Taylor - 2005-01-01 (first published in 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the truth about the Allied bombing of Dresden in this groundbreaking and controversial account by Frederick Taylor. Through extensive research and never-before-seen government records, Taylor reveals that the city was highly militarized and a real threat to the Allies. This completely re-examines the facts and changes our view of the attack. Incorporating first-hand accounts, press material, and memoirs, this book provides a markedly different perspective from conventional accounts.
Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945 by Marie Vassiltchikov
The Danzig Trilogy by Günter Grass
Hammer's German Grammar and Usage by Martin Durrell
DK Eyewitness Back Roads Germany by Eyewitness
National Geographic Traveler by Michael Ivory
The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck
The Germans by Gordon A. Craig
A Concise History of Germany by Mary Fulbrook
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson