List of Open Books

This page lists books suggested for our BookClub. Click on Edit this page or Diese Seite bearbeiten at the bottom of the page to edit it, whether to add your vote to the list of supporters for a book or to suggest one.

Most Wikipedia links are given for the English pages, even if the German equivalent has more info. Note the “In other languages” sidebar.

Help to rejuvenate this list! If you add new book suggestions (and please do), mention the date so we can weed out from time to time those hoary entries that never got picked.

History Hour: This page started to feel a little bottom-heavy with the ever increasing back list at the end. So there is now a whole new page dedicated to Past and Current Reading where you will find title and a link for each book that we’ve read, or selected for reading. Head over there and have a look, but don’t forget to come back here for voting and new suggestions.

Next up:

Minimum of four votes are needed for a book to be chosen. If a book is not chosen within a year it was first suggested, it will be removed from the list.


Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is a 2013 non-fiction book by the American journalist Sheri Fink. The book details the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in August 2005, and is an expansion of a Pulitzer Prize-winning article written by Fink and published in The New York Times Magazine in 2009. It describes the events that took place at Memorial Medical Center over five days as thousands of people were trapped in the hospital without power. The triage system put into effect deprioritized critically ill patients for evacuation, and it was later alleged that a number of these patients were euthanized by medical and nursing staff shortly before the entire hospital was evacuated on the fifth day of the crisis. Fink examines the legal and political consequences of the decision to euthanize patients and the ethical issues surrounding euthanasia and health care in disaster scenarios.”

Page count: 576

Pitch text from: Wikipedia

Pitch by: Bozena

First Suggested: August 2019

Supporter(s): Bozena, Nicole M,


Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko is the second novel by Korean-American author Min Jin Lee. Published in 2017, Pachinko is an epic historical novel following a Korean family who eventually migrates to Japan, it is the first novel written for an adult, English-speaking audience about Japanese–Korean culture. (...) Pachinko takes place between the years of 1910 and 1989, a period that included the Japanese occupation of Korea and World War II. As an historical novel, these events play a central role (...) influencing the characters’ decisions. (...) The character-driven tale features a large ensemble of characters who become subjected to issues of racism and stereotypes, among other events with historical origins in the 20th-century Korean experiences with Japan.”

Page count: 450

Pitch text from: Wikipedia

Pitch by: Bozena

First Suggested: August 2019

Supporter(s): Bozena, Nicole M., Nela, Nadya, Uli


Madame by Antoni Libera

Madame is an unexpected gem: a novel about Poland during the grim years of Soviet-controlled mediocrity, which nonetheless sparkles with light and warmth. (...) Our young narrator-hero is suffering through the regulated boredom of high school when he is transfixed by a new teacher - an elegant “older woman” (she is thirty-two) who bewitches him with her glacial beauty and her strict intelligence. He resolves to learn everything he can about her and to win her heart. In a sequence of marvelously funny but sobering maneuvers, he learns much more than he expected to - about politics, Poland, the Spanish Civil War, and his own passion for theater and art - all while his loved one continues to elude him.”

Pitch text from: goodreads.com

Pitch by: Bozena

First Suggested: August 2019

Supporter(s): Bozena, Nela, Uli


”Freedom or Death” by Nikos Kazantzakis

(Original greek title: Captain Michaelis)

Freedom or Death by Nikos Kazantzakis is a novel on the heroic or epic scale about the rebellion of the Greek Christians against the Turks on the island of Crete, where Kazantzakis was from. The story follows the exploits of a Greek: Captain Michalis and his blood brother, Nurey Bey, a Turk, through war, love , friendship, hatred and a backdrop of the island of Crete with all its beauty, drama, joy and sadness. This book was unanimously praised by critics worldwide as the work of a master with characters that come to life and destined to live forever.

Pitch text: goodreads.com

Pitched by: Alexander

First suggested: March 2019

Supporter(s): Alexander, Martin, Bozena, Nela


”The Reluctant Fundamentalist” by Mohsin Hamid

At a café table in Lahore, a bearded Pakistani man converses with an uneasy American stranger. As dusk deepens to night, he begins the tale that has brought them to this fateful encounter…

Changez is living an immigrant’s dream of America. At the top of his class at Princeton, he is snapped up by an elite valuation firm. He thrives on the energy of New York, and his budding romance with elegant, beautiful Erica promises entry into Manhattan society at the same exalted level once occupied by his own family back in Lahore.

But in the wake of September 11, Changez finds his position in his adopted city suddenly overturned, and his relationship with Erica shifting. And Changez’s own identity is in seismic shift as well, unearthing allegiances more fundamental than money, power, and maybe even love.

Pitch text by: goodreads.com

Pitched by: Nicole M

First suggested: February 2019

Supporter(s): Nicole M, Nora


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