Should you judge a person based on the questions they ask or the answers they give? Sven Michaelsen's reply is unambiguous. Asking ourselves and others the rights questions decides whether our life is successful or wasted. It isn't opinions and assertions that lead us to truth and understanding, it's the curvy question mark. This book shuns run-of-the-mill wisdoms proclaimed by self-professed life coaches to focus instead on the art of smart reflection – on love and happiness, money and a high-flying career or sex and beauty. Michaelsen's writing is at times entertaining and humorous, at times instructive and sombre.
Reading Michaelsen's book of 800 questions will teach you more about yourself than ever before.
Her voice often attracts attention for its distinctiveness, so she might as well be heard in another sense – as the voice of an author and the 'person of public interest' that Erika Pluhar has become in the course of her life. Pluhar is a prolific writer of speeches, essays and articles, declaring her personal stance on political and socio-political issues, paying tribute to contemporaries or saying farewell to people she cherished. Her opinion is both sought and provided, and she speaks out when she feels it is necessary.
Why we need an agricultural revolution if we want a healthy future
While the world population is rapidly heading for 8 billion, and more and more people want to enjoy a slice of prosperity, chronic illnesses are gradually spreading across all age groups and social classes. Warnings about imminent threats such as environmental pollution, soil depletion and loss of biodiversity largely go unheard. Human biologist and doctor Martin Grassberger demonstrates a direct link between the ruthless destruction of nature and the creeping epidemic of chronic illnesses. The insights are sobering, but Grassberger also indicates possible ways to remedy the current global health and environmental crisis. A highly relevant book!
Her Frankfurt kitchen design brought her world-wide fame, while her imperturbable lust for life was exemplified by the brisk waltz she enjoyed with Vienna's mayor on her 100th birthday. In these autobiographical recollections she offers up highly personal portraits of famous contemporaries such as Otto Neurath, Josef Frank and Adolf Loos, explains why the Frankfurt kitchen was truly revolutionary and tells us that she wanted to become an architect in order to improve ordinary people's quality of life
A highly successful biography, this book by the Viennese music journalist and author Monika Mertl presents the personality, artistic intentions and unconventional development of Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the famous Austrian conductor, from cellist to conductor, from ancient music specialist to universalist with a distinctive image. More than 15.000 copies of the original German edition, published in autumn 1999, have already been sold. Beyond the conventional biography, Mertl’s book is an invitation to meet the man behind the brilliant facade of artistic success, to reflect on music as well as on questions of partnership, family, religion, philosophy and humanity.
Naturist, stunt pilot and sex pioneer – today Beate Uhse has cult status, but in the 1970's she was despised. She was a trailblazer for sexual enlightenment, built an international emporium out of nothing and is regarded as Germany's most successful businesswoman of the 20th century. Committed to the education of women on matters of contraception, she started out in the late 40's by selling information brochures on the topic. This provided her with the necessary seed capital to expand her mail order business for "matrimonial hygiene". Soon Uhse had over a million customers and was able to open the world's first sex shop. But in her personal life things didn't always turn out the way she wished. Katrin Rönicke provides a gripping portrait of the private and professional life of this extraordinary woman.
Hidden away at Settecento, the shady 'Tsar' runs a modern-day boarding school modelled on Baroque-era music academies. Here, highly gifted boys are trained – and castrated – to enable them to sing the most spectacular roles, like the castrati of Baroque music. When Timo, a young boy with a magical voice, flees to Vienna and his mentor Matteo sets off in search of him, the music world is forced to confront reality. Matteo becomes a street singer and is both the hunter and the hunted. The Tsar is on his tracks and, in order to find Timo, he has to hold his own in the tough world of the homeless. Imbued with the sounds of Baroque opera, Daria Wilke's breathtaking story tells of a secret society that is prepared to pay any price for beauty.
October 26th 1915 was a fateful day for Vienna's leading architect and city planner. It was the day his wife Louise, 18 years his junior, died of cancer. Wagner had started to keep a diary when Louise was first diagnosed and continued to regularly record his memories of better days and comments on current developments. He intended the diary to be a memorial to is unparalleled love for Louise, yet it also reveals the misanthropic despair of a great artist. He considered himself to be at the peak of his craft and felt a Habsburg victory was close, bringing fresh opportunities to realise his plans. But old age afflictions and the miseries of WW1 took a growing toll on his day-to-day life. Rampant anti-Semitism, suffering and paranoia increasingly defined his thoughts. Three years on, the death of this patriarch coincided with the end of the Habsburg empire.
In the second of his autobiographical works, Thomas Bernhard tells of the decision to remove himself from his life. Rather than continue attending school, he starts an apprenticeship in the cellar of a grocery store, on the outskirts of the detested town, in the ghetto of the have-nots and criminals. There he becomes acquainted with society's outcasts. He feels drawn to them and learns for the first time what it means to be accepted and to be 'useful'. Day-to-day life in the cellar turns out to be therapeutic. This place of limbo becomes a refuge, until a severe illness puts a sudden end to Bernhard's apprenticeship. In 'The Cellar', Lukas Kummer finds a relaxed pictorial language for the author's narrative tone. With precise strokes, Kummer accompanies Thomas Bernhard through what was probably the brightest period of his youth and throws a congenial light on the 'cellar'.
Everything consists of a few building blocks, the elements. Nature, people, every single thing. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, St. Petersburg scientist Dmitri Mendeleev applied a systematic order to all matter. Every element found its permanent place in the periodic table. But the periodic table has always been more than just a chart in the chemistry lab. Michael Pilz brings it to life by recounting the story from the beginning, and looking into the future at the end. He tells us about the old ores and elements of nature and about the antique concept of the four great elements. From the divine art of alchemy through to the scientific world of the periodic table and beyond, he provides a cultural history of world views and describes chemistry as the most joyful science of our time.