Reading material for the holidays: new books from the region

There is good new reading material from Lower Bavaria and the Upper Palatinate. We have put together a brief overview for you.

History novel: Thonarsteyn – the orphaned castle village

The year is 1632. The Thirty Years’ War is raging in Germany. The young sutler Jana narrowly escapes execution as a witch. She flees through the Danube valley and up into the wilderness of the Bavarian Forest to hide from her captors. Then she came across an abandoned castle in the middle of the forest. This is where the outcast settles in and starts a new life…

This is how the story of “Thonarsteyn – the orphaned castle village” begins – the mystical, exciting and in the truest sense of the word fabulous new novel by Manfred Böckl.

In his own words, the idea for this book came to the author during a hike. Near Stallwang in the Straubing-Bogen district, Böckl came across the remains of the Höhenstein castle ruins in the forest and was inspired here to tell the story about the outcast, brave Jana.

Manfred Böckl has been publishing books for almost 40 years. In his novels and non-fiction books he regularly devotes himself to the great myths and great historical figures of his homeland: Mühlhiasl, Agnes Bernauer, the robber Heigl: they all provided material for his books.

To this day, Manfred Böckl is one of the most important voices in East Bavarian homeland literature – even if he has had to publish his books independently and without a publisher for some time. Böckl does not follow fashion trends and remains true to himself and his fabrics. So also in this book.

Manfred Boeckl: “Thonarsteyn – The orphaned castle village”217 pages, Amazon, 9 euros.

Crime tip: Storm on Elba

A detective inspector from Bavaria takes early retirement and settles in Italy. On the island of Elba, the privateer tries – largely unsuccessfully – to get along with everyday life in Italy and with his new compatriots. Also, the weather is bad. A bad start overall…

This is how the crime novel “Storm over Elba” by Matteo de Luca begins. Hidden behind this pseudonym is the Regensburg author couple Hilde Artmeier and Wolfgang Burger. Both have long been successful in the crime business and have each published numerous books – so now the first joint work.

In his first case on Elba, the early retired inspector investigates a family matter. The brother of his Italian domestic help Fiorina is in trouble. The supposed cleaning lady is actually an unemployed academic with a doctorate, who is now actively helping her German employer with the investigations.

A brisk, exciting thriller with a lot of self-mockery on the subject of “We Germans in Italy”.

Matteo de Luca (aka Hilde Artmeier and Wolfgang Burger): “Storm over Elba”360 pages, Piper, 15 euros.

New regional thrillers from the Upper Palatinate and Lower Bavaria

“Zoiglt Death” by Fabian Borkner (emons Verlag, 240 pages, 12 euros). The Schwandorf detective author Fabian Borkner presents what is now his fifth crime novel in the Upper Palatinate. This time the insurance detectives Agathe Viersen and Gerhard Leitner are investigating in Windischeschenbach.

“Of all things” by Armin Ruhland and Hans Weber (Gmeiner-Verlag, 320 pages, 14 euros). Criminal Inspector Thomas Huber’s former mathematics teacher is murdered. Together with his colleague Mandy Hanke, Huber begins investigating in Pfarrkirchen.

“The Dead from the Galgenberg” by Elisabeth Nesselrode (emons Verlag, 272 pages, 13 euros). Second case for the Regensburg detective inspector Ulrike Kork. This time she is investigating the case of a murdered law student.

“There Schorsch goes hoam” by Florian Bock (Gmeiner-Verlag, 345 pages, 15 euros). Premiere for the junior policeman Sonnleitner from the Bavarian Forest. He has to solve the alleged accidental death of a school friend.

Zoigl – a cult in pictures

The photographer and graphic designer Carina Feneis spent a year wandering through the Zoiglstuben in the north of Upper Palatinate. In half a dozen towns between Mitterteich and Eslarn, Zoigl is still brewed to this day – the communal beer. In communal breweries, the local families take turns brewing the beer and then serving it in their parlours.

The Zoigl is no longer an insider tip – there has been a real hype about the commun beer for a good 15 years. Many beer tourists come to the region and make real Zoigl tours to Windischeschenbach, Neuhaus or Falkenberg.

Does this boom around the Zoigl now guarantee the preservation of the 500-year-old tradition of communal brewing? Or is the unadulterated, original element of the Zoigl custom threatened to be lost with the whirlwind?

In any case, Carina Feneis has made her contribution to preserving the Zoigl tradition: she used her camera to portray the inns, breweries and the people in the Zoigl communities for her final thesis. The Amberger Wilhelm-Verlag has created a wonderful photo book from the work.

Carina Feneis: “Zoigl – a cult in pictures”168 pages, Wilhelm Verlag office, 28.50 euros.

Travel book tip: “15 peaks”

“15 Summits” makes you want to go hiking – a new, unusual travel guide from Viechtacher Lichtung-Verlag. A group of six young authors and photographers hiked the main peaks of the Bavarian Forest. They all returned to the valley and to their desks with new stories and new routes.

In their small travel reports they portray the mountains from the Hohenbogen in the north to the Dreisessel in the south-east. Particularly sympathetic: the authors are obviously not bound by the dictates of local tourism offices and do not skimp – where necessary – with critical comments on current developments in tourism in the region. For example, the resort of Bodenmais gets a tip as “Ballermann in the Bavarian Forest”.

“15 Summits” is not a hiking guide that you pack in your backpack – the 300-page book is too heavy, too unwieldy and too expensive for that. Read this book to plan your trip. Or to prepare a tour the night before at the accommodation. The practical hiking tips and route suggestions for on the go can then be downloaded to your smartphone using a QR code. Special highlight: BR author Caroline von Eichhorn has contributed three reports in which she describes how much fun hiking with small children in the Bavarian Forest is.

Evi Lemberger (editor): “15 summits – reports and tours for hiking in the Bavarian Forest”300 pages, Lichtung-Verlag, 26 euros.