February reading list

We talk with Eva Jacobi, the bookstore manager at Schloss Elmau about her favourite recommendations for the month of February. How important is the atmosphere when buying books and how reading enriches her life.

IRMA: What makes your bookstore unique?
EVA JACOBI: The Book Shop in Schloss Elmau has a unique location in the middle of the Bavarian Alps. Our customers are on vacation when they visit our bookstore, so they are quite open-minded and interested in experiencing other lives and worlds than ours.
I like that there is time and space to have very personal conversations not only about books but about life as a whole.

IRMA: What inspires you when you are visiting fairs to buy books for the upcoming season?
EVA JACOBI: Books about other cultures and ways of life other than our own and
and bibliophile editions that arouse curiosity.

The bookstore at Schloss Elmau

IRMA: Do you read different books at the same time, or one after the other. What is the advantage of doing so?
EVA JACOBI: I almost always read several books at the same time.
I like to decide in the moment which book suits my mood and what I can open myself up to.

IRMA: Can you tell us about a biography where you have learned a lot from, for your own life.
EVA JACOBI: I admire the journalist Natalie Amiri for her courage. With her reporting, she raises our awareness of the crises in our world and emphasises our responsibility, precisely because we have the privilege of being able to live in freedom and prosperity.

IRMA: There are some books that make a difference, you will think of them even after you have read them a long time ago, do you have a tip how to create an archive for these kinds of books?

Eva Jacobi from the bookstore at Schloss Elmau


EVA JACOBI: There are often individual sentences that contain so much truth that it’s worth writing them down and internalizing them.

IRMA: The best companion when reading a book?
EVA JACOBI: I like to read on long train journeys, so I feel like I’m travelling in my head and immersing myself in other lives and worlds.


She studied at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich German Studies and History and started working as a trainee at a grammar school. As she preferred talking rather to individuals than a group of people she decided to switch to the book trade business and she now works since 2015 at the bookstore in Schloss Elmau, Bavaria .



Elisa Shua Dusapin
Winter in Sokcho
The artist Kerrand and the first-person narrator, a young receptionist, meet in barren, cold Sockcho on the coast of South Korea. While reading this small book, you can feel the loneliness of the artist and the receptionist as well as their longing for new paths in life.
Creating this incomparable atmosphere with so few words shows a special sense of language.

Katie Kitamura
A homeless interpreter at the International Criminal Court in The Hague struggles with the task of translating the words of a war criminal.
“Intimacies” represents a search for identity and the struggle to find words for the unspeakable and the question of whether and how contradictions in life can be endured.

The Pole and Other Stories
This love story of a pianist shows in a subtle way how every person has qualities that remain hidden and mysterious to the other person or to themselves for a long time. “The Pole” is an example of how difficult it can be to express feelings in language and music.

Tarjee Vesaas
The Ice Palace
About the magic of an emerging friendship between girls in a Norwegian village society.
The mysterious beauty, but above all the danger that emanates from the icy cold and the frozen waterfall, can be experienced in an incomparable way with Unn and Siss.

Romain Gary
(Émile Ajar)
The Life before us
Momo, an Arab boy without parents, and Madame Rosa, a Jewish ex-prostitute, defy their hard lives as best they can.
With an incomparable tone and special humour, Momo tells in his own way how he doesn’t let worries get him down.