Wednesday, February 17, 2016

German Men Sit Down to Pee - Review

German Men Sit Down to Pee: And Other Insights into German Culture by Niklas Franks and James Cave
Rating: Good
Source: Author
Description:  Welcome to Germany, a country where you should always wait at the red man, show up on time for your wedding, and be extremely suspicious if anyone offers you a doughnut.  German Men Sit Down to Pee is a tongue-in-cheek guidebook to German culture that highlights the "rules" Germans consciously and unconsciously follow, and tries to make a little sense of it all along the way.  Why, for example, mowing your lawn on a Sunday will mean getting an earful from your neighbour, but lie naked in the middle of a public park and nobody will bat an eyelid.  Ideal for anyone planning on visiting on moving to Germany, German Men Sit Down to Pee offers a collection of insights inot German rules and cultural norms that those visiting Germany will not only find humorous, but useful for avoiding any cultural faux-pas.  (from Goodreads)

Genre: Nonfiction - Travel

Why I Picked This Book: The title made me giggle and I don't really know that much about modern German culture so I was curious.

My Impression:   This was a really interesting little book (it's around 115 pages) and I loved that it was factual but didn't take itself to seriously.  It covers everything you can think of about day to day life in Germany - shopping, work, spending habits, rule following, and holidays to name a few.
I know a number of people who travel to Germany for work and I think this book would be very useful - especially the section on meetings.
I learned that there are almost as many types of sausages as there are beer and that some are very rare.  That patriotism is a conflicting emotion for most Germans and that history is taken very seriously.  Actually most things are taken pretty seriously - including bathroom habits!
The description of the Christmas Markets made me want to plan a trip to Germany (in German style - about 2 years in advance.  Another positive thing about going in December is that I'd miss the asparagus season.  My dislike of asparagus and my complete lack of punctuality pretty much confirm my complete lack of German roots
This quick read was light and informative.  I would have liked some personal stories and some more details about the authors' experiences in Germany I think would have made this book more interesting.  If you're heading over to Germany or someone from Germany is heading over here pick up this book so you don't make the faux-pas of trying to make small talk or not taking your hobby seriously.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I would.  I like their writing style and would enjoy seeing what they come up with next.

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you have an interest in German culture or are planning a trip to Germany I think this would be a good book to pick up.

24 comments:

  1. This looks nice and yes, what a title! I think it would be interesting to learn more about German culture, especially the different regions of Germany. It's short too and would slip into a reading schedule pretty easily looks like. I'd like to see the Christmas markets.

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    1. This was really fascinating and I got a good laugh at the title. After reading the section on the markets I was craving gingerbread!

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  2. sounds great! The last book I read related to Germany was in the satire genre, and sometimes considered controversial by people who didn't get the genre I believe.I found it fabulous: http://wordsandpeace.com/2015/05/21/iffp-2015-review-look-whos-back/

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  3. The title made me giggle too. I actually know someone who moved to Germany with her husband.

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    1. It definitely made me giggle too! It's an interesting book!

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  4. Yes title drew me in too Katherine, and love that the book shares some relevant facts but without taking it all too seriously. Not sure I will ever get to Germany - but you never know!

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    1. I expected the book to be funny but I was pleased that there was some really good information too!

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  5. Oh this sounds fun, and perfect for someone who comes from German decent. Even I would enjoy all the facts and tidbits.

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    1. It was really interesting. I'm not of German descent but I live in a community with a heavy German influence so I thought it was really interesting!

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  6. The title makes me laugh and I loved Germany when I went there a few years ago, so I think this could be a fun read. :)

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    1. I've never been to Germany but I definitely want to visit!

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  7. I think I'd like to read this to get an inside look at the culture.

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    1. It was really interesting and entertaining!

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  8. Yup I totally clicked on this because of the title! Had to see what exactly it was about. Glad you enjoyed it!!

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    1. The title cracked me up! The book was funny but not silly which I enjoyed!

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  9. What a title! This is the kind of book that I would read just because of the title. The fact that you learned a few things is just a bonus. Great review!

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    1. The title was definitely entertaining! Luckily I enjoyed the book too!

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  10. Haha, that got my attention! What a fun way to share tidbits of German culture.

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  11. The title made me giggle too. :-) I would love to visit Germany someday.

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  12. Had to click on this when I saw the title. I work for a German company and have to visit occasionally. Now I've all kinds of wrong things in my mind, thanks for that! ;)

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  13. Oh I seriously needed the giggle over the title this week. Thank you for that!

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  14. What a great name! Sounds like a fun book! We lived in Germany for three years and I didn't know the men sat down to pee...haha. But some of the other things you mention I totally remember. And the Christkindlesmarkt--Christ Child Markets--at Christmas are wonderful. It's too bad there weren't more stories and other details. It was a wonderful place to live for a few years.

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  15. My son made a point of stopping in Germany for a long weekend when he did his study abroad last year and started in Austria before the long project in Ireland. I am of half German descent (my grandpa was born there) so it was special for him to go there. He collects travel books, and has a bunch of these type of silly culture books on his shelf, but not this one. I'll tell him about it :)

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