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The House by the Lake
The House by the Lake: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History | Thomas Harding
9 posts | 5 read | 11 to read
A Finalist for the Costa Book Award Named a Best Book of the Year by The Times (London), The New Statesman, Daily Express (UK), and Commonweal Magazine A fascinating window on a tumultuous period." - Financial Times "By tracing the lives of the different families who lived there, Harding sheds fresh light on the German 20th century, a tale of war, spies, murder and political, racial and social division. His account of the house is a superb work of social history, told with tremendous narrative verve." - The Sunday Times (London) "This is a history that is often poignant, sometimes heartening, and never other than intimate... This is a gentle but rewarding book, carefully tuned into the marginal voices recorded in the history of one small house by a lake." - Clare Mulley, The Spectator (UK)"Diamond-brilliant... If a webcam had been left on at number 101 Gross Glienicke for 90 years, the record could not have been more vivid or revelatory. Harding's research, from eyewitness accounts to the files of ministries, is jaw-dropping. This is an extraordinary book. Five Stars." - Sunday Express (UK) "This emblem of tyranny [the Berlin Wall] was just another fact of life for those living in its shadow. And that is, perhaps, the most important lesson of Harding's book. History, which we learn about as a series of ideological abstractions, is lived concretely. This is why an ordinary house can serve so effectively as a symbol of the German experience." - Adam Kirsch, The New Statesman "It would be hard to write an original and moving account of the tortured 20th-century history of Germany. But, in The House by the Lake, Thomas Harding succeeds remarkably... A tragic and beautifully told history." - The Jewish Chronicle "Impressive... A deft history of a cabin containing many secrets." - The Independent (UK)"The house by the lake has survived economic booms, busts, extremist ideology, persecution, barbed wired fences, blame and retribution and this book is a potent reminder that behind all these, are human stories." - Country Life "In The House by the Lake, the simple villa loved and lost by Thomas Harding's family magically becomes the setting for the great clashes of the twentieth century, and for a Technicolor cast - victims, villains and ordinary compromisers - struggling not to be crushed by them. Personal and panoramic, heart-wrenching yet uplifting, this is history at its most alive." - A. D. Miller, author of Snowdrops and The Faithful Couple "A passionate memoir about Germany." - Neil MacGregor, author of A History of the World in 100 Objects and Germany: Memories of a Nation "This revelatory and compelling book is a clear must-read for anyone interested in German history during the past tumultuous century. The House By The Lake is a deeply moving story of endurance - of place as well as people. It is also uplifting as we learn of how the crumbling wreck of the house is restored to a haven of reconciliation and peace for the community and visitors to enjoy, and to heed its history which has been so brilliantly exposed." - Lyn Smith, author of Forgotten Voices "With the narrative drive of a great novelist and the meticulous research of a great historian, Harding has crafted a moving, instructive and important book." - Herald Scotland "A fascinating and revealing account of a century of German social and political history, told in an effortlessly accessible way." - David Lodge, author of Changing Places "A superb portrait of twentieth century Germany seen through the prism of a house which was lived in, and lost, by five different families. A remarkable book." - Tom Holland, author of In The Shadow Of The Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World "Extraordinary... A masterpiece of microcosmic history." - The Bookseller "Original, personal, moving and uplifting... [Harding] writes engagingly and sympathetically." - The Literary Review "Harding writes of love and loss, of victims and villains, of struggle and survival in a heart-wrenching family memoir that many novelists would envy for powerful story, colourful characters and cool style." - Saga Magazine "
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kspenmoll
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Librarybelle Great selection! Several of these are on my to read list. 1mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thank you for the tag 💗💗 1mo
Cinfhen Make room for me!! I‘m joining 1mo
See All 6 Comments
MrBook Oooh! Great choices! I do this for one of my book clubs. 😁 1mo
Mdargusch I really enjoyed Kitchen Yarns! It was free at a book fair I attended and I thought it was about knitting. I was pleasantly surprised that it was full of recipes! 1mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Thanks for the tag — I finally posted my list! Yours is intriguing. 👊🏻📚♥️ 1mo
65 likes6 comments
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Caroline2
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I haven‘t read this one yet but it sounds good. 👍🏻 #lakeside #letstravelaugust

LeeRHarry That‘s on my shelf somewhere 😬it does sound good. 4mo
Crazeedi I'm adding, sounds like my kind of book 4mo
OriginalCyn620 👌🏻📚💙 4mo
Reviewsbylola This book may have the longest Litsy blurb I have ever seen. 😆 4mo
Caroline2 @Reviewsbylola wow, you‘re right that is a massive blurb!!!! 😲 4mo
81 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Addison_Reads
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When my father-in-law passed a few years ago, my husband and I inherited family property in Texas with a 3 acre lake. We are working on rebuilding the house that was on the land and I can't wait until we're done and these are the views I get to wake up to daily. 😍

#gratitude30

4thhouseontheleft Beautiful! 13mo
readordierachel Wow. What a gorgeous spot! 13mo
RadicalReader @Addison_Reads never seen more phenomenal photography 13mo
Addison_Reads @4thhouseontheleft @readordierachel @RadicalReader Thank you guys! This time of year I love sneaking away out there to read and just forget the world for a little while. 13mo
22 likes4 comments
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Erynecki
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I'm enjoying The House By The Lake. It's giving me time to reflect upon the parallels and differences in my family's story and my own quest.
Now finished...
Rescuing history and seeking restorative justice, Harding does it all in The House By The Lake. Great read and important history.

LeahBergen This sounds fantastic. 3y
Erynecki @LeahBergen It is! But I must admit...it's a subject I gravitate to again and again because of my own journey, so I feel a bit biased. 3y
14 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Clare_Riley
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I was expecting a dry history book - come on, it's about Germany, I've done a German degree, I know how devoid of feeling a 'proper' history book can be 😆. But this is something else. There's so much heart in it, I felt for these people, the hardships they had to go through, the upheavals in their lives. I loved this book - I'm rather devastated that it's over. I feel a trip to Berlin coming on....

6 likes2 stack adds
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Clare_Riley
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I'm loving this book so much, and I'm so near the end. Don't you hate it when that happens with a good book? Eight pages to go...

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Clare_Riley
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If it's set in Germany, it has to be read. I read German at university, so I'm slightly (a lot) biased! Although, it's been a while, so I'm not too sure that I'm up to fact checking 😳

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Magslhalliday
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Pickpick

This non-fiction book tells the story of one house as it is built, appropriated, partitioned and eventually reclaimed. There's a couple of challenging points during the Soviet period and it loses momentum after the Wall is built. But it humanises the story of Germany's last 100 years well.

5 likes1 stack add