What I'll Be Reading Next Year

I'm not much one for New Year's resolutions, being of the mind that any activity that's worth doing doesn't need the excuse of a holiday to be performed, and any activity that does need such an excuse won't be performed anyway (to see how an economic perspective can improve New Year's resolutions, keep an eye on this site). I am nevertheless resolved to read the following books before I leave Germany--not because of New Year's, but because they were personally recommended by my favorite blogger, the economist and Germanophile Tyler Cowen:

Jeff, a Facebook friend, wrote on my Wall:

Which five German books should I read, before I return to Amerika [my translation]?

He seems to read German. I will recommend: Goethe's Faust, Rilke's Duino Elegies or Sonnets to Orpheus, Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks, Franz Kafka short stories (don't forget "Ein Landarzt,"), and Hermann Hesse's Glass Bead Game. Non-fiction does seem to count for the query, although it would not crack my list of top five. Schopenhauer tempts as well.

Prof. Cowen invites his readers to give suggestions as well (over 30 at this point), but I'm content for the time being with his picks.

Keep an eye on my reading pool to see how I'm doing.