Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Travel: Germany, Writing News

What I Know About Germans: The Book

‘A book? That was quick,’ I hear you say, ‘I only found out about this post last week.’

Let’s rewind a little, to about eighteen months ago. Summer, 2012. I had been collecting observations about my new country-fellows, since arriving in 2010. The list was numbering 78 points when the brilliant volk at Überlin came knocking in June last year and said they’d like to run the list on their (sensational) site. Na klar, I said, and they did.

It blew up. Went viral, as the kids say. Überlin’s site crashed (more than once). There were 40-something thousands likes on Facebook. Hundreds of comments. WIKAG (as we came to call it) garnered mentions by Stern,, Financial Times Deutschland, and Swiss paper Tages-Anzeiger. The response was so enormous, that we decided to take the list up to 100, with the help of crowd participation. And then, as the dust cleared, and we all looked at each other in shock, Überlin said, ‘why don’t we do a book out of this?’

And I said … JA!

Überlin got cracking. They brought illustrator Josh Bauman on board, and he unleashed his talent, responding to the points with wonderfully funny, highly original artwork. I wrote an introduction. Überlin tirelessly assembled and developed the project over the course of a year, developing, designing and preparing to launch both an ebook and paperback, and a corresponding official website. (So, you know, made the book actually happen.)

And then last week, out of nowhere, the list blew up again, on this here site. 40,000 more likes on Facebook, page views in the hundreds of thousands. Hundreds more comments, tweets, emails. My site crashed. For 3 days.

And the book came out. Look at it. It is bloody fantastic.


What I Know About Germans: 101 Observations is the outcome of a wonderful collaboration between four foreigners who have made Germany their home. It is a collection of brilliantly illustrated observations about a country and its people, written with deep, deep affection. A response to a culture we have adopted, moved into, nestled deep within, by choice.

This list has resonated with more Germans than I ever, ever thought it would. It began, simply, as something I entertained myself with, a way of documenting the quirks of my adopted country-fellows. It has become something hundreds of thousands of people have read, thousands have commented on, shared, recommended. As one reader said, ‘I don’t know if you are aware of what you have kicked loose with this …’

You can buy the book here.

Visit the official website here.

Read more about it over on Überlin here.

Peek inside here.

And thank you so, so much for reading and for responding.


  1. Isa

    28 November, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Yippee! You did it!

    1. Liv

      28 November, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, we did!

      1. Isa

        3 December, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        Are you thinking, or perhaps you’re not as cynical as handsome Mr Beckett: “It’s bad enough to have to write these books without talking about them too.” Samual Beckett – the man with the most interesting face, quite possibly.

  2. karin@yumandmore

    28 November, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    this is so awesome Liv! you must be over the moon!
    Can one buy a signed copy too?
    Gruesse aus Frankfurt and happy gluehwein!

    1. Liv

      28 November, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Absolutely thrilled with it! Hmmmm, there isn’t a system in place for signed copies AS yet, but I am sure we could figure something out!

  3. Lutz Mowinski

    29 November, 2013 at 12:49 am

    I just ordered the book 🙂
    What I read on the page here was just so hilariously funny that I jumped at it when I heard it was going to be released in a book format 😀

    Best page I have found in years ^.^

    1. Liv

      29 November, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Yaaaay, looking forward to hearing what you think of the book!

  4. The Week in Germany: Christmas Markets, Pumpkin Pie, and Being Single in Berlin | Young Germany

    30 November, 2013 at 1:06 am

    […] What I Know About Germans is a collection of 101 illustrated observations about the people in her adopted home.  You can find out more here. […]

  5. passportsandpamplemousse

    30 November, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Wow that is such great news! Congratulations! well deserved 🙂

  6. Friederike

    1 December, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Liv, I’m one of the people who found your site last week through another round of Facebook shares and have been contributing to the frequent site crashes since. 🙂 I’ve been reading tons of the posts on your blog and just love your style and your stories!
    I’m a German girl from Stuttgart but I live in the US now. I love your observations about my home country. It’s like taking little trips back home. So congrats on the book, danke for your posts and keep it up!

    1. Liv

      2 December, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Friederike, thank you so much – you can keep crashing my site, if you’d like! I bet you have so many of your own observations from living in the US. Thanks for reading!

  7. teampassau

    14 December, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    This is great! I wish our welcome packages in Passau would have something like this! Would have for sure helped me to better understand German culture.

    1. Liv

      14 December, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      We should totally organise it so they are integral parts of welcome packages! What a great idea!

What do you think?