SRF Leaderboard – Best Books in May – Culture


The May leaderboard invites you to browse extensively. These are the top five literary works for the jury in Countdown.

5. Simone Lapert: “The Long-awaited Brutality. Poems and Spins” (19 points)


Simone Lappert: “It’s too late to go wild. Poems and nets ». Diogenes, 2022, 80 pages, 30 francs approx.


The title says it all: In her book of poetry, Simone Lappert blurs the boundaries between civilization and the wild—between man, animal, and nature. The author also easily crosses the boundaries of language. Her words tell of awakening, farewell, longing, love, and the faint present. It reveals a great deal of sophistication and intelligence – and a deep sense of what a human being is.

Simone Lappert’s lyrics are artfully woven and delicately braided, but always in a pensive and calm tone: poetry of his long-awaited debut.

4 – Rebecca Salem: “In the Name” (21 points)

Book cover with deer head.


Rebecca Salem: “Things are in a Name.” Knapp Verlag, 2022, 128 pages, 27 Swiss francs approx.

Knapp Publisher

1984 Winter Night. Sandra, 16, was raped by Max, who is the same age. In Village 500, everyone has their own version of this sexual assault with children in their heads – even after 35 years. Volynweder, for example, was watching from afar without interference. To ease his conscience, he now wants to publish Sandra’s story.

This brings unrest to the village. Because “the story was sometimes more complex than the stories told of it might suggest.” Rebecca Salem calls things by their proper name. Its beginning is poignant and fun from the first page to the last page.

A miniature of the village reflects the whole big world.

3. Rebecca Geisler: “From Uncle” (24 points)

Book cover: A dog stands in front of a wall with a rabbit mask on it.


Rebecca Geisler: “From Uncle.” Atlantis Verlag, 2022. 144 pages, about 30 Swiss francs.

Atlantis Publisher

From Uncle” is the first novel by 31-year-old Zurich author Rebecca Geisler. The film is about a niece and nephew who share an apartment with their uncle in Brittany. The niece, who is told the story from her point of view, is constantly watching over her uncle. He is an eccentric, Lonely, Messy.One soon senses that uncle, niece, and nephew have one thing in common: being strangers.

A little book about people who don’t fit anywhere, told in long, floating sentences.

A funky family portrait full of humanity finds its haunting tone.

2. Lita Cimadini: “Amur, the Great River” (25 points)

The cover of the book is feral cat style.


Leta Semadeni: «Amur, the great river». Atlantis Verlag, 2022. 192 pages, about 30 Swiss francs.

Atlantis Publisher

Leta Semadeni uses poetic language to picture an affair like a mosaic: Olga, who grew up with her grandparents in a remote mountain village, falls in love with Radu, a nature filmmaker who is always on the go.

The relationship between the two is marked by heated moments together, but also by a great absence and longing in the period in between. The chapters of the book are short snapshots of this relationship, which Leta Semadeni composed with powerful images and great sensitivity.

Semadeni uses luminous images to express the great love between near and far, arriving and saying goodbye, being a stranger and being at home.

1. Julia Weber: “Jumble” (34 points)

A book cover with an illustration that looks like a flying bird.


Julia Weber: “Jumble.” Limmat Verlag, 2022, 352 pages, about 30 francs.

limat verlag

The writer is working on her second novel when she became pregnant with her second child. But where do you get the strength and time for children, writing, friendship, and a life of your own? Julia Webber’s highly personal account revolves around these questions, making it possible to experience how confusing such a situation can be.

The author skillfully blurs the boundary between reality and fantasy: life and art do not bypass each other, but pass through each other.

A personal and poignant book full of poetry and subtlety, one loves to plunge into it.

This is how the SRF leaderboard is created

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The best SRF list is decided each month by an expert jury. The jury consists of 55 book critics, librarians, booksellers, literary scholars and representatives of literary institutions.

Each member of the jury may nominate up to four titles to the SRF Top List that has not been published in more than six months. Registration works as follows:

  • First place: 7 points
  • 2nd place 5 points
  • Third place: 3 points
  • Fourth place: 1 point

The points awarded are added up and lead to the respective ranking. Each jury member is free to nominate fewer (or no) titles. Once a title appears three times on the SRF leaderboard, it is blocked to ensure a specific title is distributed.

In order to ensure the greatest possible transparency, objectivity and impartiality in the voting process, any books whose author is a member of the jury may not be nominated.

Members of the jury from A to Z

SRF Literatur . newsletter

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The SRF literary newsletter contains weekly reading recommendations and portraits of Swiss writers. And of course there’s also the current list of the best in the mailbox every month.

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