"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: The Conference of the Birds

The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis
Another beautiful, beautiful book -- a graphic adaption of a very old Sufi folktale, in which a group of birds undertake an epic journey to find their king. Though Sufism is the mystical branch of Islam, this parable about the search for God could and should be looked at through a philosophical as well as spiritual lens. Peter Sis is an award-winning children's book illustrator and his talents are on full, glorious display here. Put that in your Kindle and smoke it!

- Emily

Staff Gift Recommendations: Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fall-Out by Lauren Redniss
One of the most unique books in the store. A graphic biography of the famous scientists that celebrates their romance and life's work with every detail, down to the glow-in-the-dark cover (get it?). The pages are printed using a method called cyanotype, which produces vibrant, colorful images that fade with extended exposure to light and restore themselves when covered. The author's love for and dedication to her subject matter bursts from the page-- she invented her own typeface and even included gravestone rubbings. This book proves that Kindles could never replace books.

- Emily

Staff Gift Recommendations: Crass 1977-1984

Crass 1977-1984
For the music historian in your life - A look back on one of the greatest independent punk labels that ever was, Crass Records. From Andrew Roth's PPP Editions, Crass 1977-1984 : A large folio, bagged in mylar, exhibiting fifty-one pieces of Crass Records ephemera from the collection of punk archivist Toby Mott. If unfamiliar, Crass Records was extraordinary in its attempts and intention to politically move and affect society through carefully planned multi-media. Incorporating literature, film, music, and the now-iconic work of artist Gee Vaucher, in just eight short years, Crass Records left a legacy that's unlike anything else in music history.

- Rebekah

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: The Fifty Year Sword

The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Danielewski (Signed!)

Fans of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves, Only Revolutions, and The Whalestoe Letters rejoice! While you’re waiting for Danielewski’s much-anticipated serial novel, The Familiar due out in 2014, we have a treat for you: 14 signed copies of Danielewski’s The Fifty Year Sword! This extraordinary novella from 2005 is yet to be published in the U.S. and hasn’t been available in U.S. bookstores, but we have copies and they’re signed, and if you’re not familiar with this book, it’s beautiful. Illustrated with drawings by Peter van Sambeek, this is essentially a ghost story, but one clearly of Danielewski’s unique imagination and lyrical prose.

Great gift for Danielewski fans, House of Leaves fans, graphic novel fans, fans of ghost stories, and people who know a great book when they see it.

Treat yourself or make someone else very, very happy.

You can pick one up through our website here, in-store, or by calling Book Soup at (310) 659-3110

Staff Gift Recommendations: I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan

I, Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan
by Alan Partridge

At last! The true story of UK's greatest DJ and talk host. Here, Partridge - with great honesty and a bit of wit - writes about the down and down of his world. Oh, and he's a pal of Steve Coogan.

- Tosh

Staff Gift Recommendations: Republic Lost

Republic Lost
by Lawrence Lessig

A must-read expose for the politically inclined or the politically apathetic. Lessig doesn't blame the average American for having given up on the political process, because that process is broken. He even provides suggestions for how we can solve the main issue in American politics, the undue influence that is allowed to corporations by a "government of the people, by the people, for the people". Only once that problem is solved can we hope to make meaningful changes, whatever we think those changes should be.

- Kate

Staff Gift Recommendations: Speaking In Tongues: Wallace Berman & Robert Heinecken

Speaking In Tongues: Wallace Berman & Robert Heinecken by Sam Mellon & Claudia Bohn-Spector
The companion piece to the wonderful Wallace Berman & Robert Heinecken exhibition taking place at Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts. Curators Sam Mellon & Claudia Bohn-Spector investigate the lasting effect both Berman & Heinecken have had on the world of photography - as well as the special bond between the two. A gorgeous design job, perfectly packaged and limited to 1,000 - and close to sold-out. Pick one up before they're gone.

- Rebekah

Staff Gift Recommendations: Diary of a Rock 'N' Roll Star

Diary of a Rock N Roll Star by Ian Hunter
One of the great classic rock 'n' roll memoirs is now back in print... in the UK, but we have it! Mott the Hoople's Hunter writes about being on the road with great wit, charm, and insight into the world of rock in 1972. Glam lives! (And Rebekah agrees).

- Tosh

Staff Gift Recommendations: Pilgrimage (Signed)

Pilgrimage by Annie Leibovitz
Totally new and different work from the classic photographer. Leibovitz concentrates on objects and homes of legendary figures such as Thoreau, Emerson and... Elvis. Strange, mysterious, and beautiful. Signed copies in stock!

- Tosh

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: Bad As Me

Tom Waits - Bad As Me
(Special Edition Lyrics Book and Bonus disc)
This is a must have for any fans of Mr. Waits and excellent music. The lyrics book comes with amazing photos and the bonus disc, while only containing three extra songs, makes the whole package. Grab it!

- David

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: Julius Shulman: Los Angeles

Julius Shulman: Los Angeles

by Sam Lubell and Douglas Woods

No one captures the mid-century California dream like Julius Shulman. His photos bring modern architecture to life. So crisp, so inviting, you want to live in these photos! Give this to the Mad Men fan on your list and pour them a high ball too!


Staff Gift Recommendations: An Obscene Diary

An Obscene Diary: The Visual World Of Sam Steward

by Justin Spring and Sam Steward

This photo book supplements Spring's 2010 biography of Steward, a fascinating academic and tattoo artist who was practically a professional homosexual! Carefully cataloging his sexual conquests on index cards (his 'stud file'), Steward was essential to Alfred Kinsey in his sex research. He took photos too, dirty enough to make Tom of Finland blush!

- Dan

Staff Gift Recommendation: Los Angeles Denim Tote!

Denim Los Angeles Tote!
I love this bag! We also carry other versions in black and natural, but the denim is adorable. And stuffed with books it's a perfect gift!

- Paige

Staff Gift Recommendations: Paris to the Past

Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History By Train by Ina Caro
A brilliant gift for anyone with a love for history, Paris, architecture, French cuisine, and/or travel. If you have any intention of visiting France or have a loved one on their way, this will only enhance their experience...

Twenty-five one day train trips journeying through seven hundred years of French history alongside Ina Caro's spectacular and discerning eye for detail and splendor - A beautiful love story.


Staff Gift Recommendations: Sacrament

Sacrament by Clive Barker
There is one Clive Barker novel that is not in print in America: Sacrament. The reasons are inscrutable -- this is a crime. But, sly dogs that we are, we've managed to snag a couple of import copies. Sacrament is one of the man's best, and some believe it is his most personal. It's definitely worth your time, and it's the perfect gift for the discerning Barker/fantasy/horror fanatic.

- Manny

Staff Gift Recommendations: Street Boners

Street Boners By Gavin McInnes
This is a great book for the cynical bourgeois fashionista in your life. However, if you have a lot of people like this in your life, please reconsider your life choices.

- Dustin

Staff Gift Recommendations: Photographs A-Z & Never Any End To Paris

Photographers A-Z by Hans-Michael Koetzle
Koetzle's favorite and brief survey of the classic photo books of all time. With reproductions of the original layout - Oh, my, my, a classic!

Never Any End To Paris by Enrique Vila-Matas
What sounds like an iconic and cliche book about a foreigner going to Paris to write, becomes an awesome and twisted tale of European literature and its importance. Best novel of the year!

- Tosh

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: We The Animals

We The Animals
by Justin Torres

Did you love the deep family connection of Tree Of Life, but hate the dinosaurs? This debut novel whispers like the curtains of a dining room window left open in midsummer as three boys come of age in upstate New York. My favorite work of fiction this year.

- Dan

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: For Foodies & Chefs!

The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria by Ferran Adria
A graphic novel style cookbook by the world's most coveted modern chef. It isn't fussy but rather breezy and perfect for inspiring everyday meals for you and yours. I bought several for gifts. you may want to do the same.

Menu Design In America by Steven Heller, John Mariana, & Jim Heimann
Just right for those that "have everything" - This isn't a book that I would necessarily buy for myself but I would love it as a gift. Great for history lovers and fans of graphic arts.

- Ruth

Staff Gift Recommendations: I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics

I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics
Compiled by Ritch Shyder and Mark Schiff
Funny, dark - and like most road stories from comedians, probably about forty percent lies. Totally enthralling, couldn't put it down. Features stories from Larry David, Chris Rock, Mike Meyers, Joan Rivers, Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Drew Carey, Brett Butler, Jay Leno and tons more.

- Dustin

Staff Gift Recommendations: Believing Is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography

Believing Is Seeing:
Observations on the Mysteries of Photography

by Errol Morris

Errol Morris is a brilliant filmmaker, and this new book is a strange kind of detective story... By exploring the stories behind specific photographs, he asks if the pictures obscure as much as they reveal. A beautiful treasure.

- Paige

Monday, December 12, 2011

Staff Gift Recommendations: Hollywood Rat Race by Ed Wood, Jr.

Hollywood Rat Race by Ed Wood, Jr.
For the slightly tilted Hollywood fan on your holiday list, give Ed Wood, Jr.'s Hollywood Rat Race a look. It's a fascinating glance at the ins and outs of show biz life through the eyes of one of Hollywood's favorite punching bags. Wood has put together a bittersweet memoir, a love letter, a hate screed, and a surprisingly practical guide to the film world. Written in the inimitable Wood style, Hollywood Rat Race is sure to tickle any fan of the movies.

- Manny

Staff Gift Recommendations: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer

The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer by Jennifer Lynch

I know Twin Peaks hasn't been a "thing" in mainstream popular culture in some time, but that doesn't mean the devout fan base is any less rabid. The Secret Diary has been re-issued and makes the perfect companion gift for those amazing Twin Peaks Gold Box Sets, Lynch Coffee, The Blue Velvet Blu-ray, The David Lynch Lime Green Box Set, Crazy Clown Time (signed by Lynch) and the fantastic new big art book Works On Paper (Also singed). What fantastic maniac doesn't want all of this? & Book Soup carries them all.

- David

Staff Gift Recommendations: Love You Forever

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Pass on the message of unconditional love to a young tyke in your life! This book changed my life at four years old. My mother gave it to me for Christmas and I still have it to this day - beat & worn - and will forever cherish it.

For readers, ages 4 to 8. A tremendous gift with a powerful message that has the ability to touch a child's heart for a lifetime.

- Rebekah