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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

New York Book Soup Diary Part 3

I have to be honest with you, on this trip I wanted to seduce various cute book clerks that were staying at my hotel, but alas, like all good plans, it went North when I wanted to go South.

So my main passion was to get to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Hall on West 34th Street. And as you know by now, I started heading towards East 34th Street. The clue that i was going on the wrong direction is when I saw various looking lost people with BEA Bags going the opposite direction.

Some of the highlights of the walk towards West 34 th Street:

The great scientist Tesla died here (and played by David Bowie in a movie).

And this as well:

Thomas Edison showed the first American film projection here. Although there are reports that the Europeans were first. Edison was basically a thug. A scientist thug, but nevertheless a thug.

Also I came upon a beautiful that yells out 'New York' to me:

But sadly for me, once inside it yells out 'no, more like Los Angeles.' So I walked out and kept my journey heading West. I eventually reached the Jacob K. Javits Convention Hall where I came upon his statue:

And this is what he looked like as flesh and bones:

And this is what the BEA looks like inside the convention hall:

Can you find me in the crowd? I sort of look like this guy:

Part four soon....

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Reading and Looking

Image: Searchviews.com

So with Memorial Day over the official Summer reading season has begun. But I am sure like most of you reading this blog reading is not just for summer. However it is a lovely excuse to write lists. Lists, so fun.

I picture you now in your bedroom, all proud of yourself having successfully packed for your summer vacation (or stay-cation) with books you so carefully picked out over the days, weeks, months (year!) leading up to this much-anticipated respite.

And then in the airport or en route, you stop at some ghastly place to buy some magazines for the beach or airplane ride. Now you know you need to put some thought into selecting some interesting magazines. You walked through the Book Soup Newstand to get into the store to buy those books you now hold in your hand, those tall paper things sitting on those racks outside are not just decoration.

I mean why buy that amazing Eres bathing suit to sit on the Cote d’Azur when you are reading ______? Well I cannot name names here.

So this is my suggested Summer Reading and Looking list of some of the magazines worth getting sunscreen smudged thumbprints all over:

Acne Paper - one of the best and smartest magazines in the world. Period. Full stop. Buy it, every issue, every time.

Fantastic Man – full of thoughtful, well-dressed, smart, sexy men – kind of like Book Soup. Okay maybe not the well-dressed part (except for Tosh he always looks great).

Vogue (Paris, Italian or American) - Italian – for the great edgy photography, Paris – because it is French and American because you can actually read it.

Corduroy – a great fashion, art, design, media magazine that is smart without trying too hard.

The World of Interiors – what is remarkable to me is how one of my homes is featured in every issue – my Paris pied-e-tierre, the not quite finished carmen in Granada, the townhouse in London…

Special Mention: This weeks (June 1, 2009) issue of Time magazine. Because it is the First Lady and she is Fabulous!

See I am not trying to take up all of your luggage.

Try not to get sand stuck in the pages.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

New York Book Soup Diary Part 2

In Manhattan, I have this nasty habit of wanting to head West, but going East instead. Which on one hand makes me late for everything, but on the bright side I find something remarkable on the wrong-way direction:

Now this is a strange building heading towards East 23rd St. From a distance it looks like a slice of a cake. And then I thought the rooms must be really narrow at the end of the hall. I imagine one has a small desk, and if you stretch out your arms you will be touching both walls. It seems like H.G. Wells admired this building, therefore this quote: "I found myself agape, admiring a skyscraper — the prow of the Flatiron Building, to be particular, ploughing up through the traffic of Broadway and Fifth Avenue in the late-afternoon light. – H.G. Wells (1906)."

Going the wrong direction I passed the famous Hotel Chelsea.

This is a famous hotel where famous dead people lived and did unnatural things. Some of the famous people:

Edith Piaf

Arthur C. Clarke

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jack Kerouac (wrote On The Road at the Hotel

To be cont.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

NYC: Tuesday June 26, 2009

For those who are curious about what happens to a bookseller when they go to a major American City to attend the world famous BEA, well.... read somewhere else! No, no I am just kidding.

The image down below is the JFK Airport, named after someone who dated Marilyn Monroe and various other actresses. And strange enough this is exactly what the airport looks like!

After settling into our hotel near the Brooklyn Bridge:

We went to have dinner at one of New York City's top restaurants: White Castle.

For me this was an exotic place to eat. It seems like you can't get a full-sized hamburger here. All the hamburgers are super small, which personally makes no sense to me. I was extremely impressed by the graphics of the store, which is very 1930's Depression, and of course fits in with the new Economy of 2009.

We then had a drink at a well-known hotel in Manhattan called the Algonquin. It is here where Dorothy Parker and various theater people had drinks and goofed off after a hard day working on various poems either in the hotel bar or across the street, which is the New Yorker magazine.

We also saw the famous cat who lives in the hotel. I have been told that this is the same cat who has lived at the hotel since 1906. It seems hard to believe because he (or she) looks very young.

The books I purchased for this trip:

NFT New York 2009 edition

and to read in bed:

Richard Stark's "Lemons Never Lie"

To be cont.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Sway" by Zachary Lazar

"Sway" by Zachary Lazar is a novel about

the genius of Kenneth Anger

The dark side of the Rolling Stones, and of course.....

Charles Manson.

And the novel "Sway" is good. Real good.

Thanks for the shout out, James Frey!

James Frey on Book Soup:

Friday, May 22, 2009

Books + Innuendo 7... in real time!

Finally, we are getting this show up the same week it was recorded. This week, Tosh loses his cool. Most of us have never seen this before, so it is very well worth listening to. Caroline evaluates her relationship to Baltimore, her home town, through crime novels. And at long last, Charles has to admit that he does not have a microphone while we record and no one can ever hear a word he says to us.
If you want the show super fast, we are now getting it on iTunes right on the very day it is recorded... Subscribe through the fun orange rss square below or search for Books + Innuendo on iTunes. Yay!


How the Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll... an interview.

Our own Julia took the time to speak with author Elijah Wald on his latest book: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock & Roll. Sign up for our podcasts to hear fun interviews with authors by clicking the fun little orange box of joy right below the image of Wald's lovely book. Happy listening and happy reading!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Book Soup Author Podcast: Ben Greenman

Charles interviews Ben Greenman on his latest book, Please Step Back. This is our first podcast in front of a live audience complete with reading! Enjoy...


Why aren't you coming a week earlier to LA, Alain deBotton?

I have long loved Alain de Botton's work. How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, Status Anxiety, The Art of Travel, and even On Love, which I was lucky enough to find in a used bookstore and devoured like all the rest.

This past week, a kind gentleman arrived with a galley of deBottom's latest book. I was thrilled until he informed me that it was already spoken for. I actually cooed at the thing like it was a new baby and shelved it for Paige, after calling her to let her know that she must understand how much I love her solely based on the fact that I hadn't run out into the night with it, never to be seen again.

I love this man.

He is coming to speak in LA. He will be at the Getty Villa. Several of my friends will be going, and I will be on the way to Barcelona with my family. Wah Wah, I know, but I am still sad.

Please Alain de Botton, come back to LA. Come to Book Soup. Please come visit on the 10th. You could pop in and we'd give you a nice tour of the store.

It would make me feel less sad about missing your speech in person. In the meantime, Paige is lending me the book for my trip. Not complete consolation, but I'll take what I can get.

Keep writing... you make many of us very happy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Julia rocks the Graphic novel section!

Julia gives us a rundown of what you should be reading in the Graphic Novel genre... we've got it all here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A customer talks about a book!

We got a real live customer to wear the fancy glasses and talk about a book. Amazing. Most of the staff run like hell from these glasses. Here is our brave first customer review...

Cookbooks getting talked about.

We like food. We like books about food. And we like talking about them in silly glasses. Join us...

Introducing a new press: SIGLIO

Once in awhile I come upon a new publishing house that makes me scream "oh my god!" Well, I'm not a big believer in the God concept, but you get the idea. Siglio is a new publishing house that has an interest in artists who are poets/writers, so you are getting a perfect match between writer and visual image.

The above illustration is the cover for Keith Waldrop's book"Several Gravities" which is his artwork and poetry, plus an essay on the great one. It's a remarkable book, where the images feed on the poems, and that is where the adventure lies. Beautifully elegant.

Also check out his translation of Charles Baudelaire's "Paris Spleen."

The other title put out by Siglio is "The Nancy Book" by poet/artist Joe Brainard. One can count me as a member of the Joe cult, because I am totally nuts about his artwork as well as his poetry. Superb on so many levels, this late god (there i go again!) like genius, who passed away in 1994, had a rather unhealthy obsession about the comic character "Nancy."

What we have here is a collection of his artwork devoted and on "Nancy."

Here's the cover:

And here is some of Joe Brainard's art:

Come down to Book Soup and check these books out.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Jagger's Book Review

Book Soup Doggie Jagger shows us his favorite book.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Book Soup Podcast: Malina Saval on The Secret Lives of Boys

This past Wednesday, Malina Saval had a fantastic event with us here at the store. She was kind enough to take time out for a podcast and chatted with our own Julia Callahan. Enjoy getting a little bit more of the story behind this amazing book on the internal life of adolescent boys.

Click the magic orange square to get started:

Visiting Book review from Edan Lepucki!

Thanks to Edan for coming back to visit and for letting us know what she's reading at the moment:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Newstand Review with Devin!

Thanks to Devin for taking time out to talk about one of his favorite newsstand selections:

Monday, May 4, 2009

Looking for love? Look no further.

Our own Devri shares the secrets you must know to find love...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yasutaka Tsutsui's remarkable collection of short stories "Salmonella Men on Planet Porno"

While in Tokyo I picked up this remarkable collection of short stories called "Salmonella Men on Planet Porno" by a Japanese author Yasutaka Tsutsui. Just this volume alone I have become a mega-fan of this author's work. The stories are absurd, smart, very funny, and kind of Boris Vian like in that the characters or the tone of the stories are very anti-authority.

When I last looked, we have one copy of this book in the store. I strongly suggest that you rush out to Book Soup and pick this book up. I haven't read anything new that totally turned me on in a big major way. Murakami fans I think would also like his work. He's not as serious as Murakami, but they do share a vibe of some sort.

Here's a picture of the book cover:

I haven't had the chance to read the texts and stories on his personal website, but do visit: http://www.jali.or.jp/tti/en/index.htm

And his other book that we carry at Book Soup "Hell" is also for sale and last time I looked there was also one copy on the bookshelf.

This is the next book I am going to read. Discussion anyone?

Book Blabs: Manny on JG Ballard

Another fine video from Book Soup with Manny in a sombrero!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Images from the LA Times Festival of Books

Last weekend, Book Soup made its annual pilgrimage to the large sea of tents filled with books that is the LA Times festival. We had a lot of fun hobnobbing with authors, hosting signings, and meeting loads of book lovers. Remember, it's the LA Times Festival of books every day at the store... come on down and read with us here. Above, Kristin Chenowith during her signing of her new book, A Little Bit Wicked.

Adrian and General Manager Charles Day ready to ring up sales.

Our own Joseph Mattson signs Eat Hell for me- I even got a tasty drink along with it!

Kristin Chenowith signs a doll for a young fan.

The fan herself.

And.... Tattoos and donuts. Together. The best.

Until next year!