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

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Godlike (& kinky) Genius of Carlo Mollino

There is a new book that just came out, and in our store, that is fantastic. It's called "Carlo Mollino: arabesques.

Mollino was an interior designer, speed car racer, skier, architect, industrial designer, furniture maker, dandy,

...And a lover of women. He took numerous photographs of various 'professional' girls towards the end of his life. Some of the images were hand-painted.

So "arabesques" covers his entire career. For sure a gentleman I would want over the house for dinner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tosh Talks -- Reaktion Books

This week Tosh is talking about a series from Reaktion Books called Critical Lives. These slim, stylish volumes offer comprehensive yet easy to dig biographies on some of the most beguiling figures in art, literature and philosophy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

P a p e r / C u t s

When Hollywood needs ideas, it turns the page...

Graham Greene will once again be adapted for the big screen, this time from his novel Brighton Rock.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"British actress [Andrea Riseborough] will play the female lead opposite Sam Riley in the pic based on the Graham Greene novel....[The story] centers on a small-time gangster who kills a rival and finds his life in turmoil as he faces blackmail threats from a waitress (Riseborough) who knows about the murder."

The most famous Greene adaptation is Carol Reed's version of The Third Man -- which you can now purchase along with the book for 25% off!

(Check out all our Criterion DVD/book bundle discounts!)


With the release of Inglourious Basterds mere weeks away, one might wonder what Quentin Tarantino has lined up as his next project.

Yahoo offers up a few insights from the man himself:

"One of the things I am musing about doing is the trilogy of Len Deighton books, Berlin Game, Mexico Set and London Match. The story takes place in the Cold War and follows a spy name Bernard Samson. What is attractive is the really great characters and the wonderful opportunities of British and German casting."

And if you can't wait for Inglourious Basterds to hit the screen -- why not pick up a copy of the screenplay today!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

P a p e r / C u t s

The turning page and the moving image...

The creative team behind the acclaimed film Half-Nelson has picked up the rights to Ned Vizzini's YA novel, It's Kind of a Funny Story.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"Story centers on a 15-year-old boy named Craig who, battling depression, checks himself into a psychiatric hospital but finds himself placed in the adult ward.

He has a series of colorful and dramatic relationships with a group of adults -- many of whom he finds are far crazier than he is -- and a girl his own age."

"[W]hat's terrific about the book is Craig's voice -- intimate, real, funny, ironic, and one kids will come closer to hear," promises Booklist. "This book offers hope in a package that readers will find enticing, and that's the gift it offers."


Author/playwright/screenwriter/director David Mamet has signed on to tackle an adaptation of The Diary of a Young Girl from Anne Frank.

"The film will be an amalgamation of the famed diary; the stage adaptation by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich; and Mamet's own original take on the material that could reframe the story as a young girl's rite of passage. Frank, who died at 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, became an icon of the Holocaust after the post-war publication of the diary that she kept during the two years that her family hid in a secret attic apartment in Amsterdam."

Mamet will also have the trade edition of his book Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews out in September.


The life of legendary singing cowboy Hank Williams will finally make it to the big screen.

Variety reports:

"The package includes cooperation with the Hank Williams estate that gives the production use of his most memorable recordings. Also, 821 has optioned the rights to Hank Williams: The Biography, a book by Colin Escott that is being used as a resource by Abraham. Escott will be associate producer."

Who would make a good Hank Williams on film? Or should they go with a complete unknown?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

this is what happens when I take over staff recommends....

I may not be as high-brow as some, and I may enjoy more historical fiction than most, but there are a number of fantastic books that I want to share with the book soup public.

1) Fordlandia by Greg Grandin - Henry Ford takes on the jungle - it's not a battle of nature vs. civilization, it's also a peak into the mind of a genius who was losing touch with reality.

2) The Illustrious Dead by Stephan Talty - another genius loses touch with reality - you may think that Napoleon's army was wiped out by the harsh Russian winter, but long before the cold and ice started at them, Typhus weakened the greatest army in Europe in over a thousand years.

3) Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen - tells you the truth about Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, and Helen Keller. This book single-handedly made me into a historian.

4) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - in my opinion, her greatest book. The mistress of twists delivers a mind-blowing tale of unpunished crimes being avenged.

5) The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco - even better than the movie (and that has Sean Connery in it). The library is basically another character, and it is as mysterious and veiled as an inanimate object can be.

6) The Alienist by Caleb Carr - CSI for the late 19th century. Forensic psychology hunts down an early serial killer against the back-drop of industrial-imperial America.

7) Skin by Roald Dahl - adult short stories by the children's master. These tales are short and none too sweet, but are wickedly funny.

8) Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut - the title story alone is worth the price of the book. Vonnegut confronts conservative values, the triumph of mediocrity, and the perils of overpopulation in stories that are observant and biting, but never bitter.

9) Perfume by Patrick Suskind - who would have thought that something as small as being born without a scent could make a person so a-moral? Not me, that's for sure.

10) Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut - one of Vonnegut's last novels, if you have read Slaughterhouse 5 and Mother Night and are wondering which of his novels to read next, this is the way to go.

11) Medea by Euripides - things go badly for the famous Jason of the Argonauts when he leaves the woman who helped him get the golden fleece for a young and pretty princess. Medea is far more heroic in the traditional Greek sense, in the same way that Clytemnestra is. Do you doubt my overeducation? Because I will fight you about this.

12) Ju
rassic Park by Michael Crichton - dinosaurs and chaos combine in one of Michael Crichton's best thrillers. If you loved the movie, do yourself the favor of reading the book.

Pynchon Goes Public?

Not quite.

But he's doing more publicity for Inherent Vice than any of his other works.

From Entertainment Weekly :

"Tracy Locke of The Penguin Press confirms that the reclusive author narrates the trailer for his new book....Although the text of the trailer’s voiceover is not from Inherent Vice, Locke says that Pynchon composed it himself."

And then there was this quote from the Wall Street Journal that either stirred the ire of -- or inspired awe from -- the lit-crowd:

"The Creative Artists Agency in Los Angeles is handling film rights."

What do you think? Would you like to see lighting-up as Doc Sportello on the big screen?

Monday, August 10, 2009

P a p e r / C u t s

Where literature and cinema collide...

It's been five years since Alexander Payne brought Rex Pickett's novel Sideways to the big screen. So what's next for the director? SlashFilm reports:

"Production Weekly said over Twitter today that Payne is now slated to go into production on another feature early next year. This one is an adaptation of the novel The Descendants."

"[An] audaciously comic d├ębut....Hemmings channels the voice of her befuddled middle-aged hero with virtuosity, as he teeters between acerbic and sentimental, scoffing at himself even as he grasps for redemption," declares The New Yorker.


Zac Efron is in talks to star in the adaptation of Ben Sherwood's novel The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.

Variety reports:

"Former Good Morning America exec producer Ben Sherwood wrote the book, about a caretaker at a cemetery who manages to have weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault."

"[O]ne of the most magical love stories I've ever read," raves Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees.


And coming to theaters this weekend is the long-anticipated big-screen version of Audre Niffenegger's modern romance, The Time Traveler's Wife.

"[T]his promising author leaves us with much to ponder about the nature of fate, memory, death and love," proclaims The Portland Oregonian


Read 'em before they screen 'em!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Last Saturday's Events... TODAY

Last Saturday, August 1st, was one of the biggest, most joy filled days for many of us here at 'da Soup. First we had Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer Patti Smith in with director Steven Sebring. Together they signed "Patti Smith: Dream of Life" a collection of stills and poems from the film of the same name. Patti kindly gave us a shout out that got the whole crowd (200 or so) cheering.

Then, after we caught our breath, Werner Herzog arrived and surprised us all by giving us a reading and answering questions before signing "Conquest of the Useless". Even though the store was packed to the gills, Mr Herzog had crowd hypnotized with the elegance of his perspective. The entire reading is below.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

P a p e r / C u t s

Adaptations in development...

Screenwriter John August has picked up the rights to Steve Hely's debut satire, How I Became a Famous Novelist.

From the screenwriter himself:

"Add this book to your late-summer reading:...It’s fast, funny, and will likely become the next movie I write and direct.

[....]The book tells the story of Pete Tarslaw, an ambitiously underachieving college grad who writes a shamelessly maudlin and derivative Great American Novel for the sole purpose of upstaging his ex-girlfriend’s wedding. When the book becomes a bestseller, he finds himself sucked into a strange coterie of mega-authors and their attendants."

You may recall that August also adapted Big Fish a few years back, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Fatory. His directorial debut, The Nines, was an amazing head-scratcher -- so it will be interesting to see what he does with this.


Acclaimed author Jeffrey Archer will see his latest thriller adapted for the big screen.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

"Sony is in final discussions to pick up a pitch from screenwriter Sheldon Turner that would see him adapting Jeffrey Archer's historical novel, Paths of Glory, about the mystery surrounding Mallory's 1924 ascent, into a feature.

[....]Mallory's legacy involves the possibility that he -- and not Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 -- was the first man to reach the summit of the Nepalese peak. Mallory made several attempts, and competed with Australian climber George Finch, who first used oxygen, but he and his partner Andrew Irvine never returned from their June 1924 climb.

In 1999, Mallory's frozen body was found near the summit on the North Face, and debate has raged ever since about whether he was actually on his way down or up."

"This is one of Archer's best efforts, and its highly recommended to fans of classic adventure fiction." Booklist


The trailer for the adaptation of Tucker Max's boys'-night-out tale I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell has hit the interwebs.

My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world. -- from the Introduction


Happy readings -- see you in the theater!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Soup's DVD/Book Combopacks

First we had books.

Then we had Criterion DVDs.

Then we stuck 'em together with rubber bands and discounted 'em by 25%.

If you don't believe me, watch this Animated Propaganda Video:

You can pick them up online by clicking here or come into the store for a full range of titles.