Sofia Coppola, photographer, designer, and director of The Virgin Suicides, lists her six favorite books.
Music for Torching by A.M. Homes (Harperperennial Library, $14). Really hilarious and meana marriage in crisis, lots of unhinged characters, everyones out to lunch. A couple mired in their suburban life burns their house down to try to make it all go away, to start againonly to end up stuck repairing the building instead.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (Warner Books, $13). Touching and romantic and funny; full of the sentimental details of being a teenager.
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham (Bantam Classic and Loveswept, $6). His masterpiece, set in pre-World War I Europe. A young mans heartbreaking and epic obsession with an average-seeming woman. Her character was supposedly based on a man Maugham lovedbut couldnt be with.
The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan (Mariner Books, $17; a compilation of three books). My brothers the one who got me into Brautigans Gothic western. This story of cowboy hitmen assigned to kill a monster is crazy, weird, and funny.
Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima (Vintage Books, $14). This novel, the first of Mishimas four-part Sea of Fertility series, takes place in turn-of-the-century Japan, and explores the clash between the old Japanese aristocracy and a new, rising class of elites. The son and daughter of two prominent families wont admit they love each other until its too late, and shes engaged to the emporer. Its super-romantic, especially when the doomed lovers kiss in the snow.
They Called Her Styrene by Ed Ruscha (Phaidon Press Inc., $20). This is a collection of Ruschas word paintings from L.A. They crack me up: Were this, were that, arent we? and Little Malibu love nest and Did anyone say dreamboat?