Feature

Sofia Coppola

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 mean—a marriage in crisis, lots of unhinged characters, everyone’s out to lunch. A couple mired in their suburban life burns their house down to try to make it all go away, to start again—only 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 man’s heartbreaking and epic obsession with an average-seeming woman. Her character was supposedly based on a man Maugham loved—but couldn’t be with.

The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan (Mariner Books, $17; a compilation of three books). My brother’s the one who got me into Brautigan’s 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 Mishima’s 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 won’t admit they love each other until it’s too late, and she’s engaged to the emporer. It’s 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 Ruscha’s word paintings from L.A. They crack me up: “We’re this, we’re that, aren’t we?” and “Little Malibu love nest” and “Did anyone say dreamboat?”

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