The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.
In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject.
Today you’ll find gift ideas for Fiction, Film/TV and Foreign Languages as picked out by section buyers Renate, Simone, Ester and Tom. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.
We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!
You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.
I was, am, and always will be, a great Hitchcock fan. His movies are like a visit from an old friend who always knows how to cheer you up with a story, be it a good day or a bad day. And it seems I am not the only one. Almost 33 years after his death, books are still published about him and his body of work. These last couple of weeks three new titles have been published to let us know that even beyond the grave, Hitch is still entertaining his audience.
The first one is The Making of Hitchcock’s The Birds by Tony Lee Moral and features new interviews with stars Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, and Veronica Cartwright, as well as sketches and storyboards from Hitchcock’s technical team, Robert Boyle, Albert Whitlock, and Harold Michelson. Using unpublished material from the Alfred Hitchcock Collection, Evan Hunter’s files, Peggy Robertson’s (Hitch’s assistant) papers, this is the ultimate guide to Hitchcock’s most ambitious film that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
The second one is Alfred Hitchcock’s Moviemaking Master Class, coming out this month. In this Moviemaking Master Class, Hitchcock author and aficionado Tony Lee Moral takes you through the process of making a motion picture, Hitchcock-style. Hitchcock wasn’t only the “Master of Suspense,” he was also an innovator of storyboarding, directing, framing, editing, and marketing. This book tells it all.
The third title is Strangers on a Train: a Queer Classic by Jonathan Goldberg. This Hitchcock thriller based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith (author of The Talented Mr. Ripley) is about two men who meet on a train: one is a man of high social standing who wishes to divorce his unfaithful wife, and the other is an enigmatic bachelor with an overbearing father. Together they enter into a murder plot that binds them to one another, with fatal consequences. This book delves into the obvious homoerotic energy of the film and builds on the question of the sexuality the film puts on view to explore the queer relations between sexuality and murder and the strong antisocial impulses those relations represent.
And after reading these books there’s no better idea than staying home one evening and watching some of his amazing classics again. Enjoy! You can find these titles on the first floor of our Film section in Amsterdam.
ABC pass holders get discount for this screening: € 7 instead of € 9!
Cracking the Frame
The Cracking the Frame series focuses on the creative intersection between art and film through experimental documentaries and cinematic portraits of the life and work of established contemporary artists, filmmakers, writers and global thinkers.
Each film is theatrically unreleased in The Netherlands and will be screened in English or with English subtitles.
Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open
Directed by Daniel Young; Switzerland, 2012, 93 min.
Among the most mysterious and charismatic counter-cultural icons of the past century, American writer and musician Paul Bowles was also one of the most influential.
Following the publication and immediate success of his first novel, “The Sheltering Sky”, Bowles moved to Tangier in 1949, refusing fame and disappearing from public life.
Tangier in the 40s and 50s was an exotic sanctuary for artists, writers and the wealthy to do as they pleased without fear of prosecution.
Openly homosexual, Paul Bowles was married to the lesbian writer Jane Bowles. A circle of heretic intellectuals began forming around them: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, Jack Kerouac, Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, the Beats and finally the Hippies all searched him out, lured by the mysterious and magical world he depicted in his books.
Using conversations with Bowles, interviews with numerous fellow companions, rare archive footage and original animations, Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open captures the daring and visionary life of a man and the extraordinary role he had in fuelling the imagination of generations of writers and liberal thinkers.
To celebrate this most auspicious of days, we are giving away five (5!) Star Wars books, thanks to the lovely folks at Random House. The books you can win are:
All you need to do is answer one little question for us:
Which Star Wars book or book series is your all-time favorite?
Mail your answer to email@example.com by noon on Thursday, May 9th, using “Star Wars Day” in the subject header. Let us know which book you would like to win (best have a second or third choice available, too) and at which ABC you would like to collect it.
The winners will be mailed Thursday afternoon on May 9th. They will be posted here on the blog, together with all your book suggestions, in the second half of May when blogmistress Sophie is back from her vacation.
Don’t think you’ll win? Why, we find your lack of faith disturbing…