What To Collect

Gift List: 10 Books for the Coffee Table

Ten suggestions for literary gifts for any coffee table.

Wall and Piece

by Banksy A contemporary graffiti artist based in London, Banksy is known not only for his “illegal” works of art, but also his lack of real identity. A grassroots documentary is scheduled to be released in 2011, and this book is a great conversation starter at parties.

The Graphic Work

by M.C. Escher

One of the most famous ‘mathematical’ artists, now available in your living room. This generously-sized book offers beautiful black and white copies of Escher’s works. Not only is it a comprehensive collection with historical background, but it can turn into a project. Your gift recipient can get crafty and simply cut out their favorite full-page pieces and frame them for instant wall-art.

The Jazz Loft Project

by Sam Stephsenson

Between the years 1957 and 1965, in a dilapidated building on Sixth Avenue, W. Eugene Smith captured on tape and in photographs one of the most in-depth records of the thriving jazz scene in America. This is a THE gift for any music lover. The book has some stunning photographs of  famous modern musicians, as well as transcript snippets.

Rolling Stone: The Complete Covers

by Fred Woodward and Jann S. Wenner

There’s really not much to explain about why this book is great: 1967-1997, 773 gorgeous reproductions of the music mag’s covers. Slick, sensational, perfect for anyone who has ever bought one issue of Rolling Stone in their life.

Claude Money 1840 – 1926

by Karin Sagner-Duchting

Need something a little lighter? Monet works wonders, every time. From peaceful waterlilies to dazzling sunsets, Claude Monet created a standard for generations of Impressionist painters. This is also a great book to introduce kids to different periods of art history.

German Modern: Graphic Design from Wilhelm to Weimar

by Steven Heller and Louise Fili

If the cover doesn’t get the guests thumbing these pages, the art certainly will. A choice collection for the artist in the family, or for the person who just simply has too much Van Gogh in their life and needs a little refreshing gift.

Yoknapatawpha, Images and Voices: A Photographic Study of Faulkner

by George G. Stewart

To buy this book, or to receive it as a gift, you must meet one of the following criteria:1) You own a copy of Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.2) You can accurately pronounce “Yoknapatawpha.”

Leroy Grannis: Surf Photography of the 1960s and 1970s

by Steven Barilotti

In the words of modern-day surfers, “If you’re gonna go, go BIG.” And this book is no exception. To come across a mint copy of this book is rare, or you can even splurge or “go big” and buy a limited edition for your special someone. Amazing photographs.

Hitchcock, Piece by Piece

by Laurent Bouzereau

For the cinema connoisseur–a dark, edgy gift for their library. The man made more than 50 full-length feature films and left his mark on the thriller genre forever. Now, give the gift that goes behind the scenes. This book features tons of photographs (of course)–family photos, work photos, etc. as well as removable memorabilia such as letters and memos.

Private Gardens of Connecticut

by Jane Garmey

Don’t forget the green thumbs among your friends and family! Flowers, fruit trees and shrubbery, oh my! This book is simply lush, and an indulgence for anyone who picks it up. And if you aren’t inspired to fully landscape around the house after flipping through these pages, we bet you’ll at least plant some basil in the spring.


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