What completes a coffee table better than some amazing books to look through? Coffee table books contain beautiful pictures, amazing stories and tales of human interest that will fascinate you and your guests. But which books should you choose? We’ve come up with a list of our 50 top reads, which will delight you for years to come. Whatever your interest, have a look at our useful list for lazy Sunday reads or birthday presents to suit any personality.
We’ve selected our favourite photography anthologies for you to marvel at. From the beautiful and touching work of Ansel Adams, to the shocking and ground breaking work of Sebastiao Salgado, these stunning and carefully selected books will entertain and delight you and your guests.
- Ansel Adams, 400 Photographs
Ansel Adams is one of this centuries most talented photographers. Few other photographers have produced such stunning images, with lasting beauty and significance. This book is a classic choice, compiled of 400 of Adams most moving photographs, a testament to a lifetime of his dedication to taking the world’s most magnificent photographs.
2. Sebastiao Salgado, Genesis
3. Phaidon, Decade
4. Nick Brandt, On This Earth: Photographs from East Africa
5. Andrew Zuckerman, Flower
6.Diane Arbus, Revelations
7. Steve McCurry, Looking East
8. Roger Ballen, Outland
9. Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York
We love Stanton’s gritty street photography. This book is a collection of beautiful photographs of people around New York City, complete with witty and individual anecdotes celebrating people’s lives. An interesting dive into the diversity of human experience, this book will keep you coming back for more.
Travel and nature
If you’re a nature lover, or have wanderlust, then these are the perfect reads for you. You can travel across the globe from the comfort of your sofa, and gaze in wonder at the amazing imagery the world has to offer.
10. T. Mann & Lynn Davis, Sacred Landscapes: The Threshold Between Worlds
11. Julian Holland, Great Railway Journeys of the World
12. Nicole Robertson, Paris in Colour
This book really is a must-have for any lover of style. A compilation of stunning photographs of Paris, these vibrant photographs offer endless design inspiration as well as surprising and delighting the reader with the variety and character of Parisian architecture.
13. Hamish Bowles, Vogue Living: Houses Gardens People
14. Brian Vanden Brink, Ruin: Photographs of a Vanishing America
15. National Geographic, Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips
16. Thomas Packenham, Meetings With Trees
17. Tim Peake, Hello, is this planet Earth: My View from the International Space Station
18. Barbara Ireland, The New York Times: 36 Hours 125 Weekends in Europe
Fashion & Interiors
Are you a budding fashionista? No matter whether you’re addicted to gorgeous Louboutin heels, or interested in the story behind 1950’s Hollywood glamour, we’ve got the perfect selection.
19. Christian Louboutin, Christian Louboutin
20. Kate Spade, Things We Love
21. Dior: The Legendary Images
22. Jay Jorgensen, Edith Head: The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer
Edith Head may not be a big Hollywood name, but her fashion designs transformed the careers of Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly. Known for being the best designer for the red carpet, Head’s designs spanning over six decades made her the number one costume designer in Hollywood. This fascinating book is full of stunning images, her own drawings and incredible facts about her amazing life story.
23. Amy De La Haye & Valerie D. Mendes, The House of Worth
24. Rizzoli, A Denim Story
25. Deborag N. Landis, Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design
26. Alexander McQueen, Working Progress
27. Annika Huett and Ulf Huett Nilsson, Swedish Details
Sometimes the most interesting books are those that tell the human story. These coffee table reads document the variety and breadth of human experience, and will move and engage you in stories beyond belief.
28. Chris Ware, Building Stories
This incredible book is lovingly presented in a box, containing several smaller books. Each presents a different tale of the life of one person. A young woman growing in to adulthood, a story of love, parenthood, loss and everything in between. All 14 smaller reads are fascinating and visually beautiful. An extraordinary achievement for Ware, and a perfect accompaniment to any coffee table.
29. Judy Chicago, Frida Carlo, Face to Face
30. Steven Brower, Satchmo: The Wonderful Life and Art of Louis Armstrong
31. Bill Clinton & Desmond Tutu, Mandela
32. Isaac Fitzgerald, Pen & Ink
33. Goya, Order and Disorder
34. David M. Wilson, The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott
35. Pascal Bagot, Joe Cummings, Anna Felicity, and Friedman Sebastien Gallio, Tattoo
Who doesn’t love a controversial coffee table read? Something your guests will find memorable, this collection of photographs shows tattoos over the past hundred years. Ranging from the artistic and sublime, to the more edgy criminal aspects, this book is unforgettable and dynamic. Definitely worth a look!
Food and Drink
Who doesn’t love mouth-watering pictures of food? To whet the appetites of all readers, our selected food and drink books will certainly satisfy your cravings.
36. Lonely Planet, Food Lover’s Guide to the World
This incredible book charts a journey around the world through food. Containing stunning photographs of mouth-watering international cuisine, this book will keep readers engaged and will whet appetites! When we travel, it’s often love at first bite!
37. Shanon Benenson and Jules Bond, New York Botanical Garden Cookbook
38. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook
39. Nathan Myhrvold, Modernist Cuisine at Home
Change the way you think about cooking at home. This book contains amazing photographs that deconstruct some of the world’s most tasty dishes. Vibrant, and visually innovative, this coffee table read shows you modern techniques and hundreds of useful new recipes.
40. Naomi Duguid, Beyond the Great Wall
41. Christopher Boffoli, Big Appetites
42. Jeremy Fox, On Vegetables
We all love to see pictures of our pets having fun. But what if you could see dogs and cats documented by the world’s most skilful photographers? Casteel famously captures dogs joyfully swimming using underwater cameras, and if that wasn’t funny enough, see Dogshaming, a hilarious portrait of pet enthusiasm gone horribly wrong.
43. Seth Casteel, Underwater Dogs
44. Tim Flach, Dogs
Tim Flach’s classic book is a famous tribute to man’s best friend. He beautifully photographs 25 different breeds of dogs in playful, clear detail. An essential read for any dog lover, this book is an engaging coffee table addition your family and friends will love!
45. Pascale Lemire , Dogshaming
46. Katie Preston Toepfer, Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony
47. Francesco Marciuliano, I Could Chew on This
48. Bernard Kliban, Cat
49. Alexandra Crockett, Metal Cats
50. Lewis Blackwell, The Life and Love of Cats
They’ve already taken over the internet, this really is the perfect gift for anyone who loves cats. This book looks at the lives of modern domestic cats, and also looks back in time at medieval cats, wild cats in Africa and everything in between. We absolutely loved this The Life and Love of Cats!
Now you’ve got the perfect coffee table book, you might also want to look at our range of coffee tables. If you have any coffee table books that you love, why not share them! Get in touch with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.