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The Best 11 Books for Coffee Tables

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Kara
10.16.14

A coffee table book is so much more than just a book! It can be an icebreaker at a party, inspiration for your next creative endeavor or just a fun reflection of your personal taste.

From glossy full-color photography to intricately designed diagrams, here are 11 beautiful, inspiring and noteworthy coffee table books:

1. Humans of New York

You don’t have to be from the Big Apple to appreciate this inspiring collection. Humans of New York is basically a “photographic census” where photographer Brandon Stanton set out to photograph ordinary, every day New Yorkers and their stories.

2. Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips

Warning: this book will inspire copious amounts of wanderlust, and we will not be held accountable for any spur-of-the-moment trips halfway around the world. Even if you don’t love to travel, this coffee table book can make a great gift.

3. National Geographic: Simply Beautiful Photographs

Sometimes there is no better coffee table book than a series of stunning photographs from one of our favorites – the National Geographic Society. The goal of this book was twofold: to “maximize visual delight” and create a book where many of the photographs could be purchased as prints. Nailed it. 

4. If…(Questions for the Game of Life)

If… is the king of kings when it comes to entertaining icebreakers! Add this coffee table book to your biggest entertaining room. It’s filled with questions that prompt vibrant conversations from the more traditional “If you could have dinner with one person in history…” or the more philosophical “If you could “uninvent” one thing on the world so that it would no longer exist, what would you choose?”

5. 100 Diagrams That Changed the World

Written by a prize-winning author and investigative reporter, this book is filled with interesting diagrams and photography that will completely change how you think of history. Plus, it appeals to all ages. In other words, the perfect equation for a good coffee table book.

6. PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives

What started as an art project and blog has grown into a community of people sharing their most intimate secrets in post-it-note form. Each secret is great to read aloud at a party or to yourself when you’re relaxing on the couch.

7. Dogs

This coffee table book is a great gift for dog lovers (or even dog likers). It’s an intriguing collection of high-quality photography of dogs in their most peculiar forms.

8. Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People

Thirty-six homes and gardens are packed into this coffee table book, and all have appeared in Vogue at some point during the last two decades. This book also includes a few photographs that have never been published. 

9. Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age

Vanity Fair had a big birthday last year: 100-years-old! This book is more like an artifact of pop culture history than something just meant for the coffee table, and that’s why it had to make the list.

10. The Art of Clean Up: Life Made Neat and Tidy

This book is perfect for someone who is a little bit of a perfectionist when it comes to organization – each photo shows before and after photos (chaos and order) right down to the minuet detail.

11. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss had a secret collection of whimsical paintings that he never showed to the public – until now, that is. Think of this as the “other” side of the famous children’s author that you never saw. Although short, this book is filled with cartoons, sketches and paintings that are appropriate for all ages. Yes, please!

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