21 Chic Coffee Table Reads

Beautiful, eye-catching books for your home.
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The World of Gloria Vanderbilt by Wendy Goodman

While the images of Vanderbilt are stunning and glamorous, this coffee table book is more than just decoration. There is a heartfelt forward by Anderson Cooper, in which he describes his "mummy" as strong yet vulnerable. Goodman explores, with an array of photos and words, the private life and history of the Vanderbilt socialite. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Abrams

American Fashion Designers At Home

"If fashion is a planet, home is more like a universe," says designer Betsey Johnson about the endless possibilities for styling a dwelling (think fabric, floors, furniture). For their sixth volume in the American Fashion series, the Council of Fashion Designers of America takes a tour of the personal spaces of more than a hundred well known designers, including Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg and more. Look closely for the many inspired ways these designers display their coffee table books. Buy it here.

Absinthe Cocktails by Kate Simon

Not only does Simon adore the forbidden drink, she’s also determined to give this "victim of its own shoddy publicity" a new reputation. Her classic recipes promise to bring out the best taste in the liquor. She also tells the history of Absinthe and instructs readers on where to shop for the best brands. To purchase the book click here
Photo by: Lara Ferroni

Allure by Diana Vreeland

First published in the 1980s, Vreeland’s collection of photographs and musings has been reissued to include an introduction by Marc Jacobs. The book, which features portraits of Gertrude Stein, Marilyn Monroe and Josephine Baker, is a luscious look at what inspired the legendary Vogue editor. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Chronicle Books

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris

Sedaris pokes fun at DIY devotees and vows to put a stop the idea that "ugly people craft and attractive people have sex" in this humorous homage to homemade goods. The master of satire provides crafting how-tos with helpful, if ridiculous, photos. We recommend the sections on Confectioneries, Unreturnable Gift Giving and Creative Fridays. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Decade by Phaidon

A fascinating look back at the aughts, from Y2K to the Earthquake in Chile, this book captures the years’ monumental events. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Phaidon

Dignity by Dana Gluckstein

Photographer Gluckstein is donating a portion of the proceeds from this stunning collection of images to Amnesty International, in celebration of the organization’s 50th anniversary. Her photos of indigenous people span three decades and capture "tribes in transition." To purchase the book click here
Photo by: Dana Gluckstein

Dogs by Tim Flach

In this intimate tribute to man’s best friend, Flach features over 25 breeds of dogs in crisp, playful detail: the Puli’s shaggy dreads whip off the page, the Siberian Husky’s ice blues eyes pierce the soul and the Shar-Pei’s curl of wrinkles exude warmth, like so much cashmere. To purchase the book click here
Photo by: Tim Flach

French Essence by Vicki Archer

Archer wrote about falling in love with France in My French Life. In the follow up to that coffee table tome, she reveals her life in Provence in photos from inside and outside her home. Archer displays collections of books and teapots as well as curiosities right outside her door. This book will transport you-and it’s worth the trip. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Penguin Lantern

Edith Head by Jay Jorgensen

Edith Head may not be a Hollywood name in lights, but she can be credited for making starlets such as Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor look stunning on screen. For almost six decades, Head was the go-to costume designer at Paramount and Universal Studios on films such as Funny Face, Sabrina, Roman Holiday and A Place in the Sun. This book is filled with beautiful images, illustrations and interesting facts about Head’s glamorous career. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Running Press

George Washington’s America by Barnet Schecter

Take a peek inside the mind of our first president with this clever collection of maps from America’s infancy, which detail the early history of the country, from Washington’s arrival on American soil through the Revolutionary War. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Bloomsberg USA/ Walker & Company

100 Dresses by The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Choosing an outfit in the morning is nothing compared to the task the editors of this book faced in picking clothes to showcase from the Costume Institute’s massive, 35,000-piece collection. The book not only spans from the 17th century to present time, but it also exhibits the wide range of designers who’ve contributed to the archives. From a 1930s Coco Chanel evening dress to a mod 1960s Yves Saint Laurent shift dress to the late Alexander McQueen’s "Oyster" Dress from 2003, this book gives readers a glimpse into the best-dressed (and likely the largest) closet in the world. To purchase the book click here
Compliments of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life by Mary Randolph Carter

Randolph Carter showcases how beautiful a lived in, yet imperfect home can look with this collection of images from abodes around the globe. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Rizzoli

Naked Nude in America by Bram Dijkstra

It might seem like America’s nude awakening came courtesy of Victoria’s Secret and Paris Hilton, but this collection of artwork by American artists proves our cultural tradition has been anything but prude. Dijkstra successfully displays how artists have provoked and enlightened people with works that have "generally been regulated to the basement of our museums." To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Rizzoli

Penguin 75 Edited by Paul Buckley

As the old adage says, don’t judge a book by its cover. But when it comes to the standout jacket art in Penguin’s compendium of eye-catching covers, we can’t help it. In honor of the publishing house’s 75th anniversary, Penguin’s creative director chose covers and illicited commentary from artists that have created memorable images for books such as Little Women and Eat Pray Love. To purchase the book click here
Image Courtesy of Penguin

Sacred Landscapes: The Threshold Between Worlds by A.T. Mann & Lynn Davis

In this exploration of all sorts of sacred landscapes, Mann and photographer Lynn Davis visit an Iceberg in Greenland and the ruins of a pyramids in Dashur, Egypt. The book also covers volcanoes, ancient ruins, bodies of water, naturally made and manmade landscapes and buildings. To purchase the book click here
Photo by: Lynn Davis

Vera: The Art and Life of an Icon by Susan Seid with Jen Renzi

In the 1960s, Vera Neumann’s designs-cheerful flowers, colorful geometrics and little ladybugs-were everywhere. Anthropologie and The Metropolitan Museum of Art collaborated on this book (the stores are also carrying her designs), which tells the story of Neumann’s remarkable career and gives insight into the colorful images that have inspired the likes of Kate Spade, Tory Burch and Michael Kors. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Abrams

When Do They Serve the Wine? by Liza Donnelly

In her 16th book, the veteran New Yorker cartoonist, depicts everything that’s hilarious (sometimes painfully so) about being a women. In six chapters (or decades), Donnelly humorously illustrates bad-date scenarios, menopause pitfalls and more. Still, she makes our past worth revisiting. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Chronical Books

Women Then by Jerry Schatzberg 1954-1969

Although Jerry Schatzberg is best known for his film work, Women Then illustrates the ways in which he was able to capture motion in photography. Mostly shot in New York, the book is filled with classic images of women from the 1950s and 1960s, ranging from actress Faye Dunaway and dancer Carmen De Lavallade to the original socialite Edie Sedgewick and the Rolling Stones in drag. To purchase the book click here
Photo by Jerry Schatzberg

The World Made Flesh Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide by Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor

Compiled by two writers, this "book of bookish tattoos" showcases the best of literary ink. The tattoos here serve as tributes to the written word. Some of our favorites are the illustrations from Where the Wild Things Are, quotes from the Harry Potter series and lines from Virginia Wolf poems. To purchase the book click here
Image courtesy of Harper Perennial

Stealing Magnolias by Debra Shriver

In this elegant ode to New Orleans, Shriver highlights the food, decor, rituals and outdoor spaces that make the southern city so unique. The book boasts images that transport and inspire, as well as a handy address book of N.O. musts, including "eight ways to enjoy oysters" and "seven shopping experiences for one-of-a-kind-finds." To purchase the book click here

Louis Vuitton 100 Legendary Trunks By Pierre-Leon Forte and Eric Pujalet-Plaa

Louis Vuitton has changed the way people look at luggage. The beautiful (and sometimes not-so practical) trunks showcased in this book depict the vibrant and innovative history of the Parisian-brand. Featuring containers for caviar and wine as well as ones for doll wardrobes and Play Station 2, this book is stuffed with bags we’d love to carry. To purchase the book click here *FOR BOOKS HEADING FOR THE BIG SCREEN, CLICK HERE.*
Image courtesy of Abrams

First Published Wed, 2010-10-06 12:48

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