From Pop Art to Ballet: Coffee-Table Books as Ideal Holiday Gifts

by Joshua Brown
Coffee-Table Books

Selecting a holiday gift that resonates is an art, and a well-chosen book can significantly enhance this joyful season.

The holiday period presents the perfect opportunity to find exceptional coffee-table books for your loved ones. This year’s variety is especially rich, encompassing several intriguing options:

  • “Slim Aarons: The Essential Collection” features photographs by Slim Aarons with Shawn Waldron’s text. Aarons, a former World War II photographer who became a Hollywood mainstay, captured the elite from Palm Beach pools to Gstaad’s ski slopes and more. This comprehensive anthology includes substantial text and over 100 never-before-seen photos. Acquired by Getty Images in 1997, this collection by Abrams is priced at $175.

  • “The Christmas Book” by Phaidon editors, with essays from David Trigg, Sam Bilton, and Dolph Gotelli, offers a vibrant exploration of Christmas through design and artifacts. Highlights include a history of Christmas pudding charms and a South African artisan’s beaded angel from the Woza Moya collective. Featuring Picasso’s Dove of Peace and a Lego Santa’s Visit set, this book is available for $49.95.

  • “Lena Horne: Goddess Reclaimed” by Donald Bogle delves into the life of Lena Horne, exploring her tumultuous childhood and rise to fame. Bogle, a renowned authority on Black representation in film and entertainment, bases this detailed biography on extensive research. The book, filled with numerous photographs, is published by Running Press and costs $35.

  • “The Color of Dance” by TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian. This image-driven essay by the creator of Brown Girls Do Ballet on Instagram celebrates ballet dancers. It includes insights and powerful quotes from dancers, like Kailyn Scales’ empowering words. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal, this book is priced at $30.

  • “Yellowstone: The Official Dutton Ranch Family Cookbook” by Chef Gabriel “Gator” Guilbeau with Kim Laidlaw. Guilbeau, a caterer on the “Yellowstone” set and actor, shares over 55 recipes featured in the series. The book, which includes dishes inspired by Guilbeau’s Cajun heritage, is published by Insight Editions and costs $34.99.

  • “Dressing the Part: Television’s Most Stylish Shows” by Hal Rubenstein offers a deep dive into the fashion of 50 iconic TV shows. This HarperCollins publication, priced at $40, explores the cultural impact of TV wardrobes, from Mary Tyler Moore’s capris to Dawn Wells’ shorts on “Gilligan’s Island.”

  • “Birding for a Better World” by Molly Adams and Sydney Golden Anderson. This book, a guide to inclusive and safe birding, includes basic information, journal prompts, and blank pages for notes. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, it is available for $22.95.

  • “Thom Browne” by Thom Browne and Andrew Bolton celebrates the 20th anniversary of Browne’s brand. This 420-page book, featuring Johnny Dufort’s photography and curated by Met’s Bolton, Browne’s husband, is a comprehensive look at Browne’s fashion shows and designs. Available from Phaidon for $150.

  • “The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter to Black Families” by Karida L. Brown and Charly Palmer is an homage to W.E.B. Du Bois’s children’s magazine. This blend of historical and contemporary Black art and literature is published by Chronicle Books and priced at $40.

  • “Mother Tongue: The Surprising History of Women’s Words” by Jenni Nuttall explores the language surrounding women’s experiences. Published by Viking, this book is priced at $29 and offers an insightful look into the evolution of words related to women.

  • “Vanity Fair: Oscar Night Sessions” by Mark Seliger captures a decade of Vanity Fair’s Oscar night portraits. This collection from Abrams, priced at $80, showcases A-list celebrities in moments of triumph, controversy, and normalcy.

  • “Art in Flower” by Lindsey Taylor, a floral and garden designer, pairs 40 of her arrangements with the art that inspired them. Priced at $60 from Monacelli, this book explores her creative process and foraging philosophy.

  • “Milton Glaser: Pop” by Steven Heller, Mirko Ilić, and Beth Kleber, features over 1,100 color images of Glaser’s iconic 1960s and ‘70s graphic design work. This Monacelli publication, priced at $65, showcases his enduring influence.

  • “LL Cool J Presents the Streets Win” by LL Cool J, Vikki Tobak

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Coffee-Table Books

What types of books are featured in this holiday gift guide?

The guide features a diverse range of coffee-table books, including art, photography, fashion, cooking, and history, making them perfect for holiday gifts.

Are there any unique themes in the books recommended for holiday gifts?

Yes, the books cover unique themes like the history of women’s words, pop art, television fashion, birding, and even a cookbook from the “Yellowstone” series.

Who is Slim Aarons and what does his book offer?

Slim Aarons was a World War II photographer turned Hollywood insider. His book, “Slim Aarons: The Essential Collection,” offers a comprehensive look at his career with over 100 previously unpublished photos.

What is special about “The Color of Dance” by TaKiyah Wallace-McMillian?

“The Color of Dance” is a photographic essay celebrating ballet dancers, particularly highlighting the experiences of young, hopeful girls in training, offering a unique perspective on the dance world.

Can “Vanity Fair: Oscar Night Sessions” be a good gift for movie enthusiasts?

Absolutely. “Vanity Fair: Oscar Night Sessions” by Mark Seliger is an excellent gift for movie enthusiasts as it features a collection of A-list celebrity portraits taken during Vanity Fair’s Oscar night over the years.

More about Coffee-Table Books

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HistoryBuffHank November 24, 2023 - 12:32 pm

Mother Tongue about women’s words sounds fascinating, it’s always interesting to see how language evolves over time.

BirdWatcherBea November 24, 2023 - 2:51 pm

Birding for a Better World sounds like a great gift for my bird-loving friends. Plus, it’s awesome to see more inclusive guides out there.

BookwormBrad November 25, 2023 - 12:57 am

i’ve heard of that Slim Aarons guy, his photos are amazing! Gotta get my hands on that book. Love the variety in this list btw.

FashionistaFiona November 25, 2023 - 2:45 am

Dressing the Part sounds super interesting, TV shows do have some iconic fashion moments! Mary Tyler Moore was such a trendsetter.

Jessica89 November 25, 2023 - 8:10 am

wow, this is like the ultimate guide for book lovers this holiday. So many cool choices! Kinda pricey tho, but probably worth it?

ArtLoverLeo November 25, 2023 - 10:20 am

Milton Glaser’s book is a must-have for any graphic design enthusiast. His work is legendary, can’t wait to see all the images in the book.

SammyReads November 25, 2023 - 10:45 am

Does anyone know if the Yellowstone cookbook has easy recipes? Want to try but not much of a chef here, lol.


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