When it comes to Christmas present, coffee table books are the ultimate failsafe.
They look beautiful, they’re fascinating, and they make both the giver and recipient look very cultured and intelligent.
Plus, there’s one for almost every kind of person, from music fans to foodies.
We’ve picked out some of the best books from this year to gift, including fashion bibles, stunning Scandi design inspo, and Frida Kahlo’s entire collection.
Read on to find out where to get them.
Amy Winehouse: Beyond Black
There’s a multitude of documentaries and films competing to show us their version of the ‘real’ Amy Winehouse — now there’s a coffee table book to add to the mix.
Written by Naomi Parry, her stylist, it features previously unseen images and anecdotes from friends and colleagues alongside lyric sheets and memorabilia.
With tales of gigs, parties and paparazzi, could this be the best means of getting to know the queen of Camden yet?
Beata Heuman — Every Room Should Sing
Beata Heuman’s Instagram page is a must visit, packed fullof fun and theatrical interiors that also seem cosy and liveable.
Her book, Every Room Should Sing, gives us even more detail into the Swedish designer’s process and sets out how she has become one of the most exciting names in interior design.
Getaway: Food & Drink To Transport You
Dreaming of sipping an apricot bellini in an Italian piazza? Getaway: Food & Drink To Transport You could be what you are looking for.
While not the most original of concepts, this collection stands out for having simple recipes that deliver on taste and provide a hit of escapism, alongside dreamy photos and illustrations.
Vivienne Westwood: Catwalk
Published in the year of Vivienne Westwood’s 80th birthday, this features the imagery and looks from more than 70 of the designer’s iconic fashion collections.
Written by fashion journalist Alexander Fury, it’s a treasure trove of inspiration, featuring shots of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell from the early 1990s to Westwood’s more recent protest inspired designs. A fitting tribute to the grande dame of British fashion.
Vivid: Style In Colour
Colourful interiors are having a moment and this book by photographer Armelle Habib and stylist Julie Green is the perfect guide to adding a bit of rainbow magic to our living spaces.
Bold interior shots run alongside essays on the psychology of colour and tips for layering and using texture. Plus, the book itself will look gorgeous lying under a candle.
This architectural travel guide includes buildings that cover the full spectrum of modernist principles from Bauhaus to Brutalism and all are open to the public for visits or overnight stays.
Rather wonderfully, it also includes photos of the buildings’ interiors, giving the whole picture of the structural designs featured.
Frida Kahlo: The Complete Paintings
An absolute whopper of a book (which is reflected in the hefty price tag), this is the culmination of 30 years of research by author Luis-Martín Lozano and claims to include all the artworks by Frida Kahlo.
Alongside her self-portraits is the story of her troubled life with husband Diego Rivera, plus there are drawings, photographs and pages from her personal diary. In short, a must-have collection for fans of the inimitable Mexican artist.
Two Worlds: Above and Below the Sea
Photographer David Doubilet’s remarkable photos capture the ocean horizon above and sea life below the surface in a single frame, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Antarctic Ocean.
Full of sea creatures, corals and the underwater landscape, his work also highlights issues about marine conservation and climate change.
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