(StatePoint) While book lovers sometimes turn to digital for their literature fix, when it comes to coffee table books, print rules. Coffee table books are not only sources of knowledge, but also high impact art statements. For this reason, they make great holiday gifts.
This season, consider the following new options.
A Book on Books
From ancient masterpieces such as “The Art of War,” written on bamboo leaves to Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book,” “Remarkable Books” delves into the stories behind the most incredible tomes ever produced, offering an insight into their wider social and cultural contexts. Alongside images of the books and manuscripts are close-up views highlighting interesting features, and biographies telling the lives of the people who produced them. This coffee table-worthy book makes a thoughtful gift for those with an interest in literature, art and design.
Take a Hike
An illustrated account of human travel, from the first trade networks to space missions, “Journey” features evocative accounts, archival images, historical maps and artifacts of human migration arising from all manner of impulses -- from the search for food to pilgrimages, trade, scientific curiosity, or simply the quest for adventure.
Exploring the Natural World
Discover Earth’s natural landmarks and the animals and plants that inhabit them with “Natural Wonders of the World.” From the granite domes of Yosemite to the reefs of the Bahama Banks, this unparalleled survey of the world’s natural treasures features landscape photography and illustrations with 3-D terrain models, and other explanatory artworks to reveal the geological processes that formed them.
Guide to the Masterpieces
A visual celebration of artists from the Early Renaissance to the present day, “Artists” tells the stories behind their masterpieces, including the historical context in which each artist worked, their influences, creative development, friendships, loves and rivalries. From Donatello to Dali and Giotto to Giacometti, the book showcases artwork as well as images of artists at work, making it a great gift for anyone with an interest in art, art history or biography.
Mumbai’s charming movies, with vibrant costumes and epic song-and-dance productions, have captured hearts worldwide since the early 1900s. “Bollywood” features film stills, plot timelines, star and producer profiles, plus historical insights, lesser-known facts and behind-the-scenes gossip on such iconic movies as Mother India, Mughal-e-Azam, Sholay, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, and Bajirao Mastani. A colorful, glittering cover makes it stand out in any home library.
An Illustrated Epic
“The Illustrated Mahabharata” brings the world’s longest epic to life. With more than 500 images showcasing India’s varied art forms, the book encapsulates the complete stories in an accessible way, providing details of the principal cities and kingdoms involved, a seamless weaving of Sanskrit text with regional variations and detailed family trees. It’s a great gift choice for mythology enthusiasts and history buffs.
This holiday season, there’s a coffee table book for everyone on your list -- no matter their interests and aesthetic tastes.