The Coffee Table Book Gift Ideas
I've been sharing some Bossy book gift ideas on Fridays leading up to the holidays. I hope you'll find a book or two in these lists to delight you or someone you love!
What's better than a heavy, beautiful coffee table book to pore over in short bursts--or to settle in with on a cozy post-holiday winter day? And each of these titles could be perfect for adding to your own holiday wish list!
You might also like to check out the books on some of my many past Bossy Book Gift Guides:
A Bossy book-buying note: If you're buying books this holiday season, please support your local independent bookstore. They need and appreciate our business! (The book covers on this site link you to Bookshop, a site that supports the beloved indies that keep us swimming in thoughtful book recommendations and excellent customer service all year round.)
01 The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present by Paul McCartney
This year we watched (twice) the riveting Beatles documentary directed by Peter Jackson, Get Back, and I was obsessed with the behind-the-scenes 1969 footage of the band members as they convened to piece together songs for their first live concert in several years.
We also watched and loved McCartney 3, 2, 1 this year, and I was fascinated by the discussions between Paul and Rick Rubin of the inspiration, influence, and techniques that shaped this pivotal music.
Which is all to say that this book feels like the right book at the right time for the ongoing and also renewed Beatles zeitgeist. McCartney shares commentaries on his life and music for 154 songs and includes images from his personal archives, offering a personal look at the story behind the music from one of our greatest songwriters.
02 Our America: A Photographic History by Ken Burns
Our America is a collection of some of treasured filmmaker Ken Burns's favorite photographs.
Burns has been making documentaries about American history for over four decades, and his sense of the heart of our country comes through in this set of images.
From captivating natural landscapes to striking wartime images, from bustling city scenes to quiet moments bridging race and class, Burns offers a selection of photos highlighting a range of experiences from our 200 years of American history.
03 The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World by Lonely Planet
The Travel Book is a 2021 stunner from Lonely Planet, and this fourth edition of the book features all-new information on featured countries, including when to visit, how to immerse yourself in the culture through food and drink, music and culture, and more.
The gorgeous photos depict local people, landscapes, and striking scenes, and intricately drawn maps and details accompany the practical information.
This is a 416-page book perfect for those planning to explore the world--or those who want to "travel" from their couch by dipping into these pages.
04 There and Back: Photographs from the Edge by Jimmy Chin
I first learned about Jimmy Chin while watching the movie Free Solo, which he directed and for which he won an Academy Award. Since then I've also watched him in the movie Meru and in the TV series Edge of the Unknown.
Chin is a National Geographic photographer and a professional "mountain athlete" (skier and climber) who has been on The North Face Athlete Team for over 20 years.
There and Back offers 200 stunning photos from Chin's vast portfolio of breathtaking photographs, captured during two decades of cutting-edge expeditions on all seven continents. They including images from his experiences skiing Mount Everest, completing an unsupported traverse of Tibet's Chang Tang Plateau on foot, and making first ascents in Chad's Ennedi Desert and Antarctica's Queen Maud Land.
05 1000 Record Covers by Michael Ochs
This book is a few years old, but the collection of cover art from albums from the 1960s through 1990s highlights an often-overlooked art form perfect for music lovers.
Michael Ochs is a journalist, music archivist, disc jockey, and former record company publicist who has pulled pivotal albums from his vast collection to include here.
The Michael Ochs Archives house millions of photographs and over 100,000 albums and singles. This selection might be the perfect coffee-table perusal for the vinyl lover in your life.
06 The Only Woman by Immy Humes
The Only Woman is made up of 100 group photographs, each showing a lone woman in a male-dominated situation.
In professional scenes, public life, and social situations ranging from 1860 to the present and from countries around the world, Hume highlights photos emphasizing the concept of "the only woman in the room."
Visually striking, The Only Woman features unknown and famous women who are astronauts, conductors, writers, railway workers, civil rights leaders, boxing promoters, domestic workers, and more.