Holiday books: 19 mesmerizing coffee table titles

Photo collections to peruse and ponder: Snoopy, ‘Star Trek,’ high art, cultural icons and cabin porn.


Coffee Table Books

The Living Bird

100 Years of Listening to Nature

the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Mountaineers books, $29.95

Vyn’s dynamic photos of birds are the focus of this book, a story of the Cornell Lab’s work that’s a virtual encyclopedia of our feathered friends.

Heirloom Harvest

Amy Goldman and Jerry Spagnoli

Bloomsbury, $85

Luminous, moody daguerrotypes of the heirloom fruits and vegetables conservationist Amy Goldman grows at her farm in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Welcome to Marwencol

Mark Hogancamp and Chris Shellen

Princeton Architectural Press, $29.95

Hogancamp was attacked and left with a traumatic brain injury; afterward, he became an outsider artist, creating and photographing a remarkable miniature WWII-era world.

Only What's Necessary

Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts

Chip Kidd

Abrams, $40

This celebration of the 65th anniversary of Peanuts digs into Schulz’s archives and to share original artwork, unseen treasures and great early comic strips.

Cabin Porn

Inspiration For Your Quiet Place Somewhere

Zachary Klein, Steven Leckart and Noah Kalina

Little, Brown, $30

A temporary escape from urban life, with photos of treehouses, snowy retreats, modernist cubes, desert cabins and stories of the people who call them home.

Grizzly: The Bears of Greater Yellowstone

Thomas D. Mangelsen and Todd Wilkinson

Rizzoli, $60

Ten years of following Yellowstone’s Grizzly 399 and her offspring result in these dramatic, intimate photographs of wildlife in the wild.

Ai Weiwei

Tim Marlow, John Tancock, Daniel Rosbottom and Adrian Locke

Abrams, $75

A photo book of the massive Ai Weiwei show on exhibit at the Royal Academy in London, along with documentation of his process.

Star Trek Pop-Ups

Courtney Watson McCarthy

Thames & Hudson, $29.95

Although the book has elaborately constructed pop-ups for all of the television iterations of “Star Trek,” it’s impossible to beat the page of cascading Tribbles.

Haute Coiffure

Charlie Le Mindu

Roads Publishing, $70

The first book by cult favorite Le Mindu, who has created exuberant and extrordinary hair styles and wigs for movies, the runway and Lady Gaga.

Dirt Meridian

Andrew Moore

Damiani, $50

Moore’s aerial and large-format photography documents the arid landscape of the contemporary West, including the Dakotas, Nebraska and New Mexico.

The Beach Boys

America's Band

Johnny Morgan

Sterling, $29.95

A photo tour of the Beach Boys’ musical history, focusing mostly on the 1960s with album art, publicity photos and more intimate snapshots.

Ellsworth Kelly

Tricia Paik

Phaidon, $125

This monograph, which comes in its own slipcase, covers the 92-year-old abstract painter’s career from the 1940s to the present.


Exploring the World

Phaidon Editors

Phaidon, $59.95

More than 300 maps from diverse sources in the past and present that beautifully illumunate how we understand place.

A History of Photography in 50 Cameras

Michael Pritchard

Firefly Books, $29.95

A meta-gift for photography lovers, this modest photo book presents the history of photography as told through 50 cameras, from daguerrotypes to digital.

Peter Schlesinger

A Photographic Memory 1968-1989

Peter Schlesinger with Hilton Als

Damiani, $50

In luscious color, Schlesniger — then David Hockney’s partner — quietly captured the artists and scenesters of London and Los Angeles at play.

Tom Kundig


Tom Kundig

Princeton Architectural Press, $65

Award-winning architect Kundig provides a narrative of 19 new projects that display his rugged elegance and integration with nature.


Frances Stark: 1991-2015

Frances Stark and Ali Subotnick

Prestel, $45

A midcareer retrospective of Los Angeles artist Frances Stark, whose works of playful, interdisciplinary self-documentation are on exhibit at the Hammer Museum.

Dennis Stock: James Dean

Dennis Stock and Joe Hyams

Thames & Hudson, $40

Stock took the iconic photograph of Dean in Times Square in the rain; it’s here with many others, intimate and casual, he shot on assignment for Life magazine.

Fashion Tribes

Global Street Style

Daniele Tamagni

Abrams, $35

Portraits from striking fashion subcultures, including South African dancers, Cuban youth, Burmese punks, Bolivian wrestlers, and dandies in Democratic Republic of Congo.

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