Three Wonderful Coffee Table Books
Oversized, hard covered books whose purpose is to make your coffee table pretty and entertain guests - this is the definition of coffee table books. And while I do love photo-books, I find myself easily bored with them. So this article takes a different approach to coffee table books. We´ll show you books that are beautiful, for sure. But next to beautiful, these books can definitely be judged by their cover. Because their insides are as beautiful as their outsides. They´re not only about pictures. There´s text. There are emotional roller coasters and heaps of new and wonderful worlds. There are metaphors and plots and even fiction, because why not? So without further ado, let´s dive into my top three.
1. Letters of Note
A wonderful collection of inspiring correspondences. A beautiful white and blue coffee table book that will take you through a roller coaster of emotion as you go through one hundred letters, one more surprising than the other. Letters of Note also has a website where they recently announced four new volumes (on Love, War, Music and Cats) and a podcast (yay!) and where you can browse through their original content.
"From Virginia Woolf's heart-breaking suicide letter, to Queen Elizabeth II's recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower; from the first recorded use of the expression 'OMG' in a letter to Winston Churchill, to Gandhi's appeal for calm to Hitler; and from Iggy Pop's beautiful letter of advice to a troubled young fan, to Leonardo da Vinci's remarkable job application letter, Letters of Note is a celebration of the power of written correspondence which captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up all of our lives."
2. Atlas Obscura
One of the most wonderful Christmas presents André has ever given me, Atlas Obscura is an encyclopedia of over 600 wonderfully weird places, customs, events and more from around the world. And if you think the book is too beautiful to browse on a daily basis, the creators of Atlas Obscura also run a magnificent Facebook page where they regularly ask their community about their travel plans and give them out of the box ideas of places to see and things to do on their itinerary.
"Atlas Obscura revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden, and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book you can open anywhere."
3. The New Annotated HP Lovecraft
A mysterious black book covered in tentacles that HP Lovecraft himself would have loved, this dark coffee table book fits both an intimate living room as well as a more minimalist environment, as long as the owner loves weird fiction (it´s a thing - look it up!). While I am still battling with this book (Lovecraft is quite a heavy read, and I´m not talking here about the annotations heavy with Euclidian geometric details, but the author´s own persona) I think it´s an absolute must have in any household of odd literature lovers.
"With an increasing distance from the 20th century… the New England poet, author, essayist & stunningly profuse epistolary Howard Phillips Lovecraft is beginning to emerge as one of that tumultuous period’s most critically fascinating & yet enigmatic figures," writes Alan Moore in his introduction to The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft.