34 Best Coffee Table Books Anyone Would Love to Own
Whatever your interests are, we've found the best coffee table books for you to gift yourself or a loved one.
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Too interesting to put on a shelf
The best coffee table books are a great way to enhance both your home decor and your knowledge. They are usually large-format, hardcover, and image-heavy tomes. Because these books sit on display, they’re also a quick way to share what some of your interests and values are with your guests.
A beautiful, well-designed book can make for thoughtful gifts, too, showing friends that you know their tastes and want to highlight a shared interest of yours, or even expand their horizons. To zero in on what might be a good gift, you can ask them what they think are the best books of all time, best biographies, best autobiographies, and best nonfiction books. You can also browse their collection to see if they seem into casual pieces or rare books worth a fortune.
Whether you’re buying for your home or a friend’s, have a large budget or a small one, we’ve compiled a list of the best coffee table books in popular categories like art, portraiture, food, travel, architecture, nature, and design. We’ve also done the research to make sure these books have positive reviews and/or awards, and will serve as beautiful additions to any home. Whenever shopping for books, keep in mind that local bookstores have had a hard time staying afloat and could use your business. If you’d rather shop online, using Bookshop.org when possible supports local bookstores too.
1. Howardena Pindell: What Remains To Be Seen
This beauty of a book will instantly bring color and texture to your home. Howardena Pindell is known for her large-scale paintings and art installations that envelop visitors, and by immersing yourself in these pages, you can get a version of that feeling. The book also shows off her multimedia pieces and the thoughtful methodology to her art. It’s a gift that would be equally loved by the casual appreciator of beautiful things and the modern art aficionado. Check out these other books by female authors.
- Dimensions: 9.4-by-1.2-by-12.2 inches
- Cost: $40
2. Bakhodir Jalal: A Line to Eternity
Travel across decades, art styles, and cultures with this gorgeous anthology of Uzbek artist Bakhodir Jalal’s work. He is widely celebrated as a master of abstract painting and dynamic graphic art. In this coffee table book, four decades of his work shines, ready to illuminate any space it’s placed in. For those who love to look behind the curtain, there’s also an interview, sketches, and drawings.
- Dimensions: 28 centimeters by 24 millimeters
- Cost: $63
3. Yayoi Kusama: Festival of Life
If you haven’t been able to attend an exhibit of Yayoi Kusama’s extraordinary art, don’t despair! This documentation of her 2017 New York exhibition is just the pop of color you need. It features paintings from her “My Eternal Soul” series and the Instagram famous infinity rooms.
- Dimensions: 9.2-by-12.9-by-0.8 inches
- Cost: $46
4. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
“Soul of a Nation” began as a museum installation in 2017 and continues circulating across the country. If you’re not in an area where you can see it in person, or if you’ve seen it and want to keep part of the experience with you, this is the book for you. Feel the arc of history and the struggle for civil rights through the art of this pivotal time, and gain more context for the time we are in. See more books by Black authors.
- Dimensions: 8.6-by-10.7-by-1.1 inches
- Cost: $32
5. Fabric of A Nation: American Quilt Stories
This new coffee table book features 120 full-color photographs that show a beautiful stitching together of American cultures. The quilts and the stories behind them have been created by Americans of Native, Latinx, African, Asian, and European ancestry and show how our stories intersect, contrast, and connect. For anyone who loves history, handcrafts, or moving human stories, this is a must-have, thoughtfully curated book. We think it’s a can’t-miss gift idea for grandmas.
- Dimensions: 10-by-10.7-by-1 inches
- Cost: $36
6. Humans of New York: Stories
A picture is worth a thousand words, and no one understands that more than photographer Brandon Stanton. Fans of his impactful blog will be delighted with this book that compiles the most compelling images and accompanying interviews of some of the most ordinary yet remarkable human beings. This is one of the best coffee table books out there. And don’t miss the best Amazon Prime gifts for everyone on your list.
- Dimensions: 7.4-by-1.3-by-9.2 inches
- Cost: $19
7. Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History
Latinx artists have often been overlooked in surveys of American photography. Elizabeth Ferrer shines a light on more than 80 Latinx photographers who have contributed to the art form and to documenting the history of the United States. Anyone who loves to learn about underrepresented artists and appreciates photojournalism and portrait photography will treasure this book.
- Dimensions: 8.8-by-7-by-0.9 inches
- Cost: $99
8. Bruce Springsteen: Live in the Heartland
There’s only one boss of rock ‘n’ roll. Bruce Springsteen has reigned supreme for close to five decades now. This black-and-white coffee table book features 256 pages of Springsteen images captured by famed photographer Janet Macoska from 1974 to 2016. Clarence Clemons, Steven Van Zandt, and, of course, those famous blue jeans all make an appearance.
- Dimensions: 9.85-by-1.08-by-12.12 inches
- Cost: $35
9. Activist: Portraits of Courage
This inspiring book is a must-have for the passionate activist. Black-and-white photographic portraits are paired with quotes and stories from activists ranging from singer Harry Belafonte to labor organizer Ai-jen Poo, from civil rights leader John Lewis to tennis player Billie Jean King. It’s a powerful reminder of how far we have come and a motivator to keep fighting for what is right.
- Dimensions: 6.7-by-1.4-by-9.8 inches
- Cost: $16
10. American Boys
This tenderly photographed book of portraits features individuals from the transmasculine community and shows how unique each person’s identity, journey, and story are. This book is not only beautiful, but it is also boundary expanding and helps reflect those who are too rarely given space to share their stories on the page.
- Dimensions: 8.2-by-10.2-by-0.8 inches
- Cost: $30
11. American Cowboys
Anouk Masson Krantz’s stunning black-and-white photos present an honest and intimate look at the American heartland. The grand vistas are as evocative as the portraits of weatherworn faces in this collection that’s edged by nostalgia.
- Dimensions: 11.35-by-1.53-by-13.68 inches
- Cost: $70
12. 200 Women: Who Will Change the Way You See the World
This is one of the most popular large coffee table books and is the perfect gift to empower and inspire young women. Lively portraits of prominent women from all walks of life are paired with their insight on personal growth, happiness, careers, and more. You’ll find wisdom here from celebrated novelists like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Isabel Allende, and Margaret Atwood, as well as renowned chef Alice Waters, Olympian Lydia Ko, and community organizer Dolores Huerta.
- Dimensions: 9.2-by-1.3-by-11.8 inches
- Cost: $27
13. Chinatown Pretty
This fun and joyful collection of photos celebrates aging with style. In these pages, you’ll read interviews with elderly Chinatown residents and see their eclectic style on glossy, full-color pages. This book is a balm, especially during a time when elders in Chinatown communities have endured attacks and economic hardship. Whether as a gift for a friend or yourself, this is one of the best coffee table books available.
- Dimensions: 7.4-by-9.3-by-0.9 inches
- Cost: $22
14. Great Maps: The World’s Masterpieces Explored and Explained
This Smithsonian book will give your home the sheen of a museum gift shop. From the gold-embossed cover to the two-page spreads throughout, this book is a pleasure to peruse. Its pages will take you on journeys across continents and centuries. For anyone who loves maps, data, visualization, and history, this will be a favorite among large coffee table books.
- Dimensions: 10.1-by-12-by-1 inches
- Cost: $17
15. Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond
Get a grand tour of the whole universe in one coffee table book. Space lovers will obsess over the spectacular images of the different planets and galaxies while also learning a thing or two.
- Dimensions: 9.3-by-12-by-1.1 inches
- Cost: $45
16. Massimo Listri: The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries
This is a wonderful collection of the most stunning libraries around the world. You’ll get a tour of public, private, educational, and monastic libraries with breathtaking architecture. It’s the best coffee table book to give the book lover in your life, but note that it is on the pricier side. Discover the most impressive library in your state.
- Dimensions: 12.5-by-18-by-3.1 inches
- Cost: $182
17. Inside North Korea
Readers get a sneak peek inside the world’s most secretive country in this intriguing photo collection. The Guardian journalist and photographer Oliver Wainwright documents the development of North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, and showcases how its lavish architecture embodies an idealism in stark contrast to the authoritarian regime.
- Dimensions: 8.5-by-11.1-by-1 inches
- Cost: $80
18. The Bucket List: 1,000 Adventures Big & Small
If you had endless resources and all the time in the world to make the ultimate bucket list, chances are that it would look exactly like this book. From swimming with dolphins in New Zealand to driving through clouds in Sri Lanka (yes, you read that correctly), the activities shown in this coffee table book will inspire anyone to go out on an adventure.
- Dimensions: 7.1-by-1.5-by-9 inches
- Cost: $21
Photographer Gray Malin is known for his spectacular aerial shots that inspire wanderlust in just about everyone. While reading this tome, you’ll be transported to the world’s best beaches in more than 20 cities across six continents.
- Dimensions: 13.2-by-10.1-by-0.7 inches
- Cost: $27
20. Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide
This book features both stunning photography and amazing facts contributed by 70 animal specialists. You’ll find something new and surprising every time you open it, and guests will love having the opportunity to browse the colorful, detailed images. Kids and adults alike will find their favorite animals in full color and will also get to learn about rare species few people have ever seen.
- Dimensions: 10.2-by-12-by-1.6 inches
- Cost: $26
21. Writers and Their Cats
The world’s most famous writers—Mark Twain, Alice Walker, and Haruki Murakami, to name just a few—have more than their talent with words in common. This coffee table book celebrates the special relationship they have with their cats, making it the perfect gift for the cat lover or writer in your life.
- Dimensions: 6.1-by-8.1-by-0.6 inches
- Cost: $9
22. Tom Ford
Tom Ford isn’t just a famous designer; he’s an icon in the fashion world. Take a look through his beautiful designs for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent from 1994 to 2004 in this ultra-chic catalog. This is a must-have designer coffee table book for the ultimate fashion lover. If you’re giving it as a gift, order the sequel too.
- Dimensions: 11.3-by-14.7-by-2.2 inches
- Cost: $85
23. Prabal Gurung
Incredibly lush and gorgeous, this heavy coffee table book chronicles the work of a fashion heavy hitter: Prabal Gurung. Gurung is known for inclusive fashion that empowers women and celebrates the strength in femininity. This popular coffee table book gives a look into his process, sketches, ethos, and work, and is perfect for any house that celebrates fashion, women, and beauty.
- Dimensions: 10.3-by-12.2-by-1.1 inches
- Cost: $46
24. Dream Design Live
This designer coffee table book is both aspirational and instructional. Interior decorator and author Paloma Contreras gives tips and guidance on how to dream your most harmonious and beautiful life into existence while also providing light-filled images featuring color palettes that will inspire you to transform your space.
- Dimensions: 8.6-by-10.1-by-0.9 inches
- Cost: $29
25. Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
Fans of color theory will absolutely love this coffee table book. It goes through the past hundred years of each color of the year—from pale gold to midnight navy—and explains how the shade influences trends, art, products, fashion, and every aspect of life.
- Dimensions: 9.26-by-0.94-by-11.25 inches
- Cost: $36
26. Andy Warhol: Polaroids XL
Andy Warhol is less known for his polaroids, but they are no less stunning than his most famous work. This collection showcases polaroid portraits of his infamous entourage and the most iconic people in pop culture, including Mick Jagger, Jack Nicholson, and Debbie Harry. It’s the coolest gift and one of the best coffee table books out there, guaranteed.
- Dimensions: 11-by-2.45-by-13.5 inches
- Cost: $170
27. Nopalito Cookbook
This award-winning cookbook from the head chef of San Francisco’s celebrated Nopalito restaurant is the perfect addition to a foodie’s table. The mouthwatering photography will brighten up your living room, and the 100 recipes will make your kitchen the most envied in the neighborhood.
- Dimensions: 8.2-by-10.2-by-1 inches
- Cost: $21
28. New Native Kitchen: Celebrating Modern Recipes of the American Indian
Learn about, celebrate, and taste Indigenous American foods with this beautifully illustrated and photographed cookbook. This is a brand-new one that you’ll want as soon as possible. Cowritten by Freddie Bitsoie (former executive chef at Mitsitam Native Foods Café at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian) and James Beard Award winner James O. Fraioli, and illustrated by the accomplished Gabriella Trujillo, this is a book to treasure and gift.
- Dimensions: 8-by-10 inches
- Cost: $40
Bavel is rich with photographs and illustrations of the most delicious-looking Middle Eastern cuisine. The book will take you from dips and spreads, like tahini and hummus, to main courses, like lamb chops, all the way through to desserts, like saffron-Meyer lemon bars. After leafing through this coffee table book, home cooks will be eager to get cooking, and foodie friends will be eager to eat.
- Dimensions: 7.9-by-10.8-by-1 inches
- Cost: $23
30. Sioux Chefs Indigenous Kitchen
Sean Sherman founded The Sioux Chef in 2014 to revitalize and reclaim Native American cuisine. In 2018, this important cookbook won the James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook. These recipes work in harmony with both the land and our bodies, creating healthier systems inside and out. That makes it the perfect book to have out on display every day.
- Dimensions: 7.1-by-10.1-by-0.9 inches
- Cost: $28
31. The Art of the Cheese Plate
This coffee table book is the perfect present for the ultimate host or hostess. It teaches you how to pair the right cheese with the right textures and flavors, making any cheese lover fall even more in love.
- Dimensions: 7.3-by-0.9-by-9.6 inches
- Cost: $17
32. The Drunken Botanist
Explore all the herbs, flowers, trees, fruits, and fungi that make our favorite booze and learn the fun history behind them too. You never know when these bits of knowledge will come in handy.
- Dimensions: 6.2-by-1.3-by-8 inches
- Cost: $14
For the sports fanatic in your life, this photo album features never-before-seen images of the revered boxer as he was rising to the top. Photographer Steve Schapiro spent five days in Louisville, Kentucky, with then 21-year-old Muhammad Ali and captured the man before he became an iconic figure in sports and American pop culture.
- Dimensions: 11.3-by-0.7-by-14.2 inches
- Cost: $30
34. Remembering Diana: A Life in Photographs
If the latest season of The Crown or upcoming Spencer film reawakened your interest in Princess Diana, here’s a coffee table book for you. Walk down memory lane by flipping through a hundred of Princess Diana’s most defining moments, with photos starting as early as her school days.
- Dimensions: 8.8-by-8.9-by-0.9 inches
- Cost: $23