Coffee-table books aren't just there to look pretty and give a good impression of your reading choices. A good coffee-table book is one that initiates conversation, intrigues anyone who picks it up and eventually leaves an impact much faster than a standard read. An enjoyable aspect of any unique coffee-table book is that they rely heavily on visuals. Still, there needs to be substance and depth in the theme of the book that eventually occupies prominent space in a room, and encourages a reader to explore its pages, out of curiosity, if nothing more.
There are many books about famous chefs, but very few can claim to be as vibrant and exclusive as In the Kitchen with Alain Passard. Well, there's also Lucy Knisley's brilliant book Relish, if you are interested. Through his illustrations, Christophe Blain brings to life the time he spent with one of the most celebrated chefs of our lifetime, Alain Passard. Dotted with the occasional recipe, the book is less about cooking food and has more to do with the passion that Passard holds towards this tasteful art form. As a graphic novel, the book works on several different levels. It undoubtedly looks good on a table in the living room but is also helpful in the kitchen as the recipes come with their own set of illustrations. Most impressively, the sketches have an alluring appeal to them that allow readers to immerse themselves into the craziness of a creative mind while enjoying a walk through Passard's kitchen at his three-starred Michelin restaurant L'Arpège.
Wild Animals of the North is the kind of book that pulls the reader in with its enchanting cover and keeps them occupied till the last page. It is quite simply amongst the most beautiful coffee-table books you will ever come across. Consisting of short facts about animals such as the Przewalski horse, the red panda, and the barn owl, Wild Animals of the North is packed with mesmerizing illustrations by Dieter Braun. Braun uses sharp geometric cuts to bring alive these beautiful creatures of the wild that have a way of piercing through the reader's heart with their bright life-like magical eyes. The book is a captivating visual encyclopaedia that remains ingrained in mind for days to come. Also, an educational book for the kids, make sure you pick up Wild Animals of the South and Mountains of the World by the same author to complete the set.
One of the most breathtakingly gorgeous travel books in recent times, one that will make you throw away your old tattered atlas, Maps is a joyous homage to everything on our little planet called Earth. The 52 illustrations are a delight to explore and feature topographical hallmarks, exciting sights, and the local flora and fauna of regions far and wide. Maps not only stands out in a stack of books but, more importantly, it is a treasure trove of information that instigates fact sharing. A must for travel enthusiasts, Maps is an essential coffee-table book that just keeps on giving, every time you flip through it.
What might seem like a book for children is, in actuality, a modestly profound enlightening read. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse is both beautiful to look at and spiritually essential to read. Through his introspective and straightforward quotes and illustrations, Charlie Mackesy tells us to cherish what we have, face life with a smile, be okay with asking for help, and celebrate the people around us. On the coffee table, the book has a magical pull to it. Readers who look beyond its juvenile disposition will fall in love with the characters and the uplifting life lessons, eventually coming back to re-read it again and again, at different stages of their lives.