Best Coffee Table Books

A coffee table book is a hardcover book that is intended to sit on a coffee table or similar surface in an area where guests sit and are entertained, thus inspiring conversation or alleviating boredom. They tend to be oversized and of heavy construction, since there is no pressing need for portability. Subject matter is generally confined to non-fiction, and is usually visually-oriented. Pages consist mainly of photographs and illustrations, accompanied by captions and small blocks of text, as opposed to long prose. Since they are aimed at anyone who might pick the book up for a light read, the analysis inside is often more basic and with less jargon than other books on the subject. Because of this, the term "coffee table book" can be used pejoratively to indicate a superficial approach to the subject.

David R. Brower is sometimes credited with inventing the "modern coffee table book". While serving as executive director of the Sierra Club, he had the idea for a series of books that combined nature photography and writings on nature, with, as he put it, "a page size big enough to carry a given image’s dynamic. The eye must be required to move about within the boundaries of the image, not encompass it all in one glance." The first such book, "This is the American Earth", with photographs by Ansel Adams and others and text by Nancy Newhall, was published in 1960; the series became known as the "Exhibit Format" series, with 20 titles eventually published.
1

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2

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3.83 avg rating — 135,042 ratings
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3

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4.86 avg rating — 21 ratings
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4.34 avg rating — 1,719 ratings
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5

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4.20 avg rating — 910 ratings
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5

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4.29 avg rating — 1,291 ratings
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7

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4.02 avg rating — 29,206 ratings
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8

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4.28 avg rating — 152 ratings
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9

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4.65 avg rating — 26 ratings
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10

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4.06 avg rating — 961 ratings
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11

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4.28 avg rating — 6,093 ratings
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12

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4.17 avg rating — 523 ratings
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13

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4.26 avg rating — 2,828 ratings
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14

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4.43 avg rating — 171 ratings
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15

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3.85 avg rating — 61 ratings
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16

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4.53 avg rating — 122 ratings
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17

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4.90 avg rating — 31 ratings
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18

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4.42 avg rating — 1,025 ratings
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19

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4.27 avg rating — 132 ratings
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20

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4.64 avg rating — 266 ratings
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21

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4.58 avg rating — 40 ratings
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22

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4.36 avg rating — 39 ratings
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23

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4.26 avg rating — 25,382 ratings
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24

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3.34 avg rating — 237 ratings
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25

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4.16 avg rating — 19 ratings
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26

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4.44 avg rating — 9 ratings
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27

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3.52 avg rating — 132 ratings
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27

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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29

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4.33 avg rating — 15 ratings
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29

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4.60 avg rating — 32,909 ratings
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31

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3.49 avg rating — 49 ratings
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31

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4.27 avg rating — 161 ratings
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33

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4.58 avg rating — 238 ratings
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34

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 2,349 ratings
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35

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4.64 avg rating — 99 ratings
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35

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4.55 avg rating — 1,203 ratings
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37

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4.08 avg rating — 2,965 ratings
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38

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3.80 avg rating — 95 ratings
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39

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4.51 avg rating — 846 ratings
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40

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4.24 avg rating — 1,823 ratings
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41

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4.62 avg rating — 438 ratings
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42

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3.90 avg rating — 273 ratings
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42

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4.47 avg rating — 150 ratings
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44

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4.54 avg rating — 120 ratings
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45

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4.43 avg rating — 47 ratings
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46

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4.55 avg rating — 243 ratings
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47

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4.89 avg rating — 64 ratings
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47

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4.48 avg rating — 113 ratings
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47

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4.19 avg rating — 79 ratings
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47

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4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
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47

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4.30 avg rating — 27 ratings
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47

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4.31 avg rating — 13 ratings
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47

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4.04 avg rating — 52 ratings
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47

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 8 ratings
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55

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4.71 avg rating — 17 ratings
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55

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4.67 avg rating — 6 ratings
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55

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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58

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2.78 avg rating — 9 ratings
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58

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4.42 avg rating — 127 ratings
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58

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4.32 avg rating — 696 ratings
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61

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4.33 avg rating — 6 ratings
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61

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4.30 avg rating — 10 ratings
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61

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4.11 avg rating — 760,675 ratings
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64

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4.53 avg rating — 66 ratings
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64

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4.15 avg rating — 159 ratings
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64

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4.12 avg rating — 2,325 ratings
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64

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3.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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64

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4.45 avg rating — 53 ratings
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69

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 5 ratings
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69

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4.45 avg rating — 51 ratings
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69

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4.42 avg rating — 849 ratings
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69

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4.22 avg rating — 46 ratings
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73

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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73

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4.59 avg rating — 46 ratings
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73

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4.53 avg rating — 3,357 ratings
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76

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4.13 avg rating — 377 ratings
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76

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4.51 avg rating — 2,936 ratings
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76

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4.29 avg rating — 189 ratings
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79

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4.30 avg rating — 120 ratings
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80

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4.39 avg rating — 135 ratings
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80

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3.82 avg rating — 425 ratings
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80

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3.22 avg rating — 87 ratings
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83

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3.54 avg rating — 28 ratings
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84

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4.47 avg rating — 2,540 ratings
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85

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4.54 avg rating — 160 ratings
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85

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4.13 avg rating — 180 ratings
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87

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4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
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87

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4.55 avg rating — 307 ratings
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89

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4.36 avg rating — 212 ratings
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90

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4.49 avg rating — 41 ratings
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90

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4.68 avg rating — 106 ratings
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90

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4.39 avg rating — 180 ratings
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93

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4.49 avg rating — 35 ratings
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93

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4.58 avg rating — 26 ratings
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95

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4.44 avg rating — 9 ratings
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96

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4.27 avg rating — 1,156 ratings
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96

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4.18 avg rating — 152 ratings
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96

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4.23 avg rating — 13 ratings
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99

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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100

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4.24 avg rating — 216 ratings
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Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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message 1: by Regina (new)

Regina Long Very good coffee table books are:
'Coffee Table Poetry: Experiencing the Power of Poetic Literature'
'Teaching In Elementary Schools: The Real Deal'
''Poetry from the Heart'
All of these books were written by Retired Educator/Author Regina Long Southall
Go to:
http://outskirtspress.com/coffeetable...
http://outskirtspress.com/teachingine...
amazon.com
barnes&noble.com


message 2: by Booklovinglady (last edited Jul 17, 2016 02:48AM) (new)

Booklovinglady It always amazes me (and annoys me, te be honest) to see Gnomes (#11) as a book by Wil Huygen, because it is not. Yes, Will Huygen wrote the texts, but here in the Netherlands, where the book originated, it is first and foremost considered to be one of the Rien Poortvliet books. See also the book's entry in the Royal Dutch Library, where Rien Poortvliet is mentioned as the author and Will Huygen as contributor, as well as the Dutch publication, Leven en Werken van de Kabouter. The description of the Dutch edition cleary mentions that Rien's drawings are the main ingredient, with the 'scientific 'text written around them. Sorry, but I really had to get this of my chest... :-)

It's rather discouraging to see that for some editions Rien Poortvliet wasn't even mentioned (which I corrected) because there wouldn't even have been a book without Rien....

There is a museum dedicated to his work, by the way: Rien Poortvliet Museum. And absolutely gorgeous calendars with Rien's work are still being published every year.


message 3: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Conrad I like this list. Came across several must-reads for my own coffee table. Nothing like art that inspires while you're waiting somewhere. ;)


message 4: by Karen (new)

Karen German Coffee table books are my favorite. I love vivid images and quirky excerpts!


message 5: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Christopher wrote: "Hello, I'm author/photographer Christopher Conrad promoting my new book "Quotos" by offering free ebooks on Kindle for the next 3 days. Hurry before this $6.99 book goes back to full price...."

Do stop promoting your own book like this... It's annoying.


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