I believe in making your home a reflection of yourself.
If that means merging your love for good country music, black walls, the 70’s, a pop of red and The Rolling Stones into one space, then I say go for it. Own it. Fly that freak flag, baby.
Sure, I might buy a little knick-knack home accessory because I just absolutely love it – it may not have any sort of relationship to those things I mentioned above or my family or anything else. I might just find it really pretty. And that’s ok too.
It’s even better when those things do have some sort of connection to what you and your family love.
Case in Point: My Favorite Coffee Table Books.
I love coffee table books.
I know that many people just buy them to look pretty and take up space, but I search out coffee table books that I actually want to read. Books that I will look at and oooooh and ahhhh at the pictures over and over again.
Those are, in my opinion, the best coffee table books.
Because yes, they do have pretty pictures. But they also have character. And good character wins everyday.
The Best Coffee Table Books
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Unforgettable Women of the Century
Unforgettable Women of the Century gives a nod to women in the past century who made their voices heard. Whether it was standing up for something they believed in or a touch on the scandalous side, they weren’t going out quietly. The Circus and I have sat down with this book a few times now and talked about how strong the women in this book are. Find the book here.
Art Coffee Table Books
The Art of Rock combines two of my loves – music and art. It has over 1,000 images relating to music including concert posters, photographs, tickets and more. Find it here.
Pop Art includes pieces of art popular mostly during the 1960’s. You’ll find works from Warhol here, who is a favorite of mine. Find the book here.
Fashion Coffee Table Books
Vogue: The Covers, is just that, the most popular, beautiful and influential covers from the magazine since it started. Find the book here.
Fifty Dresses that Changed the World pays honor to those unforgettable dresses we’ve seen in films, on celebrities, royals and more. It includes dresses from Cher, Jackie, of course Audrey and even one of my personal favorites – Princess Diana. Find the book here.
The Romantic Egoists
There are two great literary loves in my life – Fitzgerald and Bragg. While I’m still waiting for Rick Bragg to come out with a coffee table book, I’m not waiting on one about the Fitzgeralds. The Romantic Egoists details the lives of F. Scott and Zelda in pictures. Many of these images actually came from their own personal scrapbooks. Find the book here.
Places to Go, People to See
This Kate Spade coffee table book is definitely more mainstream and a popular home decor coffee table book, but even so, it’s still one of my favorites and filled with lots of character. There is gorgeous, vintage photography from all over the world in every kind of place imaginable. It’s also very witty, as all Kate Spade things are, and even provides playlists for your travels. Find the book here.
Studio 54 Coffee Table Books
Of course, I have to have a couple of Studio 54 coffee table books. After all, it was a source of inspiration for my living room. Both of these books include photos with commentary that perfectly showcase all the glam, chaos and once in a lifetime kind of place that Studio 54 was. You will catch peeks of celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Truman Capote and more, but you will also see people that were unique to Studio 54 like the golden couple and Divine. The Legend book is here and Fabulous! is here.
The Grand Ole Opry
And while I love Studio 54, my love of country music runs deeper. This book gives a history of the Opry from the beginning to now and has over 200 photographs to go along with it. Find the book here.
Talking Pictures is hilarious at times and sad at times. It’s a collection of photographs collected by the author over time that are accompanied by captions on the back that the original owner of the photograph once wrote. Some are heartbreaking and some are full of joy. Find the book here.
I will be the first to say that the cover of this book looks so ridiculously corny. However, what’s inside Seventies Glamour is a whole other story. It includes photos and short biographies of people from the era that helped to shape not only the fashion world, but also the decade in general. You’ll find Debbie Harry, David Bowie, Halston, Elton John, Diane Von Furstenburg and Jerry Hall, whose wardrobe from the 70’s and 80’s, I would gladly take off her hands. Find the book here.
Storyville, New Orleans
Another obsession of mine is New Orleans and everything that goes with it – including Storyville, the once red-light district in NOLA. The book is exactly what the cover says – “an authentic, illustrated account of the notorious red-light district.” Yes, there are pictures of some prostitutes, but they aren’t rated X. It includes photos of “houses of ill-repute” as well as the calling cards of some of the ladies and more. Find the book here.
Memos: The Vogue Years, Diana Vreeland
I first fell in love with Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor at Vogue for years, after watching a documentary about her. She is most definitely one who didn’t care to tell you like it is. Memos is a collection of some of her famed memos that she often used to communicate with her staff. Find the book here.
The Rolling Stones Coffee Table Books
Of course, this post would not be complete without an appearance from The Rolling Stones. The Rolling Stones 50 came out when, you guessed it, The Rolling Stones band turned 50. It includes previously unreleased photographs, outtakes and backstage shots. Find the book here.
Mick Jagger: The Photobook is one of my most favorite books I have. I found mine at a used books store and nearly did a cartwheel right there in the aisle I was so excited over it. It is obviously a photobook that covers Mick Jagger from his early years to the date of publication. Find the book here.
Shop the Books:
What are your favorite kinds of coffee table books? Leave me your favorite titles – I’m always on the hunt for more!
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*Affiliate links may be contained in this post. That just means if you click on one of those links and buy something, I may receive a small commission, but you won’t pay a dime more. Thanks for supporting my cheap beer habit and helping to send my kids to college.