Books for My Non-Existent Coffee Table

9:05 am

I'm not at that point in my life yet where I have a trendy low coffee table strewn with books because space is pretty bloody crucial at the moment. I live in one room so giving myself something extra to trip over really isn't an option. That aside, I do have a rather wonderful collection of 'oversize' books on their own bookcase, available for perusing whenever my heart desires. I normally get a few for Christmas as they're not normally something I would buy myself and leave them around to read in small chunks. In some cases, there aren't really many words, as you'll see, so they can only really be defined as 'coffee table' books.

This is one I was given by my grandparents when they were having a clear out of their house as I couldn't bear to see it go anywhere else. I'm happy this is one that also comes with information about various artists and styles as I'm always interested to learn more about artistic movements and the people behind the creations. 

I received this beast of a book last Christmas and spent the whole day reading it (whilst watching, in total, four Star Trek films and having a long nap). The basis is pretty simple: the history of Batman's universe, told year-by-year, highlighting the pivotal issues, the introduction of famous characters, and relationships between varying arcs. It's everything I enjoy to read about, and it's been a really handy source for deciding which stories to read next.

Hyrule Historia - Patrick Thorpe.

My emotions when I finally found this translated into English. The Legend of Zelda series has pretty much been everything to me since my early teens, and I remember when this was first released in Japanese. Pretty much everybody I knew was itching to get their hands on a copy, and when I saw this in Forbidden Planet all of those years later, I knew I couldn't leave without it. It covers the history of the series, gives a provisional timeline for the events of all of the games (basically what everybody wanted confirmed for decades), shows beautiful concept illustrations, and ends with a manga introduction to the most recent game (at the time of publishing), Skyward Sword. Swoon.

Marvel Encyclopedia - Alastair Dougall.

Fairly self-explanatory. An encyclopedia of Marvel characters and some summaries of important comic events. This is another one that I can dip in an out of, and I'm absolutely in love with. The only problem with books like this is how quickly they can fall out of date, with the comics world changing drastically week-by-week.

Rankin Portraits - Rankin.

I can't remember how many years I've had this now, but it was my first foray into the photography of Rankin, and I've been following his pursuits ever since. I love his simple style and how he focuses on 'the person', rather than any fancy props or costumes. This is such a pleasing book to flick through when you're looking for some minimalism inspiration. 

Bond On Set: Filming Skyfall - Greg Williams.

This is one I picked up about a week after seeing Skyfall because I really wasn't ready to let it go. I could talk about that film all day, but it rekindled everything in me I ever felt towards the Bond films (in a post-Quantum world, that's very impressive), and that's as much depth as I'll go into today.  I found the cinematography of the film possibly my favourite aspect, so buying this was a non-negotiable for me.

Art of Vogue Covers 1909-1940 - William Packer.

Another book saved from the clear-out. It's fascinating to see what magazine covers used to look like, compared to the shiny photographs and barrage of tiny headlines shouting at you like we have today.

The Wes Anderson Collection - Matt Zoller Seitz and Wes Anderson.

Last, but certainly not least, is the latest addition to my coffee table book collection. This volume takes a behind-the-scenes look of all of Wes Anderson's movies (excluding Grand Budapest which came out after publication), including set design, props, scriptwriting, cinematography, costumes. For someone with such a distinct aesthetic style as Anderson, this gives a really interesting insight into how he comes to have all of these ideas.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have a coffee table book collection? Please leave a comment below telling me!

M x

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