The world of coffee-table books is a big one, with a lot of different choices. So our writers and editors came up with a list of the best and most giftable publications of the year just in time for the holiday season. We have gifts for every person on your list, from the mom who likes to look at birds in her free time, the dad who loves 90s hip-hop, the sister who just moved in, the best friend that likes to cook, and even the teen girl who thinks she’s too cool for school. We have gifts for every person on your list. This year, we’ve broken down the books into different categories; use the links below to get around. Then, don’t forget to look at the rest of our holiday gift guides as well!
There and Back: Photographs from the Edge
Besides being the director of Free Solo, Jimmy Chin is also an expert climber and mountaineer in his own right. This is Chin’s first book. He has made the first ascents of the Ennedi Desert (Chad) and Queen Maud Land (Antarctica), climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan in one day (fifteen times), and even skied down Mount Everest. In this case, Maxine Builder says that.
African surf culture is shown in this book, which was put together by a South African surf company called Mami Wata. Beautiful full-bleed images, essays by some of Africa’s most prolific thinkers and writers, and stories about the continent’s best surfers and skater are all in this book. It also includes profiles of some of the best surfers and skaters in the world. The book also does good: 100% of the money from the book goes to two African surf therapy groups. ‘Tembe Denton-Hurst’ says that
Big Wave Surfer: The Greatest Rides of Our Lives
A Hawaiian-born surfer called Kai Lenny wrote this ode to big-wave surfing. If racing down a 70-foot wave off the coast of Portugal sounds like a dream come true, you’ll love this poem. Lenny tells stories and shows jaw-dropping photos from his own adventures, including the time he rode that huge wave in Nazaré. He also shares the stories and photos of 30 other big-wave surfers who have ridden waves all over the world, from Jaws in Maui to Teahupoo in Tahiti. —M.B.
Match Point: Tennis by Martin Parr
Martin Parr is a British photographer who has been taking pictures of Grand Slam tennis tournaments from Wimbledon and the US Open since 2014. He has been given backstage access to the tournaments. There are now 85 of his favorite photos in this new book. They show players, crazy fans, and more.
The Joy of Basketball: An Encyclopedia of the Modern Game
It has talked about espresso martinis and Mayor-elect Eric Adams in some of the recent episodes of the basketball podcast Cookies Hoops. It also talked about Ben Simmons’s fight with the Sixers and why the Boston Celtics are having a bad season. If you want to learn a lot about basketball from the podcast’s co-hosts Ben Detrick and Andrew Kuo, read The Joy of Basketball. The entries in the encyclopedia range from “Africa” and “Barkley, Charles” to “Knicks 4 Life” and “Snitching.” There are also brightly colored charts, like a matrix that shows “The Kardashian Blessing Through Those Who’ve Dated Them.” —M.B.
If you didn’t get enough of Juergen Teller’s weird photoshoot of actor Steven Yeun and other celebrities for W magazine, you’ll love his new book of photos. It includes never-before-seen outtakes from iconic shoots with Cindy Sherman, Marc Jacobs, Victoria Beckham, and more, as well as a lot of new photos. An anecdote and comment from the master appear in the 608-page book, which covers 30 years of work. There is a person named Lauren Ro.
It’s been a big part of Gillian Laub’s work to document conflict, from the Second Intifada to the South. But in 2016, she turned her attention to her own family, as her parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew all became big supporters of Trump. Family Matters is the result. It’s an intimate look at Laub’s close-knit family over the past 20 years, even as Laub has to deal with their different political views. —M.B.
Slim Aarons: Style
There is no surprise that there is a book about style because Slim Aarons is known for his glamorous photos. Photos of fashion designers like Oscar de la Renta, Emilio Pucci, Mary McFadden, and Lilly Pulitzer are shown in the book, as well as never-before-seen photos and insights from fashion historians. In this case, Arielle Avila says that.
Annie Leibovitiz: Wonderland
If you missed Fashion Week, here’s an anthology of fashion images from Annie Leibovitz, with an introduction by Anna Wintour, for the person who did not. The book has 350 images from her work with Vogue, many of which have never been seen before. It features everyone from RuPaul to Rihanna. —Dominique Pariso said that.
A look at how artists have used the Polaroid camera for more than 50 years as a tool to make art. The photo book includes both modern and historical images, like works by David Hockney and Andy Warhol’s Polaroid portraits of famous people like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Debbie Harry. The book’s pages are edged in shiny silver that looks like film packaging. The author of this post is Erin Schwartz.
Cook This Book: Techniques That Teach and Recipes to Repeat: A Cookbook
For simple recipes, this is a good book to start with. It has recipes for pastrami roast chicken, chorizo and chickpea carbonara, and more. It’s all thanks to Molly Baz, a former Bon Appétite who has her own twist on Caesar salad called Cae Sal. The cookbook isn’t just about the recipes in it. There are QR codes all over the book that you can scan to see videos of Baz doing more complicated techniques. The name of Ambar Pardilla is
Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora
Black Food, a book by Sarah Ladipo Manyikanda, Zoe Adjonyoh, and Lazarus Lynch, shows how African food traditions are mixed with issues of gender, race, religion, and spirituality in a beautiful way. In the book, you’ll find recipes for dishes like cassava cakes and plantain crisps that are both tasty and thought-out, making it a good choice for both kitchen shelves and coffee tables.