Coffee table books are the books I love the most. Sitting with a delicious hot drink in my favourite cup, and flipping through a book is one of my favourite things to do in my free time. I love looking through them and being inspired, enticed, and intrigued. I like that I can flip them open at any page and there will be something interesting that I can sit and read without having to follow through with the entire thing.
One of my favourite books ever. In fact, when I got it I read it from cover to cover, although I still pick it up and flick through it on a regular basis. You can’t look through this and not be inspired to #livecolorfully.
A small book, but full of wonderful illustrations drawing lines of similarity and difference between the two cities (both of which I am kind-of-totally-in-love-with). I like to day dream while going through this, and try and decide whether I would be a Parisian or a New Yorker, a lovely delight when you understand I live in the suburbs of a northern town. The author also has a blog.
Also with its origins from a blog, Shaun Usher has done some thorough research to collate some of the most interesting lists, and I’m sure glad he did. If you go in to book stores as much as I do, you’ll have been sure to have seen this one already. I continuously picked it up last year when we were doing our Christmas shopping, but it always seemed wrong to indulge whilst I was supposed to be looking for gifts for others. It is perhaps not that surprising then, that Daniel bought it for me, and I was so delighted. It’s one of those books where you can pick it up, read a page and put it down (but you might find yourself reluctant to do so).
I love cooking, and I’m always eager to improve. However, as with most people, I’m often unsure if I have even got the basics right. This book has quick tips you can use everyday to improve your cooking knowledge and skills. It’s another small one, so great for keeping out, and would make a great gift for any foodie you might know. Personally, I had it on my Amazon wishlist, which Santa duly noted and it arrived under the Christmas tree.
The biggest book by far on this list, this culinary encyclopaedia provides (almost) exhaustive information for anything you might want to know about food and cooking. It has references to great chefs, foods and contains many concise recipes. The amount of information in this book is incredible, and the 2008 version I have has been updated and edited from the original that was published in 1938. I also love the black and copper industrial design of the cover and slip. It’s totally worth the investment.