Books in general are personal things and navigating the gift-giving forest to give one as a special gift can be tricky. You never know when the recipient has read it, isn't interested in the genre, or is too busy to get through the entire book.
This is why I love to give coffee table books. To start, they are almost always gorgeous (I've rarely seen a coffee table book on something visually unappealing) and there is almost always one perfect book for each person on your gift list, tailored to their personality. Below are a few favorites for each person on your gift list this year.
1. For fans of design, Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color by Leatrice Eiseman. Pantone colors are carefully matched into our pop culture history, spanning 100 years of design, advertising and fashion. List price: $40.
2. Vanity Fair's Proust Questionnaire: 101 Luminaries Ponder Love, Death, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life, edited by Graydon Carter. If you've never taken the Proust questionnaire, this is a great place to start. The book collects questionnaires by celebrities, politicians and icons from Salman Rushdie to Lauren Bacall. List price: $23.99
3. For your decorator friends! Modern Vintage Style by Emily Chalmers. Emily Chalmers, interiors stylist and owner of Caravan, gathers gorgeous pictures and insightful advice to add charm to your home with vintage flair. List price: $29.95
4. For your favorite gossip, A Lifetime of Secrets: A PostSecret Book by Frank Warren. This book contains the anonymous, artistic and decorated postcards showcasing secrets and confessions of all kinds sent to Warren for the past three years. Heartwarming at times, and revolting at others, this is a cover-to-cover read. List price: $28.99
5. The Polaroid Book , by Barbara Hitchcock and Steve Crist from Taschen. I have this book myself, and it is an addictive flipper for anyone who appreciates art, photography and the appeal of the nostalgic. From the private collection of the Polaroid company, see works by Ansel Adams, David Hockney and more. List price: $14.99
6. For all of your crafty pals, Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney. Browse beautiful homes, do-it-yourself projects and great design projects in this gorgeous hard-bound book. List price: $35
7. For all you Wes Anderson fans, Diving For Sunken Treasure by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Any Rushmore fan will appreciate Max Fischer's accessory for wooing Miss Cross. Prices vary (out of print).
8. Menagerie by Sharon Montrose. It won't be hard to find the perfect recipient for this one. Exquisite animal photographs by Sharon Montrose decorate the pages and define each animal's special characteristics delicately. This one comes signed! List price: $16.99
9. The New York Times Magazine Photographs, edited by Kathy Ryan. For friends who love current events, Ryan collects important photographs over the past 30 years into four sections: reportage, portraiture, style and conceptual photography, including photo illustration. List price: $75.
Images: as linked above.