Even people without coffee tables enjoy coffee table books as gifts, especially if they’re thoughtfully chosen rather than hastily snatched from a store shelf at the last minute.
The holidays bring fresh choices every year among large-format, photo-driven books. A sampler among new releases:
“Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends,” by Pippa Middleton. From Christmas crafts to putting on a traditional afternoon tea, the younger sister of Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge covers a lot of ground. Lots of party recipes, including nutella madeleines and a hazelnut roulade. Tips on how to plan for the holidays and preparing ahead.
“The Things That Matter,” by Nate Berkus. Text-heavy look at the home design guru’s influences and some of his favorite things. There’s a shoutout for sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer and the radio show he listened to as a youth that “gave everyone respect, acceptance, and permission to be exactly who they were.”
“Come In, We’re Closed,” by Christine Carroll and Jody Eddy, with foreword by Ferran Adria. How do the world’s best restaurants feed their staffs? Contains recipes fit for many based on the good eats for the “families” of a variety around the country. Includes staff meals from wd-50 in New York, Ad Hoc, in Yountville, Calif., Cochon in New Orleans and Mugaritz in Spain.
Fashion and style
“Vogue: The Editor’s Eye”features interviews with eight of the magazine’s stylists through time. Celebrity portraits and behind-the-scenes candids by the fashion industry’s top photographers, including Irving Penn, Mario Testino, Richard Avedon and Annie Leibovitz.
“Icons,” stunning up-close photography by Markus and Indrani of Kate Winslet and Kanye West, along with more stagey and dramatic commercial jobs featuring the duo’s A-list clientele, from album covers to magazine work.
“Tim Walker: Story Teller,” with the photographer turning fashion into fairy tales. Singer Kate Bush wrote a foreword and Walker includes personal observations of the full-page, color-saturated shoots. There’s Tim Burton as a skanky Santa and model Xiao Wen with a huge insect on her open mouth.
Film and TV
“Bond on Bond,” the Roger Moore years, by Roger Moore. Lots of trivia in text spanning all 50 years of 007, not just Moore’s stint. His recollections are cheeky and well informed. He includes snapshots of famous pals who showed up on set, details gadgetry and includes a great color beefcake shot of Daniel Craig, shirt off.
“Steven Spielberg: A Retrospective,” featuring text with the director and film critic Richard Schickel in conversation as Spielberg looks back on the last 40 years. Chapters are chronological by movie. Photos heavy on film stills.
“All the Bits: Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” by Luke Dempsey. A colorful doorstop of a book offering complete scripts for every one of the show’s 45 episodes, with marginalia and fun graphic details.
Photographers and illustrators
“Capturing Camelot,” by Kitty Kelley. Features intimate images of John F. Kennedy by Kelley’s close friend, photojournalist Stanley Tretick, known for incredible access to the president and his family. Scenes from ticker tape parades to John Jr. running for Marine One. Lots of Jackie.
“Ralph Steadman’s Extinct Boids,” with commentary from Ceri Levy. Levy, a filmmaker, asked the cartoonist best known for his work with Hunter S. Thompson to produce one painting for an art exhibition on birds. Steadman didn’t stop there, documenting in beautiful color 100 birds in all. His full-size paintings are punctuated by humorous emails and phone conversations between the two.
“Mad’s Greatest Artists: Mort Drucker, Five Decades of His Finest Work.” A collection of movie and TV satire plucked in comic-strip format from the pages of the magazine. George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and others among Drucker’s targets wrote notes of appreciation.
“The Rolling Stones: 50,” by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood. In celebration of the band’s 50th anniversary, stark commentary from the Stones themselves to go with tour photos, candids and close-ups.
“Green Day: The Ultimate Unauthorized History,” by Alan di Perna. The rock journalist includes concert visuals, posters and memorabilia such as backstage passes in this retrospective spanning the band’s 25 years. Out Dec. 16.