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Top 5 Coffee Table Books to Covet


Everyone loves paging through a good coffee table book, especially when the subject is unique and the pictures are beautiful. Here are five of our favourites about arts and culture, guaranteed to keep your guests occupied and have you in awe for hours...

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1. Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found - John Maloof

The story behind the discovery of the photos in this book makes them even more special and intriguing to look at. Vivian Maier was a nanny living in New York and Chicago in the 1950s and 1860s who spent her days off taking pictures on a Rolleiflex camera. She took more than 150 000 photos in her lifetime, but almost all of them remained stored away as negatives until after her death when they were bought by John Maloof at a storage auction. It turned out to be the purchase of a lifetime for the real estate agent, who has since spent his days acquiring and developing over 100 000 of her negatives. Vivian's story and her photos are now featured in a documentary film and in books like this one, and she has been posthumously recognised as one of the best American street photographers of the twentieth century.

VM

Available at Exclusive Books

 

2. Louis Vuitton City Bags: A Natural History - Jean-Claude Kaufmann

You don't have to be a lover of handbags or even an owner of one in order to know about the artistry and legacy of Louis Vuitton's signature product. Dating back to 1901, the company is renowned for making some of the world's most beautifully designed and sought-after handbags for women. This book is a retrospective of the incredible ranges of Louis Vuitton City Bags that have been produced, showcasing all of their various shapes, sizes, materials and colours. This 'behind the seams' exploration into the history of the bags along with the intricate drawings and glossy photos of them will give you a newfound appreciation for this timeless accessory.

louis-vuitton

Available at Takealot

 

3. Bicycle Portraits - Stan Engelbrecht & Nic Grobler

This trilogy of photographic books is the product of three years worth of travelling around South Africa, in which Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler photographed and interviewed over 500 bicycle commuters. Their aim was to understand why it is that so few people in our country use cycling as a mode of transport, as well as to celebrate the stories and personalities of those who do. Each volume contains two essays about bicycles, their writers ranging from totally unknown cycling enthusiasts to celebrated mountain biker Gary Fischer, and the notoriously reclusive novelist J. M. Coetzee. Each portrait is also accompanied by a stunning watercolour painting by artist Gabrielle Raaff, based on Google Maps to show the location of the photograph.

bicycle-portraits

Available at Bicycle Portraits

 

4. Information is Beautiful - David McCandless

David McCandless is a writer and designer who is passionate about turning every day information and statistics into stimulating and attractive visual representations. The creative infographics contained in this book are entirely unique in both style and subject, exploring topics like salaries vs. ethics, identifying would-be killers in astronomy and providing a decisive ranking of dog breeds. Even a quick flick through the colourful pages will have you embracing your inner nerd and get your brain is buzzing. This is a bestseller that will completely change the way you think about data, showing that even the most mundane of facts can be communicated in a playful and compelling way.

Information-is-Beautiful

Available at Exclusive Books

 

5. The Wes Anderson Collection - Matt Zoller Seitz

Wes Anderson has gained somewhat of a cult following in the past few years, with his signature symmetrical style and distinctive colour palettes giving an irresistible aesthetic quality to his movies. You may not know anything about the man himself, but you have probably seen or heard about at least one of his quirky films: Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr Fox and Moonrise Kingdom. This remarkable book explores these seven films in as much detail as their director and writer used to create them; long essays, behind-the-scenes photos, character illustrations, production sketches and interviews with Wes for each one weave together to magically recreate the spirit of his films on its pages.

WesAnderson_CaseSpotUV_5_24.indd

Available at Exclusive Books

 

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