Coffee table books might not be something you think to buy as gifts to give let alone buy for yourself. Whether they’re for gift giving or decorating, coffee table books are a great idea any way you pile them! Coffee table books are not meant to be tucked into book shelves and best strew about on any surface that draws a passerby’s attention. More than frivolous picture books, good coffee table books should be over sized hardcovers, capture your attention and be hard to put down. No matter the subject, it should have plenty of visuals to stimulate more than just your eyes. Coffee table books should be informative but not too wordy and bonus marks if they have an element of entertainment. Imagine throwing a dinner party and then serving after dinner drinks to your guests. A good selection of coffee table books can help get the conversation going. Recently I had a gathering and found my copy of Deepak Chopra’s Kama Sutra floating among the guests.
Another handy idea for buying coffee table books is to give them as gifts. For instance, you can pair up the book’s topic with the gift receiver’s hobbies. A few years back my brother started his own tradition of giving coffee table books as gifts and as a recipient I can appreciate the personal attention he gives to my particular interests.
So with these thoughts in mind I would like to suggest a few current coffee table books for you to peruse.

Life: The Classic Collection
Life Magazine

This collection of the 100 best Life Magazine images should conjure up memories from past eras. Like the old adage says, a picture is worth a thousand words. Do you recall the poster of the sailor kissing the nurse? This book contains plenty of recognizable photos and to sweeten the deal, they’ve also included 25 frame ready pop-out prints. This book is perfect for anyone who likes to take a trip down memory lane. I recommend you buy two copies, one to give and one to keep!

Legends of Rock: The Artists, Instruments, Myths and History of 50 Years of Youth Music
Ernesto Assante

This book displays a wonderful montage of pop culture music icons and influences spanning the past fifty years. Like a catchy chorus that you can’t get out of your head this book will be hard to put down. Whether candid or posed, the photos of music idols, album covers and rock memorabilia will surely drum up some of your own memories and tunes. Definitely a choice for the rock music buff but be warned this heavy hitter hogs the coffee table!

O’s Big Book of Happiness: The Best of O, The Oprah Magazine, Wisdom, Wit, Advice, Interviews, and Inspiration
O, The Oprah Magazine

The third collection of Oprah’s successful Best of O, The Oprah Magazine Series. The title basically says it all! Based on the monthly O, The Oprah Magazine, the media maven has amassed a collection of her favourite 100+ articles. The topics deal with relationships, career, and health issues plus the life lessons from an esteemed list of writers, artists, politicians and entrepreneurs. If you enjoy all things Oprah or want to learn about women’s issues then this book is for you or for you to give to any lucky female.

One Hundred Greatest Canadian Sports Moments
James Bisson

Assisted by a panel of eighteen sports media personalities, sports Journalist James Bisson has listed and ranked a rich collection of 100 memorable sports moments in Canada. Bisson highlights 25 sports that showcase Canada’s diverse history in sports. The sports fan will no doubt gravitate toward this book and the list picks might draw some debate! No matter your sport preference, there’s something in this book for every proud Canadian.

Deepak Chopra Kama Sutra
Deepak Chopra

Spiritual guru Deepak Chopra gives his unique spiritual view of sex and sensuality. This book is a far departure from the instructional manual of kama sutra poses. Chopra gives the reader plenty of history and wisdom in his modern interpretation of the kama sutra, balancing the images of beautiful artwork. Far from pornographic, the sensual images wouldn’t make the average adult blush. There should be no concern about this book falling into the wrong hands but if need be then keep it on the bedroom nightstand!

Independent Spirit: Early Canadian Women Artists
A.K. Prakash

This concise collection of art showcases early Canadian women artists and celebrates both the trailblazers and the masters of their art. This book contains descriptive artist biographies, full page images of beautiful works of art and an annotated index of 564 Canadian female artists. This book is a must for collectors, scholars and anyone who has an appreciation for Canadian art.