David Godwin

From one coffee table book lover to another, it’s high time we spread the word about the best books for adorning our coffee tables. Not that I’m suggesting you should try to show off your cultural superiority or anything, but there’s no harm in appreciating good art.Note: Some of these books are quite pricey. But don’t worry you can come round and look at mine. (Or flick through them at a gallery bookshop, or even slum it at the UL if you’d prefer.)

James and Karla Murray - Gingko Press

NEW YORK NIGHTSNew York Nights won The New York City Book Award in 2012 and it’s easy to understand why. James and Karla Murray’s photographs of New York store fronts, restaurants and bars are brightly coloured, perfectly lit and pin sharp. Their style isn’t tarred by gimmicky effects or strange, disrupting angles.

Yale University Press

WRITINGS ON ART: MARK ROTHKOMany artists write about their work, but until Writings on Art was published, Mark Rothko’s views were largely unknown. Containing around 90 documents, including short essays, letters, statements and lectures, Writings on Art provides a detailed picture of Rothko’s thoughts that many never expected.

VANITY FAIR: FROM THE JAZZ AGE TO OUR AGEVanity Fair is famous for its world class writing and photography and this 384 page coffee table book is a testament to that. Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age is sure to be a hit with those interested in Vanity Fair’s history, since the book starts in 1913, the year the magazine was first founded.

Tate Publishing


Yale University Press

Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art paintings are some of the most famous artworks ever created. Lichtenstein: A Retrospective pulls together his most famous and lesser known pieces into one comprehensive volume. This book is definitely worth looking for if you missed the retrospective at the Tate Modern earlier this year.

For those wanting to engage critically with Edward Hopper’s work, you’ve got to look at Hopper Drawing. Following the fabulous 2013 Whitney exhibition which showcased over 200 of Hopper’s sketches, this book republishes his drafts, notes and musings alongside critical essays about Hopper’s life and work.

Thames and Hudson Ltd

If a contest were held for the best magazine ever created, LIFE magazine would surely be among the top contenders. Bill Eppridge, one of LIFE’s staff photographers, died at the beginning of this month. Take a look at his work in this book, which features many of the iconic moments of the 20th century.