Coffee table books have been a big hit in 2021 on our 165K strong Facebook page. New Yorkers love buying and gifting coffee table books, and we are no different at NYL. We shared what we purchased and loved, and our followers valued our suggestions which led to many book sales. The interest encouraged us to focus on more book recommendations in 2022, both on our social media and The New Yorker Life.
Suggesting a product to a vast group of people is no easy task, though! We are responsible people, and we do not wish to contribute to climate change and pollution by marketing products of commercial greed. We also want you to feel that if NYL suggests it, it’s good! Discovering great items, making sure they are worth buying is our top priority. And in this post, you’ll find a recap of what our followers loved the most in 2021. If you’d like to be in the loop, please subscribe to our newsletter to receive occasional updates from us and follow our social media.
Best Coffee Table Books to Buy & Gift This Year
Barbershops of America by Rob Hammer
Barbershops of America is a photo book by Rob Hammer, a Los Angeles, California-based photographer and a contributor to The New Yorker Life. In his book, Hammer offers a unique look into the world of traditional barbershops throughout all 50 states of America, and he does it masterfully.
New York in Color 1952-1962 by Ernst Haas
Ernst Haas’ color works reveal the photographer’s remarkable genius and remind us on every page why we love New York. At the peak of his creation, Ernst Haas presented us with these beautiful images demonstrating his remarkable mastery of Kodachrome film and color printing. The depth and richness of color in these photographs are unmatched and they brim with lyricism and theatrical apprehension.
All the Buildings in New York: That I’ve Drawn So Far by James Gulliver Hancock
This book is a love letter to New York City, told through James Gulliver Hancock’s unique and charming drawings of the city’s diverse architectural styles and cityscape. In his illustrated book, James Gulliver Hancock shows us what we see walking down the streets of New York; the extraordinary, charming, breathtaking architecture of the city. Each drawing is highly detailed and simple at the same time. It becomes more alive as you closely examine the details.
prettycitynewyork: Discovering New York’s Beautiful Places by Slobhan Ferguson
New York City is known for many things: its urban, high-rise landscape, bustling atmosphere, and busy business and tourist spots. Pretty tree-lined avenues, cute shops, and serene getaways do not immediately come to mind for this cosmopolitan city, but they are there. Acclaimed Instagrammer Siobhan Ferguson, the author of prettycitylondon, now turns her discerning eye to the Big Apple itself.
Streets of New York from MENDO
Photographs of world-renowned New York landmarks and attractions like the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and World Trade Center Transportation Hub are interspersed with pictures of New York’s hidden treasures, tucked-away Manhattan charms, and lesser-known, but equally interesting New York City districts — all captured with present-day attention to detail and a wide-eyed love for the City that Never Sleeps.
New York in Bloom by Georgianna Lane
New York in Bloom leads you on a beautiful floral tour of the metropolis—past stylish floral studios and corner shops overflowing with fresh-cut blooms, through bustling flower markets, to blooming trees and lush public parks. For anyone who loves New York City, flowers, and photography, New York in Bloom is a gorgeous gift and essential addition to one’s library of fine books
New York: An Illustrated History by Ric Burns and James Sanders
More than 600 ravishing photographs and illustrations tell the remarkable 400-year-long story of the city from its beginning in 1624 up to the current moment. This landmark book traces the spectacular growth of New York from its initial settlement on the tip of Manhattan through the destruction wrought by the Revolutionary War to its rise as the nation’s premier commercial capital and industrial center and as a magnet for immigrant hopes and dreams in the 19th century to its standing as a beacon of modern culture in the 20th century and as a worldwide symbol of resilience in the 21st century.
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
Now an instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010 when photographer Brandon Stanton set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories.
Canines of New York by Heather Weston
A visual celebration, Canines of New York collects more than 300 photographers taken by acclaimed Brooklyn-based photographer Heather Weston throughout the five boroughs of this incredible, dog-loving city. Featuring pups in every part of the Big Apple, from iconic landmarks to their owners’ brownstone steps, this is the perfect gift for every dog lover.
Magnum Contact Sheets by Kristen Lubben
Available for the first time in an accessible paperback edition, this groundbreaking book presents a remarkable selection of contact sheets and ancillary material, revealing how the most celebrated Magnum photographers capture and edit the very best shots. Addressing key questions of photographic practice, the book illuminates the creative methods, strategies, and editing processes behind some of the world’s most iconic images.
How I Make Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz
The ‘Masters of Photography’ series is a new approach to photography how-to. Each volume is dedicated to the work of one key photographer who, through a series of bite-sized lessons and ideas, tells you everything you always wanted to know about their approach to taking photographs. From their influences, ideas, and experiences, to tech tips and best shots. The series begins with Joel Meyerowitz, who will teach you, among other essentials: how to use a camera to reclaim the streets as your own, why you need to watch the world always with a sense of possibility, how to set your subjects at ease, and the importance of being playful and of finding a lens that suits your personality.
Gordon Parks: The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957 from The Gordon Parks Foundation
The Atmosphere of Crime, 1957 includes an expansive selection of never-before-published photographs from Parks’ original reportage. Eight-page photo-essay “The Atmosphere of Crime” was noteworthy not only for its bold aesthetic sophistication but also for how it challenged stereotypes about criminality then pervasive in the mainstream media. They provided a richly hued, cinematic portrayal of a largely hidden world: that of violence, police work, and incarceration, seen with empathy and candor.
Masters of Street Photography by Rob Yarham
Masters of Street Photography explores the craft and creative secrets of 16 leading lights of the genre. Through probing Q&A style interviews, beautifully reproduced images, captions telling the story of each picture, and detailed technical information, the reader is given an insight into the photographers’ working practices, from their career paths and inspirations to the equipment, techniques, tropes, and tricks they employ to create their breathtaking and visionary works. The result is a book that combines visual inspiration with tried and tested “street smart” advice from leading professionals, providing everything the aspiring street photographer needs to create their own distinctive urban portfolio.