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Coffee tables are where you’ll find great books

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Come winter, we go into hibernation. The majority of our days are spent indoors where we can huddle around a warm heater or blazing fireplace. We find ourselves lounging around on the couch much more often, slippers on and tea in hand.

Coffee tables are the centrepiece of any lounge room. They’re where your remote lands, your tea cools and they’re where you’ll find some of your most interesting books. Instead of instantly reaching for the remote tonight, pick up a book that’s going to grab your attention with a combination of stunning imagery and great writing. This particular genre of book, known as ‘coffee table books’, are aimed at anyone who wants to flick through or do some light reading on just about any topic.

So what are the best coffee table books to add to your collection in 2013?

800 Views of Airports

This strange and quirky concept is a surprisingly interesting book. The 408 glossy pages are filled with the photography by Swiss duo, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, who have been taking snapshots of airports for over 25 years during their travels. Their strangely peaceful transit images juxtapose the usual busyness of an airport and make the whole place feel silent. This expectedly banal topic has been turned into a fascinating coffee table book. The most interesting aspect has to be the technological changes that you can clearly see have occurred in air travel over the last two and a half decades. Plane spotters and travellers alike will love this book.

Wine Grapes

This beautifully presented guide covers everything about wine that any grape juice enthusiast would ever want to know. Written by a trio of experts, Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Joes Vouillamoz, this book tells you all about the genetic side of grapes, the history of wine and gives you various vineyard descriptions among other things. And, of course, it includes lists of all the best wines to sample. This wine bible is an interesting read for wine lovers and a fantastic conversation starter for dinner parties.

Edible Selby

Todd Selby is a photographer by trade and his tasty book will take readers through some of the worlds’ most extraordinary and inspired kitchens, homes and gardens. This book has a comforting, homey feel and is full of pictures depicting the most creative figures working in the food industry today. The colourful photos are accompanied by profiles of world-famous chefs, who each include the recipe for one of their favourite dishes. This lively and bright book is for any cooking or food lover.

Photos that changed the world

This book is a compilation of the world’s most remarkable and moving images of events that have changed the world. Although it was released many years ago, Peter Stepan and Claus Biegert’s book continues to interest and inspire people through the iconic images it presents. Well-known photographers like Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange, as well as lesser known individuals who just happened to be in the right place, at the right time, have images which feature in this important collection. From the bombing of Pearl Harbour to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, this book will evoke emotions ranging from joy to hope to sorrow and heartbreak. This is a must-have coffee table book for people interested in history or news.

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