There are a few essentials every stylish and sophisticated adult should have in their home. 

Among these is a coffee machine (for your espresso in the morning), bed sheets that don’t have cartoon figurines on them, and a set of knives that are very sharp and at best hail from Japan. 

The order and selection of these items was entirely sporadic, but you get the gist. 

Another essential item every adult who has it together should have in his or her home is a good repertoire of books. These can be placed in shelves or on your night stand, yet the kind of book we’re talking about today actually goes beyond literature or even reading. Nay, today, we want to talk about coffee table books. 

Coffee table books are a real marker of personality in many ways, and allow you to express yourself to anyone who visits your precious lair without even having to open your mouth. They differ in many ways to regular novels and pocket books in that they are often times not even read by their owners. They make great decorative elements. They make for a cool companion over a cup of coffee when you’re seeking inspiration. And they also happen to make for great gifts to other fellow power women and men, too. 

Granted, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but there’s no denying that we’re totally judging you by the books on your coffee table. Here, under our monthly theme entitled ‘Go Big & Go Home,’ we’ve put together a list of some of our favourites of the minute, no matter what you may be into — all available in Bangkok, all very, very impressive.

[Hero image credit: Gianmarco Boscaro/Unsplash]

1
You like fashion (and have a good sense of humour)

The World According to Karl: The Wit and Wisdom of Karl Lagerfeld

This is not a mainstream fashion book. This is a hilarious fashion book inspired by the stroke of genius that was the late Karl Largerfeld. In this book (THB 392), expect to read some of his wisest, wittiest, and often times downright shocking quotes.

Shop now
2
You want to have a wicked art collection some day

The Short Story of Modern Art

Reading this one will get you in with the art crowd, and will also provide for some neat dinner table conversation. The Short Story of Modern Art (THB 628) explains the how, why, and when of modern art — and why it matters. 

Shop now
3
You have a knack for hotels and are also a little bit hipster

The Monocle Guide to Hotels, Inns, and Hideaways

If we could deck out our entire homes with everything Monocle published, we would. In one of their latest books (THB 1209), you’ll find plenty of design and travel inspiration from top hotels, but also how to design or even run (!) your own. They called it “a must-have guide for the globally minded.”

Shop now
4
You’re into photography 

Steve McCurry: A Life in Pictures

Even if you’re a complete amateur, you’ve definitely seen some of Steve McCurry’s work. In A Life in Pictures (THB 2460), you’ll find the biggest volume of the famous photographer’s work published to date, bringing together all of his adventures across the globe. 

 

Shop now
5
You know your princess cut from your diamond cut

Fine Jewelry Couture: Contemporary Heirlooms

This one (THB 1673) is a beautiful one for inspiration. Featuring a collection of master jewellery designers from Australia to Brazil and India to Lebanon and beyond, each chapter tells the story of a different designer and how they work and sparkle. 

Shop now
6
You feel sad about Baselworld being cancelled this year

A Man & His Watch: Iconic Watches & Stories from the Men Who Wore Them

If you’re into watches, you’re going to absolutely love this one (THB 1215). And even if you aren’t, you’ll love the stories that accompany them. A true celebration of horology, see the stories of Paul Newman and the Rolex Daytona he didn’t take off until his death, or JFK’s Omega at the inauguration. You’ll learn about the watch Ralph Lauren purchased from Andy Warhol, and the first timepiece worn on Mount Everest. The list goes on…

Shop now
7
Funny animals give you life

Insta Grammar Cats

Are you the kind of person that giggles at cat photos on the internet all day? Consider this a hard copy of that. Featuring inspirational quotes alongside instagrammable cats, this one (THB 524) is a sure pick-me-up for any rainy day. Cat haters fret not: there’s also a dog version available. 

Shop now
8
Something for your home bar

The Essential Bar Book

We’ve already established that every home owner with style needs a home bar. But what use are all the spirits and glassware in the world if you don’t know what to do with them? A comprehensive guide for home bartenders, The Essential Bar Book (THB 540) features over 150 recipes, and the history for many a cocktail or spirit, too. “Does absinthe really cause insanity?” There’s only one way to find out.

Shop now
9
A splash of colour and romance

Patterns of India: A Journey through Colors, Textiles & the Vibrancy of Rajasthan

An oriental fairytale on every page, Patterns of India (THB 807) takes readers on a tour of Rajasthan, providing historical and cultural insight into every day life in the vibrant Indian state. 

Shop now
10
And COVID-19 is giving you serious wanderlust

The New York Times 36 Hours World: 150 Cities from Abu Dhabi to Zurich

Putting together the “creme de la creme” from the New York Times travel series, this special edition book (THB 1214) puts together 150 bite-sized travel itineraries for the world’s 150 most captivating cities. You probably shouldn’t be travelling at this time given the rise of this pandemic, but it’s always great inspo, and it’s always nice brain food. 

 

Shop now
Lisa Gries
Managing Editor, Bangkok
Lisa loves to travel, and is always on the lookout for the world’s best nap spots. She’s a serious Asian art history nerd, and has a knack for languages and coffee table books. She hopes to publish her own novels one day, one of which will likely be called ‘All The Great Conversations I Had In A Bangkok Speakeasy.’ It’s a work in progress.