TABLE TURNERS Coffee table books worth a look this holiday gift season
“Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop” (Clarkson-Potter, $40) by Vikki Tobak: Hip-hop photographers share their contact sheets, paired with interviews and essays. Spans nearly 40 years. Also plenty of performance and audience imagery. There’s Fab 5 Freddy at a White Castle in the Bronx, 1982. Jump to 1993 for a never-beforeseen photo of Tupac and Nas at a Club Amazon party in Manhattan and to 2012 Atlanta for Gucci Mane on the set of the “Shooters” video.
“Hindsight & All the Things I Can’t See in Front of Me” (Harper Design, $40) by Justin Timberlake. The pop star writes: “You have to dare to suck.” He revels in his years on “Saturday Night Live” and his bromance with Jimmy Fallon. Of early ‘N Sync: “We had a lot of fun, and we really cared about what we were doing. We wanted to be good at it.”
“Vivian Maier: The Color Work” (Harper Design, $80) by Colin Westerbeck. Remember the Chicago mystery nanny whose cache of 150,000 prints, negatives, transparencies and rolls of undeveloped film were discovered at auction after her death? Her name was Vivian Maier, and this book brings her meandering to life in color. One self-portrait says it all with a sliver of her face reflected in a hand mirror that rests on a bunch of yellow flowers on street brick, from 1975.
“Literary Chickens” (Abbeville Press, $35) by Beth Moon. The New York photographer pairs 52 gorgeous black-and-white portraits of heritagebreed chickens with literary excerpts. Seriously. Consider the Silver Phoenix female paired with this from Virginia Woolf ’s “Night and Day”: “I’ve done my best to see you as you are, without any of this damned romantic nonsense.”
“Trees: Between Earth and Heaven” (Earth Aware Editions, $75) by Art Wolfe and Gregory McNamee. Wolfe is a landscape photographer who has worked on every continent. He puts us up close with a leopard lounging in a thorn tree in Botswana and shares the colorful giant sequoias of California.
“City of Angels: House and Gardens of Los Angeles” (The Vendom Press, $75) by Jennifer Ash Rudick and Firooz Zahedi. Drool-worthy and eclectic, these are interiors and outdoor spaces of film producers, directors, artists, photographers and musicians. The 25 houses, bungalows, studios and compounds include homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Rudolph Schindler and Oliver Furth.
“From the Earth: World’s Great, Rare and Almost Forgotten Vegetables” (Hardie Grant Books, $60) by Peter Gilmore. The Australian chef selects 50 heirloom vegetables and plants, delving into the history of both common varieties and rare or nearly extinct ones and offering recipes.
“Tony Duquette’s Dawndridge” (Abrams, $75) by Hutton Wilkinson. Wilkinson bought designer Duquette’s Beverly Hills home after Duquette’s death in 1999, chronicling its expansion from a tiny box house into an expansive estate still filled with items picked by and created by Duquette and his wife Elizabeth.
“Food & Drink Infographics: A Visual Guide to Culinary Pleasures” (Taschen, $70) by Simone Klabin, edited by Julius Wiedermann. Butchery in France, the principles of molecular gastronomy, the health benefits of sweet cherries and everything you need to know about chewing gum, all represented in fun visuals.
“Pantone Foodmood” (Guido Tommasi Publishing/ACC Distribution, $50) edited by Guido Tommasi. Drawing inspiration from the color experts at Pantone, these dishes urge home cooks to create with their eyes. Recipes are organized by color and characterized by mood.