Five finds: Dream coffee table books

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

One day, I will settle down long enough to own a small, finely-curated, selection of coffee table books. For now, here is a quick peek at some of the books I've been dreaming about.

book covers from the links below
  • 1/ This may be my favourite book of the year. Beautiful photos of people going about with their every day lives. But take care to talk to them, starting with a simple question, and we start to get to know them. How they got to live in the city, how their upbringing has formed the person that they are today, what their current worries and hopes are. I would like to recommend this to my parents.
  • 2/ Being in Europe is fantastic for travelling. There are heaps of low-cost airlines here, and trains and even sharing car rides are not very expensive. Let's face it, apart from money - for transport, accommodation and food, the other big factor is time (which is also money). This book outlines the top to-do lists for weekend trips around Europe. There are also books for the other continents, too. For your newly-wed best friends, for their multiple mini trips on their honeymoon.
  • 3/ Eating out is so easy, especially when one's travelling. But from time to time you do want to actually spend some time in your kitchen. I always dream of having more dinner parties at home. This book outlines the recipes you have tried on your travels. Those exotic tastes you still dream about from time to time, simplified so you can recreate with your average local ingredients. For my sister, as a silent hint to eat better quality things.
  • 4/ Coffee in France is difficult. Bordeaux does not have a Starbucks (yet), and yes, there are Nespresso machines in every apartment, but those 'good' slash 'hip' coffee shops that are popping up in Paris haven't descended down on us yet, either. Except this one place where I go every weekend. When you can't have good coffee every day, read about them. Even if you can have them every day - lucky you! - read about the history and evolution of how they came to be one of the most popular drinks worldwide. For my girlfriend with whom I like to pass my afternoons in coffee dates.
  • 5/ This last one is an interesting, unusual choice, but a fascinating one, I find. Criminals tattoo themselves to identify their beliefs and gangs. A former police officer collated information on these Soviet criminals in jails and this book tells us of their culture. For the teenage brother for whom gifts are the most hard to pick. 
If I can't have them, myself, I may give them away as presents. Hopefully you will like sifting through its pages as much as I'd like to. 

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About Life

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist -

About Food

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own -

About Dreams

“Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là.”
- Victor Hugo -