Why you need a Coffee Table Book
Give your guests something better to do than check social media the next time they stop by for a bit. Ideally, you can provide them with some culture as well or introduce them to a topic that you find interesting, or at the very least, something to converse about. Having a stack of a few might be a good idea as well, as your better friends are likely to flip through these more often, and a some options would be nice for your friends of friends.
The main purpose of coffee table books is to remain in your living room or sitting area to be flipped through by your guests. Maybe while they are just waiting for a few moments for you to collect your possessions or when more of your friends are over for drinks or some occasion. So it should be your responsibility as a proper host to provide them with something entertaining and visually appealing to look at. And not to mention a whole lot more interesting than your photo albums. Don't push for anything too existential or specific; you want something that can be appealing and appreciated by the highest amount of people, not the one that will show off how "sophisticated" or "deep" you are. They should be mostly visual, such as photograph collections, so that they don't require too much engagement to be entertaining.
This Issue's Recommendation
This collection is the largest available compilation of Ansel Adam's career work. It's organized chronologically into 5 different periods from 1916 to the 1960s.
The quality of the photos will appeal to all your guests, especially the ones who actually have some knowledge of photography, and keep them entertained for its entirety. Most of these powerful images seem still or quiet, and this reinforces their message. The solemn pictures of the natural world will give you even more respect for mother nature than you hopefully already had. And if you didn't have any, then hopefully this book will give you a newfound respect for the natural world.
Hardcover and paperback options, and they're both about 8 by 10 inches. Not the largest, but definitely large enough for the majority of these pictures. Between the introduction and the descriptive essays included with some of the photographs, you'll learn plenty about his life, how his technique and skill progressed over time, and his vision. As it says in the title, it's 400 total pictures. There are also plenty of other Ansel Adams compilation coffee table books out there for you to peruse. So if this one doesn't float your boat, you should check out a couple of the others.
We'll be back with another recommendation before June! Comment and list your own favorite coffee table books below.