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Though the weather is getting nice, families are still watching television indoors due to stay-at-home orders. Streaming popular drama, comedy and animated films may be a good way to connect — but connecting through the TV isn’t the only way to enjoy the shows you’ve come to love. Coffee table books can channel the same entertainment and cover your favorites like “Friends” — which is slated to relaunch as a reunion special this month. You can also find books based on series like “Harry Potter,” so you can enjoy the movies and books in a brand new way, adding a new dimension to your living room.
Whether you’re a Game of Thrones mega fan or a regular movie buff, there’s a coffee table book to suit you and your space. The glossy covers are bound to be conversation starters (when guests show up next) and the books are generally a great way to pass time when you’re sitting at home. Here are 10 informative coffee table books that hone in on movies, music and TV shows.
In this article
- Best coffee table books about movies
- Best coffee table books about music
- Best coffee table books about TV and live shows
Best coffee table books about movies
1. "Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They’re Good" by the editors of Rotten Tomatoes
The film critic website giant Rotten Tomatoes just put out a book packed with takes on some of the best — and worst (in a good way) — movies out there. The book includes collections of hit movies that were critically panned like "Hook," were ahead of their time like "The Cable Guy," defied the odds with pretty awesome sequels like "Scream 3," or quickly became cult classics like "Mars Attacks!" or "Wet Hot American Summer." It's also studded with critical essays and deep dives into more than a dozen movies, including infographics throughout on Rotten's trends and records.
2. "Movies (And Other Things)" by Shea Serrano and Arturo Torres
Shea Serrano promises to answer all the questions about the movie-verse you always had but never knew whom or how to ask. This book is a collection of 30 chapters or questions on movies from the ‘80s, ‘90’s 2000s and 2010s.
- “Who gets it the worst in 'Kill Bill?'”
- “Who’s in the Regina George circle of friends?”
- “Which movie death hurt you the most as an adult?”
Lots of art throughout the coffee table gem helps suck you into the author's headspace, like an image of horror monster Michael Myers … giving a press conference. John Leguizamo wrote the foreword, while Don Cheadle wrote the afterword.
3. "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" by the British Library
It’s been more than two decades since J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" first published. This coffee table book catalogues 150 of the artifacts on display in exhibitions set up to commemorate the film, and features extras like original artwork and manuscript drafts.
4. "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die" by Steven Jay Schneider and Ian Haydn Smith
In the newly updated edition (wherein "A Star is Born" is given a nod) of the bestseller, you’ll find a compilation of movie profiles written by international film critics. Including musicals, dramas, comedies, and action films, each is complete with must-know movie details and insider info — as well reasons to watch them.
Best coffee table books about music
5. "Rihanna" by Rihanna
The artist gives readers a peek into her private life with a collection of more than 1,000 stunning photographs, drawings, and collages. The book, ideal for any Rihanna fan, is thick and heavy — 504 pages — so expect to see and read things about the performer and designer that you never knew with a hefty weight to them.
6. "1000 Record Covers" by Michael Ochs
With eyes on the ‘60s and through the '90s, this coffee table tome is dedicated to showcasing record covers through the decades. Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, The Animals, and Heart are just some of the artists represented in the most current update of this book (originally written in 1998). Author Michael Ochs opines on how each cover represents the cultural trends, feelings, and angst of its time.
7. "Booze & Vinyl: A Spirited Guide to Music and Mixed Drinks" by André Darlington
Listening to records can sometimes be enhanced with a cocktail in hand, and this book shows you how to pair some of the most popular music with the right libation to set the mood. It features 70 albums (e.g. "License to Ill" and "Purple Rain"), organized by mood (e.g. dance, seduce), suggests party themes and offers up cocktail recipes based on the album’s mood or lyrics to best marry sound and sip.
Best coffee table books about TV and live shows
8. "The Photography of Game of Thrones" by Helen Sloan
The series may be over but this book features more than 400 pages displaying 850 on-set images of the cast and crew and photos of the many heroes and villains and stories from the revered show. Show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss pen the foreword. The thick, large-format book is ideal to round out a fan’s collection.
9. "Friends Forever: The One About the Episodes" by Gary Susman, Jeannine Dillon and Bryan Cairns
This 25th anniversary edition celebrates 10 seasons of the show Friends, which focus on the New Yorkian shenanigans of Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler and Joey. The illustrated guide takes readers on a journey through the show’s top 100 episodes and delivers insider-y info, like how catch-phrases got their start, the origins of exclusive photos, new interviews with the show’s creators and interactive pages detailing celebrity guest stars, Joey’s fake-vs-real resume and more.
10. "One Day at Disney: Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe" by Bruce Steele
Over the course of one day in 2019, photographers captured what goes on in the lives of 80 Disney cast members. These images are from Disney properties around the globe, including Tokyo, Paris, Costa Rica, and throughout the U.S. Disney super fans can take a peek into their lives as they get ready in their dressing rooms, work in their cubicle, are for animals onsite, share snippets of what it’s like to have their job, as well as more personal stories of their non-Disney lives.
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