Art & Culture

10 Books to Give as Gifts This Holiday Season

Dior, Rihanna, Queens... Here are 10 beautiful books to give as gifts this holiday season, for the pleasure of the eyes and mind.
Reading time 10 minutes

A beautiful book is forever. This is our selection of 10 beautiful books to give as gifts this holiday season. Or give as a gift to yourself.

Dior / Lindbergh ©Tachen

70 years of DIOR history set against the bustle of Times Square: this was Peter Lindbergh’s concept, extraordinary both in scope and dimension, for which the House allowed an unprecedented number of its most iconic garments to travel across the Atlantic. More than 80 archival models captured in strong images, including Alek Wek twirling Bar 1947, as well as models with a very "Lindbergh" beauty - Karen ElsonSaskia BrauwCarolyn MurphyAmber Valletta, or Sasha Pivovarova. In this two-volume compendium, the legendary photographer’s final book project, discover the shoot in never-before-published images, as well as a tribute to an electrifying partnership between two pillars of fashion

Peter LindberghMartin Harrison

Hardcover, two vols. in slipcase, 28 x 37 cm, 520 pages.

Rihanna ©Phaidon

Clear the coffee table! Rihanna invites you into her world with this stunning visual autobiography that comes with a limited edition stand created in collaboration with the artists The Haas Brothers. From her Barbados childhood to her worldwide tours, from iconic fashion moments to private time with friends and family, the book showcases intimate photographs of her life as an artist, performer, designer, and entrepreneur. Many of these images have never before been published.

This oversized limited edition has both a front and back cover. It is 504 pages with 1,050 color images on 3 paper stocks and 7 single- and double-page gatefolds, 9 bound-in booklets, 1 tip-in sheet, and a double-sided, removable poster. It includes a custom-designed black carton with a carrying handle.

"Queens: Alta Moda di Dolce & Gabbana" by Domenico Dolce ©Assouline

Domenico Dolce began photographing the most beautiful women of his Alta Moda two years ago. The result is a book that is a veritable gallery of extraordinarily iconic images. It was the photographer himself - designer, tailor, and friend to the subjects - who chose and prepared the clothes, accessories and jewellery for each of the ladies, transforming them into contemporary queens. And if the unique creations of Dolce&Gabbana Alta Moda (haute couture) and Alta Gioielleria (fine jewelry) have dressed and adorned the magnificent clients, Domenico Dolce’s photographs have crowned them sovereign. Set in sumptuous and opulently Baroque interiors, his compositions are not only a tribute to feminine beauty and charisma, but a revitalisation of the image of a sophisticated and timeless luxury.

Forty paintings by famous masters - from Bronzino to Vigée Le Brun, from Tiziano to Mengs - depicting the most fascinating princesses, empresses and noblewomen of the last five centuries heighten the impression of being immersed in a magnificent picture gallery, where the past lives on in the present and heralds the future. Each queen tells her own story, which together constitutes a unique and unforgettable dream.  

Queens: Alta Moda di Dolce & Gabbana is a spectacular 216 page monograph, that weighs ten pounds, and is so lavishly produced it's surprising the pages aren't dipped in gold.

Women: The National Geographic Image Collection ©The National Geographic

This powerful photography collection, drawn from the celebrated National Geographic archive, reveals the lives of women from around the globe, accompanied by revelatory new interviews and portraits of contemporary trailblazers including Oprah WinfreyJane Goodall, and Christiane Amanpour.

#MeToo. #GirlBoss. Time’s Up. From Silicon Valley to politics and beyond, women are reshaping our world. Now, in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, this bold and inspiring book from National Geographic mines 130 years of photography to showcase their past, their present, and their future. With 400+ stunning images from more than 50 countries, each page of this glorious book offers compelling testimony about what it means to be female, from historic suffragettes to the haunting, green-eyed “Afghan girl.” 
Organized around chapter themes like grit, love, and joy, the book features brand-new commentary from a wide swath of luminaries including Laura Bush, Gloria Allred, Roxane Gay, Melinda Gates, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and the founders of the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements. Each is accompanied by a bold new portrait, shot by acclaimed NG photographer Erika Larsen. The ultimate coffee table book, this iconic collection provides definitive proof that the future is female.

"All About Yves" by Catherine Ormen ©Laurence King Publishing

Yves Saint Laurent is one of the world's most famous designers, who's haute couture collections have deeply marked society and revolutionized the image of women. 'All About Yves" documents the life of this great designer, from his childhood, to the seminal moments of his career, up until his death in 2008.
This one-of-a-kind book includes unseen sketches and photographs of Saint Laurent's key collections, as well as fascinating removable documents that include handwritten letters, paper dolls, contact sheets, magazines, and invitations.
All About Yves was compiled in collaboration with the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent and is essential reading for those with a passion for YSL.

Ballerina Project by Dane Shitagi ©Chronicle Chroma

Created by New York City-based photographer Dane Shitagi over the span of eighteen years, Ballerina Project has become the most significant, unique, and creative photographic archive of renowned ballerinas in the world. 
A brilliant collection of photographs that encapsulate the delicate majesty of ballerinas around the worldWith over one million followers on Instagram, Ballerina Project has the largest network of fans in the world for ballet and has become an online phenomenon.
Featuring over 170 inspiring black and white and full-color photographs that beautifully capture the artistry, strength, and dedication of more than 50 accomplished ballerinas. These portraits of ballerinas are set in iconic locations across the globe including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, London, Rome, and Paris create a timeless backdrop for these remarkable portraits.
Introductions by renowned principal ballerinas Isabella Boylston and Francesca Hayward are included to provide a more exclusive reading experience.
Dane Shitagi is a New York City-based photographer who created the Instagram phenomenon @ballerinaproject_
This unique book is bound in pink satin cloth with gold foil stamping and a pink satin ribbon marker.

Enter the stunning world of the beloved Ballerina Project.

"Around the World in 80 Novels" by Henry Russel ©CICO Books

Whether you're a regular globe-trotter or an armchair traveler, these 80 works conjure up the spirit of place for locations on every continent.
Sometimes the setting of a novel is as important as the story—where would Dickens be without London, or Edith Wharton without New York? Who can read Tales of the City and not want to visit San Francisco, or enjoy Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and not wonder whether perhaps Botswana should be on your bucket list?

Covering every corner of the world, from North and South America to Europe, the Far East, Australia, Africa, and more, there are classics by famous authors, alongside works by new writers. Sometimes a native of the country is best able to convey its true nature, but then an outside observer can recreate the attraction of the unknown. Whether you have already decided on a destination and want to get a feel for the place, or you are just looking for ideas for your next getaway, Around the World in 80 Novels is full of inspirational reads that will fire your imagination and have you reaching for your suitcase.

"The Lives of Artists" by Calvin Tomkins ©Phaidon

The definitive collection of artist profiles by legendary journalist and New Yorker writer Calvin Tomkins, from the 1960s to today.

In 1959, Calvin Tomkins interviewed Marcel Duchamp for Newsweek, beginning his sixdecade- long career writing about art. He then joined The New Yorker, where he has contributed dozens of profiles on the most interesting artists of the time, from Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg to Cindy Sherman and Mark Bradford.

This six-volume set includes 82 of Tomkins's most significant profiles dating from 1962 to 2019. Part art history, part human interest, Tomkins offers insights and observations about the artists, their work, and the ever-changing art world they inhabit.

Flora Magnifica ©Thames&Hudson

Flora Magnifica: The Art of Flowers in Four Seasons by Makoto Azuma, Shunsuke Shiinoki is  not a reference work, nor it is simply a collection of beautiful flowers. It is the product of a longstanding collaboration between renowned flower artist Makoto Azuma and botanical photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki. Working together, they have selected hundreds of plant species and arranged them in striking combinations that could never exist in the natural world, so creating a unique floral aesthetic.
The result is a series of dense, luxuriant images, rich in colour and texture, in which nature and artifice are skilfully mingled. The four chapters are themed according to the cycle of the seasons: the freshness and new life of spring, the exuberance and abundance of summer, the fading grandeur of autumn and the deepening shadows of winter. Recalling the opulent still-life paintings of the 17th century, the photographs not only capture the surface beauty of the flowers, but suggest the burgeoning life brimming within them as well as its transience. From the sensuality of opening petals to the unfurling elegance of fern fronds, these gorgeous displays are vividly preserved in a meditative and inspirational book that will enchant all lovers of nature and art.

Silver Spoon Classic ©Phaidon

The Silver Spoon Classic is a luxurious collection of the best recipes from the world's leading Italian cookbook - with all new photography and design.

First published in 1950, Il Cucchiaio d'Argento, or its English-language offspring The Silver Spoon, is the ultimate compilation of traditional home-cooking Italian dishes. In this all-new luxurious book, The Silver Spoon Classic features 170 of the very best-of-the-best recipes from Italy's incredibly diverse regions. Carefully selected from Phaidon's Silver Spoon cookbooks, which have sold more than one million copies worldwide, this new collection features exquisite photography of the dishes, is replete with elegant double ribbons for easy reference, and a sumptuous design and package, which makes for an ideal gift or keepsake for the amateur and serious chef. With dishes for all tastes and seasons, The Silver Spoon Classic is the definitive guide to preparing the most important, authentic, and delicious Italian recipes.

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