The Best Coffee Table Books of 2006

OK. I know what you're all thinking. Two posts in one day? Well, that just means that I'm working (or not working) on my papers. I finished one, so now I'm working up motivation on the second. So far I've watched an episode of Friends, done a 3D model of my block in SketchUp and written this post. Next I'm writting the paper. Really.

Anyway, here is list two:

The Best Coffee Table Books of 2005-2006
There were some really great coffee table books over the past year if you are into maps. I'm expanding this list to take up about a year and a half of publishing.

Cities of the World: A History in Maps by Peter Whitfield
This is my favorite this year. It's got great historic maps of the worlds great cities, including Boston, Berlin, Saigon, Rome, ect. as well as some really cool old maps of pre-columbian Mexico City. Whitehead uses the different maps to explain the ways the cities have changed over time and how we've adapted them to modern life. Very, very cool.

The Cities Book: A Journey Through the Best Cities in the World by Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet let people vote on their favorite cities and then made a coffee table book with the results. The photographs are beautiful, plus it's fun to see how everything got rated and (since we're all list people out there) to come up with your own). My current top five (oh, my goodness it's a list within a list): Berlin, New York, Ho Chi Minh City, Montreal, Hong Kong.

Atlas Major by Peter van Krogt
This is Tachen's reprint of an atlas that was originally published in 1665. It was the top seller of the seventeenth century. It's a beautiful book and it's frankly astonishing how well mapped the world was even before GIS and Google Earth. According to Amazon it's $200, but I got my copy from Barnes and Noble as a bargain book for about $25. If you can find it, buy it.

My runners up in this catagory go the teNeues' :and guide (architecture and design) series and the travel edition of Phaidon's Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture. I find these pretty much indespensible when I travel. teNeues really needs to do a Montreal guide.


John 3:09 AM  

That first book sounds really interesting. BTW, do you know of any cool books about German, especially Berlin, city planning and/or architecture?

My uncle'd be interested in one for Christmas, so I was wondering if you knew of one that was cool.

Brother James 10:37 AM  

When I would be working on a paper or researching in the library at UVic I would go and read the Atlas Maior when I was bored. That is one freaking cool book. I WANT that book someday, but I think it costs something around 100 dollars. I love those old early modern depictions of what people in "the North" look like.

onetenchelsea 3:53 PM  

i got mine at b and n for about $25 you should look around.

john-there are some great books on Berlin, but i'm not at home right now and i can't remember the authors. I'll get back to you

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