Posted by Ivan Lim

We’ve all sat in waiting rooms – whether it’s for the doctor, the dentist, or the beginning of an important business meeting. And we all know the boredom, the search for distraction as the minutes tick by. Our eyes naturally comb the scattered lifestyle and gossip magazines littering the coffee table before us. But it is the bright, colourful National Geographic pictures that inevitably grab our attention.


When your coffee table is cleaned up and ready to serve you for the day ahead, it can look empty and barren without attention. Whether your guest is waiting for a business meeting or the cup of tea you’re brewing they will look for whatever entertainment your coffee table supplies – and that’s where your pick of coffee table books is so important.


Coffee table books say something about you, so you want to pick a quality, visually-engaging book that hints at your own interests and tastes. The best coffee table books offer attention-grabbing pictures deserving of admiration. But the truly supreme coffee table book also provides subject depth – something to provoke thought in your guests.


Coffee table books you can’t put down

The Hand Written Letter Project

Not all coffee table books need to focus on classical art or landscape photography. Craig Oldham’s The Hand Written Letter Project takes a unique approach to this book genre. It collects and publishes a compilation of hand-written letters and messages from some of the most revered designers and creative thinkers in the world today. Browsing through its pages, you’re reminded of just how personal handwriting can be, and how that intimacy is diminishing as the world is increasingly digitised.


Walking in the Light

 There’s a reason landscape photography is a favourite topic for coffee table books. Their subjects, simply put, are stunning. And if you’re an Australian business or simply a passionate patriot, it’s worth investing in a coffee table book that portrays some of the best landscapes in the country by one of Australia’s foremost photographers.


Walking in the Light displays 96 panoramic highlights taken almost exclusively from Ken Duncan’s limited edition prints. But if this coffee table book doesn’t catch your fancy, Ken Duncan offers plenty of other stunning series.


Humanity: A Celebration of Friendship, Family, Love & Laughter

What Ken Duncan is to landscape photographs, Humanity is for portraits. This book is a gallery of photographs from all corners of the world whose uniting focus is their celebration of humanity. This now-famous M.I.L.K collection (Moments of Intimacy, Laughter and Kinship) includes photographs from collaborators as varied as Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalists and enthusiastic amateurs.


As with Ken Duncan, M.I.L.K has several themed coffee table books, including Love: A Celebration of Humanity and Family: A Celebration of Humanity. But Humanity is the series’ crowning piece.


The Art of Looking Sideways

Even the cover of this book draws a smile. This reflective coffee table book by renowned designer Alan Fletcher is packed full of interesting curiosities, anecdotes and science on the workings of the eye, hand, brain and imagination. You’ll be echoing titbits of information you’ve learnt from this book for days afterwards.


And Every Single One Was Someone

This book may not be ideal for a bit of light reading. But it certainly won’t take anybody too long to flip through its pages: all 1,250 sheets are filled with just one word – ‘Jew’. In fact, there are six million repetitions of the word to memorialise each person killed during the Holocaust. If ever there were a thought-provoking book, this would be it.


The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture

If you’re looking at something to epitomise the achievements of human creativity and determination, The Phaidon Atlas is the ultimate resource. This coffee table book showcases over 1,000 of the most original and remarkable works of architecture around the world since 1998. And it’s not all glitzy structures as well: the Phaidon Atlas pays just as much attention to the humble abode as it does to an airport or embassy.



You’ll recognise the cover photograph as soon as you see it: the haunting eyes of the ‘Afghan Girl’ staring back at you. Portraits features the biggest collection of tantalising portraits by master photographer Steve McCurry. These images are raw, unstylised and provocative, highlighting humanity’s diversity. You won’t be able to look away.


A coffee table book to complement your new Brosa coffee table

At Brosa we think it’s important to choose coffee table books that reflect your interests and tastes. But don’t forget to make sure your books match the existing décor of your living room or office foyer – and most importantly, the style of your coffee table. If you’re looking for a stylish new coffee table, browse our high-quality collection of exclusive coffee table designs. They’re made to order just for you.