Coffee-table reads

To be looked at rather than read? t2 plucks some Coffee-table books to do both

  • Published 22.11.17

A large, expensive, lavishly illustrated book, intended especially for casual reading’ is how Oxford Dictionaries describes the coffee-table book. Well, the ones we’ve got here will eat up quite a bit of your time. Get your cup of coffee and settle down!


Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla: A Celebration of Style (AJSK, 175 pages) by Sharada Dwivedi traces the journey of the designer duo through their use of forgotten Indian embellishments, and making gold zardozi, badla and aree threads, mirrors and sequins regulars on red carpets across the globe, including the Oscars. Rs 3,500 @ Oxford Bookstore
20th Century Fashion (Taschen, 400 pages) is a compilation on the evolution of fashion over the last 100 years. Rs 2,463 @ Oxford Bookstore
Anna Hu: Symphony of Jewels, Opus 1 (Thames & Hudson, 168 pages) reflects on the Taiwanese designer’s speciality of fusing oriental and western designs. Rs 4,400 @ Oxford Bookstore


Indian Accent Restaurant Cookbook (Viking-Penguin, 204 pages) by award-winning chef Manish Mehrotra is based on the menu at Indian Accent, his restaurant on Lodhi Road, New Delhi, and features gorgeous images by food photographer Rohit Chawla. Rs 3,499 @ Starmark
For those looking for a francais touch, Larousse Gastronomique (Hamlyn, 1,216 pages) is the best bet. Considered by many as the bible of French gastronomy, this beauty features the A-Z of French cuisine and has menus and details of sourcing ingredients as well. Rs 3,999 @ Starmark

Clothed in a rich blue velvet jacket, opulence meets art in Dining with the Nawabs (Roli Books, 276 pages) by Meera Ali and Karam Puri. Covering 10 principalities from Arcot to Zainabad, this book retraces history through royal kitchens. Rs 4,995 @ Oxford Bookstore


Polo in India (Roli Books, 192 pages) follows the history of the sport of kings from its colonial inception to present times, with a foreword by Yuvraj Shivraj Singh of Jodhpur, making this a keepsake with all the old pictures from the royal archives. Rs 4,000 @ Oxford Bookstore


Fans of ’60s and ’80s music, choose between Bob Dylan: All the Songs (Hachette India, 704 pages), a tribute to the singer-songwriter by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon, and The Rolling Stones in the Beginning (Mitchell Beazley, 320 pages) by Danish photographer Bent Rej, who documented the iconic band in the 1960s. The former tells the stories behind all of Dylan’s tracks and the latter is a collection of rare images from The Rolling Stones’s Scandinavian tour, making both a collector’s delight. Rs 2,999 for the book on Bob Dylan @ Starmark; Rs 3,520 for the book on Rolling Stones @ Oxford Bookstore


Days in the Wild: Journey into the World of India’s Wildlife (Bee Books, 272 pages) by conservationist Biswajit Roy Chowdhury and On Safari: The Tiger and the Baobab Tree (Om Publications, 232 pages) by wildlife enthusiast Babi Nobis will both make you earn your safari stripes. Rs 1,999 for Days in the Wild @ Starmark; Rs 3,995 for On Safari @ Oxford Bookstore


Paris: Portrait of a City and London: Portrait of a City (both by Taschen, 572 and 576 pages, respectively) are collectibles on the two great cities located across the Channel, featuring glossy images from some of the most iconic locations. 
Rs 3,959 each @ Oxford Bookstore.


Picturing Time: The Greatest Photographs of Raghu Rai (Aleph Book Company, 192 pages) is a smaller version of a larger original that captures the master lensman’s 50-year journey. Rs 1,999 @ Story

From the Beckham brood comes the oldest son, Brooklyn, with his What I See (Penguin, 304 pages) featuring photographs of, well, what he saw, including his famous parents, David and Victoria Beckham and his siblings, Romeo, Cruz and Harper. Rs 999 @ Starmark

Get lost in veteran photographer Nemai Ghosh’s Kolkata (Collins India, 204 pages), which has stunning black-and-white images of the winding lanes and graffitied walls of our beloved city. The foreword is by Amitabh Bachchan. Rs 1,999 @ Oxford Bookstore 
Leena Kejriwal’s Calcutta: Repossessing the City (Om Books International, 156 pages) brilliantly juxtaposes the bygone with the present with glimpses of everything, from the city skyline to Lake Market. Rs 2,500 @ Story
Master lensman Raghu Rai’s Calcutta-Kolkata (Timeless Books, 151 pages), with text by Dominique Lapierre, captures myriad moods of the City of Joy — waterlogged lane in north Calcutta, an idol atop a hand-pulled rickshaw, traffic cop standing in the middle of CR Avenue.... This one’s definitely for keeps. Rs 5,000 @ Story

History buffs can pick up The Unforgettable Maharajas with text by E. Jaiwant Paul (Roli Books, 276 pages), a gorgeous compilation of 150 years of photography representing the stately maharajas and their Cartier-wearing wives. Royal Palaces of India by Tarun Chopra (Prakash Book Depot, 296 pages) is an insight into the opulence of the royal residences. Daniells’ India: Views from the Eighteenth Century (Niyogi Books, 184 pages) is for those looking for time travel. This visual treasure trove reproduces prints of paintings by Thomas and William Daniells from their travels across the country, circa 1700. Rs 5,000 for The Unforgettable Maharajas @ Oxford Bookstore; Rs 3,500 for The Royal Palaces of India and Rs 6,000 for Daniells’ India @ Story


The Sandman Omnibus Vol. I (Vertigo, 1,040 pages) by Neil Gaiman is a massive hardcover tome and stuff that ‘Lord of the Dreaming’ dreams are made of. Rs 9,999 @ Starmark
Bollywood in Posters by S.M.M. Ausaja (Om Books, 272 pages) is a collection of rare hand-painted and digitised Bollywood posters starting from the 1930s. Rs 2,995 @ Oxford Bookstore
Gopal Ghose: A Jubilant Quest for the Chromatic (Mapin Publishing, 224 pages) by Sanjoy Kumar Mallik chronicles the life and times of iconic painter Gopal Ghose through his works. Rs 3,000 @ Oxford Bookstore

Oxford Bookstore: 17 Park Street; Story: 8 Elgin Road; Starmark: Quest, Syed Amir Ali Avenue

Text: Anannya Sarkar
Pictures: Koushik Saha