Like I mentioned in my previous Coffee Table Books post, despite my love of coffee table books, I generally try not to add them to my Goodreads TBR/wish list because I’m super unlikely to be buying them any time soon and they’re not really books I think of as ones you read straight through necessarily…and a whole host of other reasons, but I want to feature another five books that I’d really love to have in my future home when I don’t have to worry about moving for a long time and so on..
And, unlike the last post, this one is (loosely) themed “Nature of Life” (take the title with a pinch of salt and take note that this is absolutely not(!) an exhaustive list….obviously ha)
1. A Softer World by Joey Comeau and Emily Horne
I really loved the A Softer World webcomic when it was running (it has sadly come to an end after all these years). It is definitely my kind of humour; dark, unexpected, cynical storytelling. I don’t think it’s everyone’s cup of tea, but it is, at the very least, a conversation starter. And isn’t that what coffee table books are for? Well..that and entertaining you while you’re waiting for stuff…
2. The Worrier’s Guide to Life by Gemma Correll
Although this didn’t blow me away when I read the eARC (maybe because I follow Correll on twitter and find her comics around the internet in the places I lurk so I’d seen one or two of the gags previously), it’s a fun little collection of puns and sillies and light but relatable meditations of everyday life and it is a nice time-pass.
Both of these tiny volumes can be found in Penguin’s Little Black Classics collection (for only 80p each. Bargain!) and—unlike the rest of the coffee table books I’m goggling over in this series—I own them both. Speaking of Śiva was my favourite of the two despite my not always ‘getting’ poetry. Although they both lost me at times, they were fun to peruse (even if you, like me, are non-religious/non-spiritual).
4. The Girl’s Guide by Melissa Kirsch
This chunkster might not seem the kind of coffee table appropriate thing that you can dip in and out of, but it definitely is. Kirsch decided to write the guide because there didn’t seem to be anything to help her to ease into her early adult life and she wanted to help others who wanted something like that too. She offers up little tips for finances, work, relationships and so on, but it’s all more of a starting place for your further research and, as with any information, is meant to be taken with a grain of salt and considered/altered/ignored depending on how it suits you. Generally, I found it provided a lot of interesting titbits for some things I’d wondered about and others I hadn’t thought to wonder about but found very useful to know.
It seems a bit odd pitched as a guide specifically for women I suppose, but there are reasons for that. Not least of which is the fact that women have some things to deal with that mean just don’t.. And also that many women just aren’t given a lot of the information that men are. That isn’t meant in a conspiratorial kind of way, but just in an accidental society kind of way…the same way we might inadvertently encourage girls to be scared of the things we encourage boys to tackle and conquer.
I didn’t get to finish reading the eARC, but I would certainly look into picking this up as a book for my coffee table to dip into when I have time or when I’m moving house or changing job or wondering about the right etiquette in a formal situation I’m not often in and want to consider my options.
HONY is well known and for good reason. Brandon Stanton is a fantastic curator or images and words and he seems like a great conversationalist. There’s something quiet and special in the way he gives each person their due attention and the way that he can turn the smallest encounter or the silliest comment into something more.The whole project feels like that quote (the words of which escape me) about how the story of specific individuals is the story of everyone because we are all inextricably linked by our human experiences. I love how with HONY you never know what you’re going to get. It’s like life. It might be straight up sad or funny or important. It might seem one thing and turn out to be another. You may look for a silver lining, but there really is none. Or everything may seem ridiculously coincidental. But it’s all life and it’s all relatable and that’s worth a place on my coffee table.
I hope you liked my picks! As usual, if you have any picks you want to share, let me know! I might pop them in a future segment or, better yet, buy them for my future coffee table once it exists in my future house…once that’s a thing that’s happening….