The coffee table is the terminal gate of your living room. Arriving or leaving, people kill time here: Lifting up a magazine and flipping through a few pages while others get ready; examining and reexamining an old menswear catalogue during halftime. It’s the table where idle minds go to explore. To help make the most of this creative space, we’ve put together a list of the best books of the last six months, and a few that are coming this summer, to ensure that the waiting area of your life will never be boring.

Alternative Movie Posters II: More Film Art from the Underground

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In a follow-up to his 2013 success, Chojnacki curates a fresh crop of film art — movie posters that buck the trend of Hollywood marketing to focus on creativity and art rather than the celebrities. Each poster includes comments from the artist or designers responsible.

Author: Matthew Chojnacki
Publication Date: December 4, 2015
Pages: 208
Size: 8.9 x 1 x 11.2 inches

Hiroshi Sugimoto: Seascapes

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From the first photograph of the Caribbean Sea near Jamaica, taken in 1980, to the last, of the North Pacific Ocean near Ohkurosaki, taken in 2013, photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto showcases where the sea meets the air in simple yet visceral monochrome, the horizon line cutting through the center of each photograph, the only constant in a sea of change.

Author: Munesuke Mita
Photographer: Hiroshi Sugimoto
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Pages: 272
Size: 10.2 x 1.4 x 11.2 inches

Nextinction

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In their follow-up to Extinct Boids, Steadman and Levy (who call themselves the “Gonzovationists”) come together again, this time focusing on the 192 critically endangered birds on the IUCN Red List, which are in line for “nextinction.”

Authors: Ceri Levy
Artist: Ralph Steadman
Publication Date: September 15, 2015
Pages: 224
Size: 9.7 x 1 x 13.9 inches

The Tale of Tomorrow: Utopian Architecture in the Modernist Realm

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A heavy survey of the modern, Brutalist architecture of the 20th century that hoped to touch utopia. Explore the buildings that aimed to better humanity — House of the Century, the TWA Terminal — and the minds behind their design.

Editors: Sofia Borges, Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten
Publication Date: May 18, 2016
Pages: 400
Size: 13.5 x 1.5 x 10 inches

Photoviz: Visualizing Information through Photography

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In the 21st century, the dataset, not the anecdote, has come to drive decision making. Felton, via his tumblr, has been sharing those moments of data, whether graph, photograph or something more abstract, that give us a better window into the world. In this book, he shares photographic representation of entire days at an airport, side-by-side comparisons of sports stadiums, or portraits of world leaders, all exciting and grabbing, but also accurate representations of the mundane.

Editors: Nicholas Felton, Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten
Publication Date: May 18, 2016
Pages: 240
Size: 12.2 x 1.1 x 9.9 inches

Killing and Dying

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Tomine, a master in the graphic novel realm, returns with six interconnected stories of parenthood, mortality, and stand-up comedy, all with the same laugh-until-you-cry humor his fans have come to expect.

Author: Adrian Tomine
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Pages: 128
Size: 6.7 x 0.9 x 9.7 inches
Essentials for the Ultimate Coffee Table

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Well curated, simple, sleek and organized is the name of the game in the quest for the ultimate coffee table. Read this story.

Helmut Newton: Pages from the Glossies Paperback

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A lighter book to accompany his iconic tome Helmut Newton: SUMO, this reissuing from Taschen is a great entry into the work of Newton, with over 500 original spreads from his work for Elle, Amica and Vogue.

Photographer: Helmut Newton
Publication Date: January 10, 2016
Pages: 524
Size: 8.7 x 1.4 x 11.6 inches

Michael Muller: Sharks, Face-to-Face with the Ocean’s Endangered Predator

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Accompanied by an essay from Philippe Cousteau, Jr., Muller’s newest work — a departure from his typical portraiture — takes a geographic approach to photographing the world’s most revered oceanic killer, including the first-known photograph of great white breaching at night. A perfectly terrible book to prep for the beach season.

Photographer: Michael Muller
Contributors: Philippe Cousteau, Dr. Alison Kock, Arty Nelson
Publication Date: March 19, 2016
Pages: 334
Size: 11.5 x 1.5 x 15 inches

Surfing: 1778-2015

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This massive book, arranged chronologically and written after three and a half years of research, takes readers through more than 900 images to show the evolution of surfing from its meager beginnings in 1778 to a worldwide phenomenon. It’s one of the best dives yet into the sport’s lifestyle that spreads well beyond the ocean, and its philosophy of man and nature’s bond.

Editor: Jim Heimann
Publication Date: February 17, 2016
Pages: 592
Size: 13 x 3.2 x 19.5 inches

Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty

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A look back on an iconic career of nearly 70 years, with an introduction by Merry Foresta, this compilation includes 161 of Penn’s images, many of which changed art and photography forever. It also includes a number of unpublished works, provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Photographer: Irving Penn
Author: Merry Foresta
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Pages: 240
Size: 9.4 x 0.9 x 10.9 inches

Fantastic Man: Men of Great Style and Substance

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Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Fantastic Man magazine, this book showcases some of the best interviews and photography published in the menswear magazine, including conversations with David Beckham, Tom Ford, Steve McQueen and Spike Jonze.

Authors: Jop van Bennekom, Gert Jonkers
Publication Date: October 26, 2015
Pages: 572
Size: 7.2 x 2.1 x 10 inches

Off the Road

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The stories and photographs of the men and women — and their four-wheeled companions — that decide to leave the well-trodden paths in life to discover what the wild has in store.

Editors: R. Klanten, Sven Ehmann, Maximilian Funk
Publication Date: December 11, 2015
Pages: 240
Size: 8.6 x 1.2 x 10.4 inches

30:30 Landscape Architecture

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Conversations with 30 internationally renowned landscape architects, along with a visual showcase of their best work, side-by-side with 30 interviews with the biggest names of the next generation of innovative designers.

Author: Meaghan Kombol
Publication Date: September 21, 2015
Pages: 320
Size: 10.2 x 1.4 x 11.8 inches