14 Coffee Table Books for the Ultimate Pop Culture Fans
Coffee table books don't have to be boring. Skip the stuffy stuff and display an anthology of your favorite fandom.
The interior design world loves to use the same coffee table book over and over and over. You know the one: Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. And it’s always paired with some book about old Dutch painters. No hate on those dudes, but shouldn’t a coffee table book reflect your own interests? So, we've rounded up our favorite pop culture coffee table books, from Hello Kitty to Hamilton. These books are just as stylish, but they’re also fun and something you’ll actually want to read.
For the Disney Fan
There are so many great Disney coffee table books with exclusive artwork and history from the Walt Disney Archives that it was really hard for me to choose just one for this list. For something to actually display, I love this collection of Mary Blair concept art. Blair was the artist behind many midcentury modern projects such as the Alice in Wonderland animated film and the It's a Small World attraction. She's often overlooked in the conversation about Disney legends, and I think she's a great role model for little girls. And for theme park fans, I'm obsessed with this new book about The Disney Monorail.
And the Pixar Fan
If Pixar animation is more your speed, you'll love this collection of artwork from iconic Pixar films such as Finding Nemo and Toy Story. The artwork is depicted in traditional animation strips and frames on each page, too.
For the Royal Family-Obsessed
If you've streamed all four seasons of The Crown and have been pouring over Lady Diana's 90s style, you'll love this new book on the royal family, their iconic outfits and the power of fashion. This room tour of Buckingham Palace would look cute stacked with it, too.
For the Horoscope-Obsessed
Everyone has that friend who pours over weekly horoscope columns and star charts. (Hi, I'm that person in my friend group.) So why not keep the cosmos info within reach on the coffee table? This leather-bound book from Pottery Barn is full of everything you'd ever want to know about astrology. It's also very pretty.
For the Wes Anderson Fan
Wes Anderson films have such a following not just for the stories, but for the aesthetic. And this book inspired by The Grand Budapest Hotel is absolutely gorgeous. I can just see it staged perfectly on a modern white marble coffee table with brass accents.
For the Star Wars Fan
Every Star Wars fan in the galaxy needs this anthology of Ralph McQuarrie's art. Without McQuarrie, the films wouldn't have their signature aesthetic as he developed key concept art for George Lucas. The books also include costume designs, vintage posters, storyboard frames and more.
And the Mando Stan
If you already have the McQuarrie set, "this is the way" and the perfect coffee table book companion. This volume of Star Wars artwork from The Mandolorian on Disney+ pays homage to McQuarrie with painted matte landscapes and more.
For Harry Potter Fans
Personally, I think the original Scholastic Harry Potter books are pretty enough to display on a coffee table — especially without the dust jackets. But if you're shopping for a Wizarding World fan who has it all, Harry Potter: A History of Magic is the perfect gift. Published in conjunction with the same exhibit at The British Library, the book explores the real magical plants, animals and history that inspired the wizarding details in J.K. Rowling's series. So many of the names, for example, were taken from old Latin words.
For the Music Buff
What if all the greatest records lived in one easy-to-access collection? I'm not talking about Spotify. I'm talking about album art! 1,000 Record Covers chronicles the most iconic album art in modern music history, from Simon and Garfunkel to INXS.
And the Music Fest Lover
Even amid lockdowns and staying at home, one fashion trend has defined 2020: tie-dye. It's been everywhere, from sweatpants to hand towels. And the hippie fashion goes hand-in-hand with music festivals. This (literal) tie-dyed book from Urban Outfitters takes a deep dive and explores the connection of tie-dye, music and fashion.
For the Hello Kitty Fan
2020 was supposed to be Hello Kitty's year. The girl-cat, also known as Kitty White, was supposed to celebrate a big 45th anniversary with a world tour and traveling pop-up event but unfortunately had to cancel the tour and offer a digital celebration just like everyone else. I'm one of the few people who actually saw the exhibition before the pandemic and what I learned is that Hello Kitty gets around! Her image has been used everywhere, from high-fashion runways to KISS. Yes, the rock band KISS collaborated with Hello Kitty. In Sanrio's Hello Kitty Collaborations you, too, can see just how far Kitty White has stretched her brand in 45 years with some surprising partnerships and ad campaigns.
For the Hamilton-Obsessed
If you need a coffee table book for "the room where it happens," you won't have to "wait for it" anymore because we have our "eyes on" this collection of Hamilton artifacts. It's guaranteed to make you "smile more." Don't "throw away your shot" at this book. And, yes, I might be listening to the original cast recording while writing this article.
For the Marvel Geek
A stack of comics on a coffee table looks more messy than stylish. Instead, this one book contains the top 100 most iconic comics in the Marvel Comic Universe. And, unlike comics, it's a lot more durable should you actually have coffee on your coffee table and spill it.
For the Golden Girls Fan
If you want to thank someone for being a friend or learn behind the scenes tidbits yourself, this unofficial book is jam-packed with never-before-seen photos and accounts from those close to the show. It also includes blurbs from celebrity fans such as Lance Bass and Laverne Cox.