Culture / Entertainment

Gifts For Book Lovers — Fiction, Nonfiction, Coffee Table Tomes and More

Perfect Presents That Will Make Them Think

BY // 11.30.23

Books can be the perfect gift for those hard-to-shop-for loved ones. You have a wide gamut to choose from: fiction, nonfiction and, of course, gorgeous coffee table tomes that make for the perfect home accessory (if you checked out the recent Kips Bay Dallas Show House, you likely saw many coffee table books you wanted to carry home with you that were placed strategically on a nightstand or end table).

In no particular order here are some suggestions from an editor who loves words and glorious images. These are the Best Gifts For Book Lovers:

Thom Browne — The 20th Anniversary Book

When this came out it was a drop the mic moment for me. Major Thom had finally come out with a sizable tome as the perfect accessory to the dozen plus TB blazers hanging in my closet. Since launching his namesake line in 2003, Thom Browne has amassed no less than a cult-like following.

For those who adhere to his uniform look (his acclaimed interpretation of a modern-day suit with a slightly shrunken silhouette), Phaidon recently released a comprehensive monograph, perfectly timed with the designer’s 20th anniversary.

“Thom Browne — The 20th Anniversary Book”
“Thom Browne — The 20th Anniversary Book”

Bret Easton Ellis’ The Shards (fiction)

I was a huge fan in my teen years of Bret Easton Ellis’ work. At the time, I read and reread Less Than Zero and American Psycho. Ellis waited a while before coming out with his newest book which stays within his lane, the excessive and heady 1980s — specifically the wealthy denizens of Los Angeles.

I bought a bunch of copies of The Shards when it came out this summer and have kept them around for last minute gifts. I picture those reading it positioned on a poolside chaise post-Christmas at the Amanyara in Turks and Caicos.

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Bret Easton Ellis’s The Shards, Amazon, $14.94
Bret Easton Ellis’s The Shards, Amazon, $14.94

Samantha Irby’s Quietly Hostile (non-fiction)

I first became aware of this new collection of essays via Jason Heller’s NPR review. A quick summary — Irby is fascinated and humorously critical of the human race. Her writing and voice could easily be IRL at the mic at The Comedy Store. Heller calls her an “awkward people-pleaser and the snarky cynic.” And “quietly hostile, sure, but also loudly irresistible.” That description immediately had me ordering a copy for the numerous flights I have coming up.

Samantha Irby’s “Quietly Hostile”
Samantha Irby’s “Quietly Hostile”

Droese Raney X Design

Dallas’ very own David Droese and Lance Raney of Droese Raney are widely known for approaching each project with a focus towards the clients needs, but also what it will bring to the greater community. The 16 projects you’ll find in this beautiful book include retails outlets for Billy Reid, the Conservatory and Neighborhood Goods, and restaurants like José and Mi Cocina,

Especially notable are downtown Dallas’ Forty Five Ten, a four-story department store appointed entirely in exquisite Knoll furniture and textiles, and the Warehouse (a project initiated by Howard and Cindy Rachofsky and the late Vernon Faulconer to make their art collections available to curators, scholars, critics and students). You may seem David Droese around at the flurry of upcoming holiday parties, so keep a copy or two in your car and I’m sure he’ll sign it for you.

“Droese Raney X Design”
“Droese Raney X Design”

Behind the Blue Door: A Maximalist Mantra by John Demsey

This first hand look at the drool worthy six-story Manhattan townhouse of an entrepreneur, beauty pioneer and philanthropist was lensed by celebrity photographer Douglas Friedman (for those not familiar he is The Facinator and you can follow him @douglasfriedman).

The name of the book says it all. Be prepared for a maximalist journey through room after room of art, new and vintage furniture and accessories of every color you’d find in the Pantone Color System.

“Behind the Blue Door: A Maximalist Mantra” by John Dempsey
“Behind the Blue Door: A Maximalist Mantra” by John Demsey

Beauty & Mischief: The Design Alchemy of Blackman Cruz

I was fortunate enough to interview Adam Blackman and David Cruz in front of a live audience at the David Sutherland Showroom during the recent Texas Design Week Dallas. The brilliant duo have had a showroom in Los Angeles for decades (in the former infamous Strobe nightclub space) and have amassed an enviable celebrity clientele.

In fact, icon in the making Ryan Murphy wrote the foreword of the book. As they shared during our Q&A, given his number of homes, Murphy “is the gift that keeps giving since he needs more stuff.” I purchased a copy of their book for myself which now has a prominent place on my coffee table. It has a gorgeous cover and is filled with wish list items for any chic home you are designing (hopefully your own) or dreaming of.

“Beauty & Mischief: The Design Alchemy of Blackman Cruz”
“Beauty & Mischief: The Design Alchemy of Blackman Cruz”

Part of the Special Series:

PaperCity - 2023 PaperCity Gift Guide

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