Solve your gift-giving needs with these coffee-table books

"Jimmy Carter: Citizen of the South" by Kaye Lanning Minchew. (Courtesy of University of Georgia Press)
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"Jimmy Carter: Citizen of the South" by Kaye Lanning Minchew. (Courtesy of University of Georgia Press)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Recommended titles will please fans of Bob Mackie, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Carter and more

If you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift, here are eight coffee-table books ranging in topics from fashion and photography to former presidents and music that may fit the bill.

‘Jimmy Carter: Citizen of the South’

LaGrange historian and archivist Kaye Lanning Minchew has created an illustrated biography of Carter featuring more than 200 photographs from his life, including baby pictures, campaign shots, presidential portraits and candid snapshots of him teaching Sunday school and building houses for Habitat for Humanity. As expected, there are chapters devoted to his youth, his role in Georgia politics, and his presidency and multiple chapters on his post-presidency years, but there’s also a chapter on Carter’s relationship with Emory University. The former president was named a distinguished professor in 1982 and was a familiar face on campus, teaching classes in a variety of schools and leading town hall meetings for more than a decade. About the country’s oldest living former president, Minchew writes: “Carter has redefined what it means to be an active and exemplary former president, showing the world how a moral leader can act while proudly wearing the title of citizen of the South.” (University of Georgia Press, $34.95)

Courtesy of Rizzoli Electa
Caption
Courtesy of Rizzoli Electa

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

‘David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History’

One of the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic was the death of David Driskell, but his legacy lives on in the incredible body of work he left behind. This book features images of more than 70 bold, colorful paintings, prints and drawings that were included in a retrospective exhibition of his work co-organized by the High Museum of Art and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine. One of the world’s leading authorities on African American art, the Eatonton native was also a scholar and a curator who played a significant role in the Black Arts movement. His contributions to the world of contemporary art are explored in several essays, including one written by Michael Rooks, the High’s curator of modern and contemporary art. (Rizzoli Electa, $50)

Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
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Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

‘The Year That Changed Our World’

Divided by seasons beginning with Winter 2020 and ending with Spring 2021, this photographic document of the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is a visual record of the historic, traumatic event that has killed more than 5 million people. The book traces the spread of the virus from Wuhan, China, across Europe to New York and San Francisco and beyond. Edited by Marielle Eudes, director of photography at the news agency Agence France-Presse, the book features more than 400 images that capture intimate and epic moments of fear, death, sorrow, isolation, heroism, perseverance and hope. (Thames & Hudson, $60)

Courtesy of Simon and Schuster
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Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Credit: Simon and Schuster

Credit: Simon and Schuster

’The Art of Bob Mackie’

Carol Burnett appropriately provides the foreword for this beautifully illustrated compendium of the costume designer’s over-the-top creations. Having seen Mackie’s work on a couple of TV specials when he was still in his 20s, Burnett hired him to design the costumes for her popular comedy variety show. For that assignment, he created between 60 and 70 costumes a week for 11 years. The book, written by Frank Vlastnik and Laura Ross, ends with an afterword by Cher, for whom Mackie created not only costumes for her TV shows but her iconic Academy Award gowns that left little to the imagination. He also designed for Judy Garland, Diana Ross, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Diahann Carroll, Liza Minnelli, Madonna and many others. In addition to full-color photographs of his bedazzled costumes from television shows, movies, musical revues and awards ceremonies, there are tons of Mackie’s sketches detailing his glamorous designs through the decades. (Simon and Schuster, $50)

Courtesy of Penguin Random House
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Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

’Renegades’

Fans of the “Renegades” podcast featuring Bruce Springsteen and former President Barack Obama talking about politics, music and everything in between will appreciate this oversized, full-color companion piece. In addition to transcripts of their conversations, the book contains never-before-seen photographs from their private collections and treasures from their archives, such as Obama’s annotated speeches and Springsteen’s handwritten lyrics. (Penguin Random House, $50)

Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
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Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Credit: Thames & Hudson

Credit: Thames & Hudson

’Face Time’

Subtitled “A History of the Photographic Portrait,” this fascinating collection of more than 250 portraits highlights historical images alongside contemporary ones to explore various aspects of the art form, including the search for identity, anthropological studies, fashion, storytelling and street photography. The book is produced by Phillip Prodger, former head of photographs for the National Portrait Gallery in London, and it features photographs throughout the ages from well-known artists such as Edward Steichen, Cecil Beaton, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, David LaChapelle and Zanele Muholi, as well as lesser-known, up-and-coming photographers. (Thames & Hudson, $50)

Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
Caption
Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

“The Rolling Stones: Unzipped”

One of the world’s oldest rock bands is ending 2021 on a high note with a sold-out, cross-country stadium tour. Fans who were both lucky enough to catch a show or are kicking themselves for missing out will revel in this fresh take on the band and its influence on pop culture. Huge, full-color photographs capture everything from candid moments in the studio to hand-written lyrics to detail shots of the band’s instruments and costumes. The accompanying text runs the gamut from new commentary from the band on their origins and songwriting to interviews with Buddy Guy, Don Was, Martin Scorsese, Shepard Fairey and others. This book is sure to put a smile on the face of the rock fan on your holiday gift list. (Thames & Hudson, $50)

Courtesy of Thames & Hudson
Caption
Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

’Tim Walker: Story Teller’

You don’t have to be a fashionista to appreciate this stunning collection of images by British fashion photographer Tim Walker, whose cinematic, surreal style may feature at any given time demented harlequins, oversized dolls, gravity-defying hair constructions and formal interiors invaded by giant owls, spiders or crocodiles. His models are often captured as though caught mid-scene in a fever dream, and the results vary from humorous to horrifying, but they are always arresting. Yves St. Laurent, Chanel Haute Couture, Vivienne Westwood and Valentino are among the design houses represented. Models include Karlie Kloss, Stella Tennant and Xiao Wen, as well as celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Helena Bonham Carter and David Lynch. (Thames & Hudson, $45)