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Our favorite coffee table books of the year make the perfect gift too — featuring every sport from surfing to climbing, football to golf, skateboarding to skiing, and more. And for the sneakerhead, there’s the ultimate guide!
by Mathieu Le Maux
The popularity of the sneaker has become a cultural phenomenon with a huge international audience clamoring for the latest drop. This encyclopedic book features 1000 full-color images of the sneakers that have most influenced the global sneaker culture — a visual history of the world’s most coveted and popular kicks. From early Keds and Converse All Stars, to Air Jordan and Air Force 1, to Royal Master Pro-Keds and Sk8 High Vans — throwbacks and new shoes alike — every major sneaker is covered, as well as the athletes and celebrities who made the shoes famous. 1000 Sneakers features detailed reference sections for collectors, histories of leading brands and designers, and anecdotes from the worlds of sports, fashion, and hip-hop. It’s the perfect gift for sports, design, and street fashion enthusiasts alike. $19.59 on Amazon
by Caroline Arnell
The thirty women surfers profiled in this thrilling compilation rip with the best of them. Featured in spectacular photographs and their own inspirational words, there’s American professional surfer Lindsay Steinriede on how her father’s death inspired her career; French board shaper Valerie Duprat on how she got her start “sculpting foam”; Conchita Rossler, founder of Mooana Retreat in Portugal, on connecting mind, body, and spirit; and Australian photographer Cait Miers on empowering women. Breathtaking images capture these women from every angle, on and off the waves, in some of the world’s most visually stunning locations. The perfect gift for surfing enthusiasts of all genders, this unique compilation proves that the thrill of catching a wave, riding it, and loving it belongs to everyone. $34.17 on Amazon
By Brian Kelley
From the independent design publishing imprint, Standards Manual, Parks is a collection of over 400 maps, brochures, and printed ephemera from the United States National Park Service that chronicles its history through its graphic identity from 1910 to today. The collection displays a progressive design approach, from more typographic-driven covers, to duotone print production, to the Unigrid system developed by Italian designer Massimo Vignelli in the 1970s. Photographer Brian Kelley has passionately archived these rarely seen treasures over the past three years, creating a portfolio that will appeal to both the graphic design aficionado to outdoor enthusiast alike. $55 at Best Made Co.
by Markus Sämmer
As much photography book as cookbook, Delicious Wintertime celebrates the outdoor adventures that call for warm, hearty meals, and the recipes to create them. Alpine-inspired breakfasts kickstart the day, while thermos-fillers and trail mixes fuel ski trips and excursions. Action-packed days bring leisurely evenings with friends and slow-cooked food, and finish next to a wood stove, sipping homemade liqueurs or hot chocolate. Chef and nature explorer Markus Sämmer guides readers through Delicious Wintertime with recipes, action photography, and tales from the backcountry, sure to stir the senses. $30.22 at Amazon
By Stefan Maiwald and Peter Feierabend
While traditional golf clubs such as the Royal and St. Andrews are still considered the pinnacle, exciting new golf courses and resorts have multiplied the destinations for golf enthusiasts. This volume introduces the most exclusive and spectacular golf resorts in the world — destinations that score not only with sophisticated layouts in dramatic landscapes, but also with wonderful rooms, outstanding food, and comprehensive wellness offers. Each prestigious golf resort is presented with an expert review, covering its benefits on and off the fairways and greens — interspersed with background information and amusing anecdotes, capturing the history and contemporary world of golfing. $45.74 on Amazon
By Ben Farrow, Jason Blevins, Todd Bennett
If you’re a skier, no doubt you are familiar with artist James Niehues, the painter of virtually every ski resort trail map! This beautiful 292-page hardcover coffee table book is the first and definitive compilation of the work created during his 30-year career. Featuring over 200 hand-painted trail maps and full-page images of the world’s most famous ski areas, with engaging narrative that complements each resort, Niehues reveals his exacting technique. He walks us through the step-by-step process as he maps Breckenridge — sharing everything from aerial photographs, to numerous pencil sketches, to the final trail map illustration. Italian art-quality printing, heavyweight matte coated paper, and a lay-flat binding opens to a spread of 24″ wide that showcase the biggest ski mountains in a tome that pays them homage. $90 at JamesNiehues.com
by Byron Hawes
For 25 years, Supreme’s skateboard collaborations have represented the ultimate intersection between art and skate culture, birthing an entire culture of skateboard art. An invaluable resource, Art on Deck contains original photography, artist interviews, and represents the most cohesive examination to date of every skateboard produced by Supreme. It explores the history of Supreme’s artistic collaborations, from decks by contemporary artists including Kaws, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Christopher Wool, Jeff Koons, and Richard Prince, as well as underground icons including Raymond Pettibon, Harmony Korine, and Larry Clark. The book features original images of all skateboards, including ultra-rare and unreleased pieces such as the “LV” Cease-and-Desist series, the “Japan-only Jesus” — as well as the Louis Vuitton x Supreme trunk — from the world’s only complete collection. $45.95 at Amazon
By Neil Leifer, with contributing authors Jim Murray and Gabriel Schechter
For this special Collector’s Edition, master sports photographer Neil Leifer sifted through over 10,000 rolls of film selecting his absolute best shots to trace pro football’s most memorable moments, including hundreds of previously unseen pictures. Known for the diversity of his sport subjects, it is his football pictures Leifer considers his best. From Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers dynasty, to the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972, to the Minnesota Vikings’ terrifying Front Four — the “Purple People Eaters”— they’re all here, complemented by Jim Murray’s top football columns of the era for guts and glory nostalgia. The Collector’s Edition is limited to 1,500 copies, numbered and signed by Neil Leifer. $700 at Taschen.com
By Corey Rich
In 2015 the world watched climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson’s historic ascent of the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, free-climbing its virtually sheer granite face for the first time in history. Spending 10 days on the wall with these climbers for the documentary film The Dawn Wall, Corey Rich was shooting still images, and captured some of most iconic photographs of the ascent. Rich has been shooting adventure superstars for more than two decades, and shares his favorite images of climbers, adventurers, skiers, and more in this tome. Outdoor athletes include Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill, Kelly Slater, and Bear Grylls among others. He shares insights into the business of photography, photography tips, outdoor lessons and more, learned along the journey. $21.01 at Amazon