Three Coffee Table Books For Curious Texas Readers

From mid-century design to a world atlas, Kirkus Reviews recommends books that offer readers a sense of wonder.

By Joy DiazDecember 19, 2018 11:32 am,

If you still have last-minute shopping to do, don’t fret! Clay Smith, editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus Reviews, recommends a few books that Texas readers would be proud to display on their coffee table. 

First, Smith recommends “Texas Made/Texas Modern,” written by Helen Thompson with photographs by Casey Dunn. The book profiles different mid-century and mid-century-inspired homes across the Lone Star State, and their relationship with the land on which they’re built. Smith says the homes may be out of some readers’ price range, but the book “lets you dream yourself into that space in such an inviting way.”  

Next, Smith recommends “A Mile Above Texas,” a book of aerial photographs by Jay B. Sauceda. Sauceda flew for nearly 4,000 miles as he snapped shots of Texas from above, and Smith says the book vividly depicts Texas’ vast range of topography.

“There’s real poetry to these images,” Smith says.

Finally, Smith recommends a book for “curious people”: the 25th edition of Oxford’s Atlas of the World. Smith says Oxford is the standard-bearer when it comes to atlases, and this edition is full of political and physical maps. More than that, Smith says the book offers a sense of wonder about the world for readers, even in tumultuous times. 

“At a moment when … autocratic governments seem to be opening shop every day, there are all these refugees and immigrants that can’t get peace, you can open up this book and find a lot of wonder left in the world,” Smith says,

Written by Morgan Kuehler.