Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
While we generally write Five Plus Ones about clothing, footwear, or even home goods, today we’re going a bit off the beaten path: Coffee Table Books. Whether you’re looking for a book to explore during your free time or want a conversation piece for when your friends and family come over, we hope you find something to your liking on this week’s list.
1) The Book of Hip Hop Cover Art by Andrew Emery
Album Art is an often underappreciated art form. While yes, we’re mostly interested an album’s music, it’s the artwork that initially draws us in and author Andrew Emery has done a great job with The Book of Hip Hop Covert Art. Going for being a simple collection of evocative album covers, this book delves deeper including a history of cover artwork across several genres and interviews with important artists.
Available for $125 from Knickerbocker.
2) Cowboys of the Sky by Gilles Lhote
There are few garments more iconic than the leather military jacket, and Gilles L’hote does a phenomenal job exploring this subject in Cowboys of the Sky. Covering half a century of leather jacket history, this is the book for any leather jacket aficionado, military buff, or friend you are trying to convert into the world of historical clothing.
Available for $40 from Cockpit USA.
3) The Book of Boro by Susan Briscoe
Everyone has had a garment so worn and loved that it had to be repaired, and The Book of Boro by Susan Briscoe delves deep into the importance of repairing out of necessity. Better yet, this book highlights projects inspired by traditional Japanese fabrics and repair techniques, allowing the reader to repair or create their own garments based on what they have read.
Available for $23 from Kiriko.
Evisu is one of Japan’s most preeminent denim brands and a member of the Osaka Five. Over the last thirty years, Evisu has created some important and iconic pairs of jeans, and for the first time, you’re able to appreciate their history in a single book: TATEOCHI. While you will have to read Japanese to fully appreciate this book, a good translation app and the wonderfully documented pictures make this book a must-have for any denim head.
5) AVANT Magazine Issue 4 – An Anthology of American Workwear Part 2 by Eric Maggiori
While AVANT Magazine Issue 4 – An Anthology of American Workwear Part 2 by Eric Maggiori is, inarguably, an anthology of American workwear, it is also so much more than that. Discussing underrepresented pieces of American history, such as Chinese immigration during the gold rush and important moments in denim history — such as the finding of 19th-century denim in an old mine — this book covers a lot of ground. Whether you’re interested in the history, the pictures — or the interviews with dudes like Michael Harris, the author of Jeans of the Old West — this book has something for you.
Available for £25 (~$31USD) from Those That Know
Plus One – Lightning Archives Vol.206 “The Book of Fire King”
Lighting does a great job of deep-diving into subjects and their history. Vol. 206 “The Book of Fire King” exploration of Fire King glassware makes for a fascinating coffee table book. Originally intended as cheap, everyday glassware, these 1940s pieces have led to Fire King having quite the cult following. Mostly well-known Jade-ite pieces, these were just a small offering of theirs — and if you take the time to peruse this book whilst you sip your coffee, we’re sure you’ll come out the other side with an even deeper appreciation for these mundane pieces.