8 great coffee table books for last minute gifts
Photo by Gui Avelar on Unsplash
Exellence book on table

Upworthy may earn a portion of proceeds from these purchases as part of our affiliate program. We don't recommend anything we don't love though and your support helps support the work we do here!

If you are looking for a last minute gift and don't know what to get someone, coffee table books are one of the safest gifts you can give. It acts as both entertainment and decoration. Let's face it, when you walk into someone's house for the first time and sit down on the couch, the book on the table in front of you is the first thing your eyes revert to. It is a conversation piece that gets people talking, gives character to your home and tells people a little bit about you before anyone speaks a word. It is a great way to make a lasting first impression.



1. Eruption In The Canyon: 212 Days & Nights With the Genius of Eddie Van Halen. An Uzi, a band member getting run over with a Porsche and an illegal military vehicle driving on to Fred Durst's lawn with a gun pointed at his head. And that isn't even the half of it. Keep in mind that this is a really strong list, so when I say that Eruption In The Canyon is the King Kong of coffee table books, you need to trust me. Author and filmmaker, Andrew Bennett, chronicles his time documenting one of the greatest guitarists of all time: Eddie Van Halen. You do not have to be a Van Halen fan to appreciate just how special this book is. Take a first-time look behind the curtain of the most private rock star in history. Featured in Billboard Magazine, Eruption In The Canyon reveals Eddie's amazing work ethic, insane passion, eclectic behavior and lovable personality. I simply cannot say enough about this book.



2. The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a look at some of the most scenic national parks in the U.S., complete with breathtaking photos and the history behind them. Dayton Duncan teams up with author and filmmaker Ken Burns to bring you a fascinating perspective on how our national parks came to be what they are today.


PBS, $118.11 on Amazon

3. What's The Punctum. Imagine a journey through an alien dream sitting on your coffee table. What's The Punctum is Alice In Wonderland meets Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy with a splash of Twilight Zone and Stranger In A Strange Land. Hang on to your hats as Maine author Cheryl Ann Johnson takes you down the rabbit hole with amazing and truly unique artwork. This picture book is a great ride for people of all ages. I absolutely love all of her work.


Buy it on Amazon, $10

4. The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong. If you know someone who believes that the only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing, then The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong is for them. This book is filled with surprising answers to questions we all thought we knew. Get ready to fact check because if you thought you knew who the first president of the United States was, James Bond's favorite drink, how long a chicken can live without a head or what George Washington's teeth were made of, you will have a tough time believing what you read in this New York Times Bestseller.


Buy it on Amazon, $21.60


5. Cabin Porn Inside. If you are looking for a conversation starter, have a book called Cabin Porn on your coffee table. This is a great way to get a read on your new guests, because there will either be laughter and intrigue or complete dead silence, followed by a fake phone call with an "emergency" that they have to attend to. All the more wine for the rest of you. Despite its provocative cover, Cabin Porn is hardly as salacious as its moniker. It features some of the most remarkable handmade homes in rural America. Be warned that while it might be inspiring to see such purity in beautiful architecture, the blanket fort you made for your kids last night might not seem as impressive.


Buy it on Amazon, $20.99

6. Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knight Speaking of blanket forts, don't forget the kids table. From actor, musician and now author, Rachael MacFarlane, Harrison Dwight, Ballerina and Knight is just the thing to keep the little ones engaged in something other than a video screen. Illustrated by Spencer Laudiero, the impressive artwork is as slick as it gets. That, coupled with the important message dealing with the challenges of stereotypes, this children's book is a must-have.


Buy it on Amazon, $17.99

7. In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine. My final recommendation needs no introduction. In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine. This is truly a universal coffee table book. With world class photography, this book takes you through the history of one of the most iconic magazines ever made. Vogue is one magazine that will never go out of style.


Buy it on Amazon, $75

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.