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Book Guide: Coffee Table Books

#1 in our book guides for Christmas

Five books featuring art, photography, buildings and... buses!

Who doesn't love receiving a good coffee table book? The kind of thing you know you can't justify buying for yourself, but that owning would give you a sense of jujjyness while indulging one of your nicher areas of interest.

This Smörgåsbord gives you a taste of what we've got on offer at Morocco Bound. As we stock just one or two copies of everything you may consider these gorgeous volumes... limited edition *hair swish*.

1. Portrait of Britain, Vol 4

This collection of 200 portraits, published earlier in 2022, is an attempt to capture the changing face of modern Britain.

A few lines of text accompany each beautiful photo, providing context and insight. Anthropologists, photographers and sociologists alike will love this attempt to represent the nation.

2. plattenbau berlin

Okay, I'll admit it. This suggestion is so niche that I have succumb to writing in first person. But anyone who has been to Berlin, or any other former Soviet city, will recognise the rows upon rows of identical buildings which in German are called Plattenbau. Made of pre-fabricated concrete blocks (Platte means panel and Bau building), these blocks of flats are a striking reminder of the city's recent history.

Although their design was based on purely practical requirements, the photographs in plattenbau berlin demonstrate how such spartan uniformity can be aesthetically fascinating - even beautiful. Read more of my thoughts about the role architecture played in East German society online or in a physical copy of our in-house magazine, MBR, which is serendipitously... also on sale at Morocco Bound! A great piece of fortune indeed.

3. 100 Nights at the Roxy

Punk London sounds like it was pretty cool. Have a wee flick through this book and you'll most likely think it looked pretty cool, too. With pictures of The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, X-Ray Spex, The Slits and more, this album will inspire you, whether musically, aesthetically, politically, historically or... gradually (I ran out of adverbs).

Stick on a Sex Pistols album, take some speed (don't, I'm not condoning that) and have a flick through to be transported back to 1976, The Year of Punk. Hell yeah.

4. Birmingham City Transport Demonstrators

Surely one of the nerdiest books ever, this has photos and descriptions of the wide variety of bus designs tried out by Birmingham City Transport between 1914 and 1969.

Brum, the biggest municipal operator was the site of trials to compare the performance, fuel economy and durability of designs made by competing bus manufacturers.

5. The Miserable Lives of Fabulous Artists

A collection by English artist Chris Orr, featuring famous artists of the past (think Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Edvard Munch) in surprising and humorous situations. Each painting is hyper-detailed, making this book the art-lover's Where's Wally. Snort at it, then stare at it for hours and show it round to each family member on Christmas Day.

All on the shelves in store now - subject to availability!


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