Best Books: Reference, Coffee Table, Art, Crafting, and Brain Games/Activities

I am kinda taking it easy, right this second, as I am recovering from Covid and it’s not been an easy one for me. I have been reading a lot, but I lost the book I am currently reading this morning (?!) and so I somehow wandered to my laptop and started looking for new best books lists. I’m a little odd, like that. So here are some lists of even more types of books that I read and collect. I must be running out of categories, right? I always think so.

With no further ado, here are titles I could find recommended on the internet for best books in the categories home reference, coffee table, art, crafting, and brain-games-slash-activities. Here’s to even more reading!

BEST HOME REFERENCE BOOKS (there are some self-help-y kind of books hidden in here. We’ll winkle them out eventually.)

Image from Amazon.com
  • Wonderbook
  • Stuff You Should Know
  • Remarkable Diaries
  • For the Love of Books
  • The Book of Unusual Knowledge
  • Cleaning Plain and Simple
  • Home Safety Desk Reference
  • Home Furnishing Techniques
  • The Household Handbook
  • New World Dictionary
  • Oxford English Dictionary (compact)
  • Scrabble Dictionary
  • Bartlett’s Thesaurus
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Atlas of the World, National Geographic
  • Atlas Obscura ***
  • Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
  • Shakespeare’s Insults
  • The Elements of Style, Strunk
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
  • On Writing, Stephen King ***
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey
  • The Holy Bible ***
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie
  • Getting Things Done, Fallows
  • The Art of War, Sun Tzu
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Truss
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago ***
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman
  • How to Read a Book, Adler and Doren
  • Mindset, Dweck
  • Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary
  • On Food and Cooking, McGee
  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott ***
  • One Writing Well, Zinser
  • The Joy of Cooking, Rombauer
  • Mythology, Edith Hamilton ***
  • The Body Keeps the Score, Kolk
  • A Brief History of Time, Hawking
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
  • The Qur’an, Muhammed
  • Quiet, Susan Cain
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
  • The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferriss
  • Never Split the Difference, Voss
  • Pocket Ref, Glover
  • MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
  • The Power of Now, Tolle
  • The Emotion Thesauraus
  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Associaltion
  • Just Mercy, Stevenson
  • How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster
  • A Manual for Writers of Research Papers
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Roget’s International Thesauraus
  • Grit, Duckworth
  • The Alchemist, Coelho
  • A People’s History of the United States, Zinn
  • Players Handbook: Dungeons and Dragons
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu
  • Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
  • How to Cook Everything, Bittman
  • The C Programming Language
  • 1000 Places to See Before You Die
  • Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  • Gray’s Anatomy
  • The Associated Press Stylebook
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting **
  • 1001 Book You Must Read Before You Die
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat, Nosrat
  • The Atlas of Middle Earth
  • Talking to Stranger, Gladwell
  • The Sibley Guide to Birds
  • Don’t Make Me Think, Krug
  • The Dictionary of Imaginary Places
  • Writing Down the Bones, Goldberg
  • Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
  • The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain
  • Me and White Supremacy
  • The New Oxford Annotated Bible
  • Systemic Theology, Grudem
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
  • The Dictionary of Modern English Usage
  • Garner’s Modern American Usage
  • Bulfinch’s Mythology
  • Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julie Child **
  • Presription for Nutritional Healing ***
  • A History of Western Philosophy
  • The Library Book, Sue Orlean
  • Yale Book of Quotations
  • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  • Merck Manual of Medical Information
  • World Almanac and Book of Facts
  • Oxford Atlas of the World
  • The Farmer’s Almanac
  • The Usborne Geography Encyclopedia
  • Junior Illustrated Maths Dictionary
  • Illustrated Dictionary of Maths
  • A Short History of the World
  • Illustrated Dictionary of Science
  • The Usborne Introduction to Art
  • The Usborne Science Encyclopedia ***
  • The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History ***
  • The Story of Inventions
  • The Story of Exploration
  • How Things Work
  • The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions
  • The History of the World in 100 Pictures
  • The Usborne Childrens’ Encyclopedia
  • The Usborne Illustrated English Dictionary
  • Usborne Illustrated English Thesaurus
  • Usborne Big Picture Atlas
  • The Timetables of History, Grun
  • The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
  • The Dictionary of Drink and Drinking
  • Dreyer’s English
  • The Casell Dictionary of Slang
  • Crosbie’s Dictionary of Puns
  • Nature Cross-Sections, Orr
  • Interesting Stories for Curious People
  • Uncle John’s Greatest Know on Earth Bathroom Reader
  • What If?, Munro
  • The Book of Common Prayer
  • How to Be a Person, Newman
  • Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen
  • Get It Together, Soria

ART BOOKS (from coffee-table to craft to history. Maybe it’s too heavy on fashion. I would appreciate really amazing, specific recommendations here and in the coffee table book category):

Image from Amazon.com
  • The Book of Symbols, Taschen
  • Odd Apples, William Mullan
  • My Yorkshire, David Hockney
  • Genji: The Prince and the Parodies
  • Late Constable, Royal Academy of the Arts
  • Nigeria: Original Cover Art of Nigerian Music
  • The Story of Art, E. H. Gombrich (special edition)
  • Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves
  • Portrait of an Artist: Conversations with Trailblazing Women Artists
  • Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young
  • Meadow Arts: The First 20 Years
  • Tengo un Dragon Dentro del Corazon, Charlotte Guerrero
  • Salvador Dali: The Impossible Collection
  • Absolutely Augmented Reality
  • Art: The Definitive Visual Guide
  • The Beauty of Life on Earth with David Yarrow
  • New York by New York
  • 100 Painters of Tomorrow
  • The Art of Mondo
  • Ibiza Bohemia
  • Billy Name: The Silver Age
  • The Impossible Collection of Warhol
  • The Deftness of Davinci (The Graphic Work?), Taschen
  • Dali les Diners de Gala
  • Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History
  • Art Kane
  • An Emphatic Lens, Robert Doisneau
  • Rothko: The Colour Field Paintings
  • Zadik Ben David: Human Nature
  • Turner’s Sketchbooks
  • Royal Academy of Dance: Celebrating 100 Years
  • The Short Story of Art, Susie Hodge
  • The Stones of Venice, John Ruskin
  • Designing Design, Kenya Hara
  • Ways of Seeing, John Berger
  • Interaction of Color: 50th Anniversary Edition
  • The Elements of Typographic Style
  • Megg’s History of Graphic Design
  • The Art Museum: from Boulee to Bilboa
  • The Practice and Science of Drawing
  • On Painting, Alberti
  • A World History of Art
  • An Introduction to Art Techniques
  • Artists’ Painting Techniques
  • 1500 Color Mixing Recipes
  • Anatomy for the Artist
  • Morpho: Anatomy
  • The Art Museum, Phaidon
  • The Art of Spirited Away/Ponyo
  • The Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild, Creating a Champion
  • 1000 Portrait Illustrations
  • 100 Illustrators (2 vols), Taschen
  • The Star Wars Archives, Episodes I-III (or Clone Wars)
  • Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, Louden
  • Catching the Big Fish, David Lynch
  • Do It: The Compendium
  • Art & Fear, Bales and Orland
  • Creative Block, Krysa
  • Taking the Leap, Kay Lang
  • Art/Work, Melber and Bhandari
  • The Artists’ Guide, Battenfield
  • Art, Inc., Lisa Congdon
  • New York by New York
  • The United States of Fashion, Vogue
  • The Big Book of Chic
  • Frida Kahlo: The Complete Paintings
  • Peter Beard, Taschen
  • Vogue and the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute
  • Great Escapes USA: The Hotel Book
  • Bedtime: Inspirational Beds, Bedrooms, and Boudoirs
  • The Rhianna Book
  • Ralph Lauren in his Own Fashion
  • De Gournay: Hand-Painted Interiors
  • Vogue on Location
  • Breaking Ground: Architecture by Women
  • Portraits of Interiors, Axel Vervoodt
  • Palm Beach, Assouline
  • Zuber, Brian Coleman
  • Bill Cunningham: On the Street
  • Atlas of Mid-Century Modern Houses
  • William Morris’s Flowers
  • The New Black Vanguard
  • Mother and Child, Frank
  • Lagerfeld: The Chanel Shows
  • The Carlisle, Assouline
  • Beautiful People of the Café Society
  • Hotel du cap Eden Roc
  • Greco Disco, Hall
  • Born to Party, Forced to Work
  • Linda McCartney: The Poloroid Dairies
  • Avedon, Gideon Lewin
  • Tonne Goodman: Point of View
  • Robert Doisneau: The Vogue Years
  • John Galliano for Dior
  • Francois Halard: A Visual Diary
  • A Booklover’s Guide to New York
  • Dior and His Decorations

COFFEE TABLE BOOKS:

Image from Amazon.com
  • At Home in the South, Veranda
  • Louis Vuitton Trophy Trunks
  • Holiday: The Best Travel Magazine That Ever Was
  • Ulysses: An Illustrated Edition
  • Accidentally Wes Anderson
  • Wine Simple
  • Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms
  • Howardina Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen
  • Bakhodir Jalal: A Line to Eternity
  • Yayoi Kasuma: Festival of Life
  • Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
  • Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories
  • Humans of New York: Stories
  • Latinx Photography in the United States
  • Bruce Springsteen: Live in the Heartland
  • Activist: Portraits of Courage
  • American Boys
  • American Cowboys
  • 200 Women Who Will Change the Way You See the World
  • Chinatown Pretty
  • Great Maps, The Smithsonian
  • Space Atlas, National Geographic
  • Massimo Listri: The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries
  • Inside North Korea
  • The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big and Small
  • Beaches, Gray Malin
  • Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide
  • Writers and Their Cats
  • Tom Ford
  • Prabal Gurung
  • Dream Design Live, Contreras
  • Pantone: The 20th Century in Color
  • Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958-1987
  • Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen
  • New Native Kitchen
  • Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East
  • The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen
  • The Art of the Cheese Plate
  • The Drunken Botanist
  • Ali, Schapiro
  • Remembering Diana, Tina Brown
  • 30,000 Years of Art
  • Wallpaper: A History, Rizzoli
  • S Is for Style
  • The Kinfolk Home, Williams
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Jean-Louis Denoit Interiors
  • Barack Obama: Hope for the World
  • Surf Shacks, Vol. 2
  • Jungalow: Decorate Wild, Blakeney
  • Venice, Serge Ramelli
  • The Well-Loved House, Ashley Whittaker
  • Every Room Should Sing, Beata Heuman
  • May I Come In?, Wendy Goodman
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Glamorous Rooms, Jan Showers
  • When Art Meets Design
  • Living with Color, Atwood
  • Live Beautiful, Calderon
  • The Ultimate Sneaker Book, Taschen
  • Doris Duke’s Shangri La
  • Plantopedia: A Definitive Guide to House Plants
  • Flower Flash, Monacelli
  • Modern Mix, Eddie Ross
  • Pierre Yovanovich: Interior Architecture

BEST ARTS AND CRAFTS BOOKS (which is more hands-on and broad than the other list):

Image from Goodreads.com
  • Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts
  • Mod Podge Rocks!
  • Put Your Stamp On It, Lewis
  • Fabrics A to Z, Willard
  • Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, Hoverson
  • New Dress a Day, Marissa Lynch
  • Oliver + S Little Things to Sew, Liesl Gibson
  • Sewing for All Seasons, Susan Biel
  • Sunday Morning Quilts, Neiberg and Arkinson
  • Edgy Embroidery, Renee Rominger
  • Decorating Cookies, Bridget Edwards
  • By Hand, Santo
  • Hand in Hand, Jenny Doh
  • Knitting without Needles¸ Anne Weil
  • Weaving within Reach, Anne Weil
  • Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, Robin Melanson
  • Pom-Poms!, Goldschadt and Wright
  • How Crafting Saved My Life, Sutton Foster
  • Chic and Simple Chunky Knits, Teranishi
  • Punch Needle Embroidery for Beginners, Davidson
  • The Little Book of Cottagecore, Emily Kent
  • Creepy Cross-Stitch, Swearingen
  • Easy Crafts for the Insane, Kelly Williams Brown
  • Modern Quilting, Arthur and Quinn
  • The Act of Sewing, Sonya Philip
  • Empowered Embroidery, Amy L. Frazer
  • Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes
  • Adventure Girls!, Nicole Duggan
  • C.R.A.F.T.
  • The Year of Cozy, Adarme
  • Anni and Josef Albers
  • House of Print, Molly Mahon
  • DO/MAKE, James Otter
  • Percelain, Marchand
  • Cabinet of Curiosities, Taschen
  • Handmade Houseplants, Hogg
  • Creepy Cute Crochet, Christen Haden
  • Rock Art Handbook, Samantha Sarles
  • Crafting with Feminism, Bonnie Burton
  • DIY Projects for Cats and Dogs, Ray and Legrix
  • Bold and Beautiful Paper Flowers, Chantal Leroque
  • Subversive Cross stitch, Julie Jackson
  • Cat Castles, Carin Oliver
  • Cut Paper Pictures, Clover Robin
  • Make a Crochet Garden, Amy Gaines
  • Textile Collage, Mandy Pattulo
  • Paper to Petal, Thuss and Farrell
  • Feminist Icon Cross-Stitch, Fleiss and Mancuso
  • Whimsical Stitches, Lauren Espy
  • The Art & Craft of Pyrography, Lora S. Irish
  • Crafting with Cat Hair, Tsutaya
  • Playing with Pop-Ups, Helen Hiebert
  • Washi Tape Crafts, Amy Anderson
  • Quilting on the Go, Jessica Alexandrakis
  • The Feminist Activity Book, Gemma Correll
  • Literary Yarns, Cindy Wang
  • Tape It & Make It, Fabian Morgan
  • The Quilter’s Bible
  • Beginner’s Guide to Quilting
  • How to Knit: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners
  • Knit Yourself Calm
  • How to Crochet: A Complete Guide for Absolute Beginners
  • Crochet Step by Step
  • The Royal School of Needlework Book of Embroidery
  • Flower Arranging, the Complete Guide for Beginners
  • Artists’ Painting Techniques, DK
  • Watercolor for the Absolute Beginner
  • The Urban Woodsman
  • Complete Pottery Techniques, DK
  • Easy Origami
  • The Ultimate Guide to Modern Calligraphy
  • The Art of Pressed Flowers and Leaves, Jennie Ashmoore
  • Crafty Chica’s Art de la Soul, Murillo
  • Hand Dyed, Anne Joyce
  • Make and Mend, Jessica Marquez
  • The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers, Livia Cetti
  • Pattern Studio, Kulik
  • The Art and Craft of Geometric Origami, Bolitho
  • Lettering and Modern Calligraphy, Paper Peony Press
  • Collage Techniques, Gerald Brommer
  • How to Make Resin Jewelry, Sara Naumann
  • Bath, Buff and Beautify, Aubre Andrus
  • Crafting Calm, Spaniol
  • Wildlife Ranger Action Guide, Mary Kay Carson
  • Plant, Sow, Make and Grow, Esther Coombs
  • Pranklab, Fairclough
  • Crazy Contraptions, Laura Purdue
  • Treat Yourself!, Siskin
  • Nature Play at Home, Strinistre
  • Easy Paper Projects, Maggy Woodly
  • The Papercraft Ideas Book
  • The Artist Unique
  • The Modern Artist’s Way
  • Paper Cutting
  • Painting Happiness
  • The Big-Ass Book of Crafts
  • Art Making with Moma
  • Harry Potter: Crafting Wizardry
  • 52 Sketch Prompts
  • Origami Extravanganza!
  • Brain Games Sticker by Number Nature
  • Mastering Hand Building
  • Pottery for Beginners
  • Masters: Collage, Lark Books
  • The Elemental Journal
  • Stencil Craft
  • Creative Lettering Workshop
  • Mixed Media Handbook
  • Mixed Media Painting Workshop
  • Inner Hero Creative Art Journal
  • Start Journaling: An Art Journaling Workbook
  • Collage Techniques
  • Extraordinary Things to Cut and Collage
  • Adventures in Mixed Media
  • The Making It Guide to Crafting
  • Crafting a Colorful Home
  • Happy Handmade Home
  • Martha Stewart’s Handmade Holiday Crafts
  • The Highlights Book of Things to Do

BEST ACTIVITIES AND GAMES BOOKS (You know, for flights and keeping your brain young):

Image from Amazon.com
  • The Fun and Relaxing Adult Activity Book
  • Unbored Games
  • Stress Relief Coloring Book, Adult Coloring Book
  • The LEGO Ideas Book, DK
  • Harry Potter Coloring Book, Scholastic
  • Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual, Wizards RPG Team
  • Secret Garden, Basford and King
  • Enchanted Forest, Basford and King
  • Lost Ocean, Basford
  • Do the Work!, Bell and Kate
  • The Moth Presents: A Game of Storytelling, The Moth
  • Papercuts, Electric Literature
  • The Yumiverse Mindful Coloring Book
  • Kitten Lady’s Cativity Book
  • Murdle, Vol. 1
  • The Geography Coloring Book
  • Adventures from Scratch, Family Edition
  • Journal 29 Interactive Book Game
  • Burn After Writing
  • This Book Is a Planetarium
  • Finish This Book
  • The Escape Book
  • No Props, No Problem
  • Wreck This Journal
  • Be Happy: Just Add Water
  • You’re Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits
  • Dubious Documents
  • Escape Room Puzzles
  • Criminal Mind Puzzles, Brain Games
  • Brain Teasers for Adults
  • The 125 Best Brain Teasers of All Time
  • The Scotland Yard Puzzle Book
  • Challenging Brain Teasers, MENSA and AARP
  • Montague Island Mysteries and Other Logic Puzzles
  • 50 Logic Grid Puzzles
  • Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults
  • Cryptograms, Jack Merrin
  • Best of Wednesday Crosswords Book, New York Times
  • Difficult Riddles for Smart Kids¸ Prefontaine
  • Safecracker 40 Math Puzzle
  • Wheel of Fortune Word Puzzles
  • 1000+ Sudoku Puzzles, Funster
  • What Am I?, Zack Guido
  • Code Breaker, Brain Games
  • CSI, Brain Games
  • Large Print Word Searches, Brain Games
  • Sherlock Holmes Puzzles, Brain Games
  • 399 Games, Puzzles, and Trivia Challenges, Linde
  • Jumbo Puzzle Book 2, USA Today
  • Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day, Brain Games
  • The Greatest Collection of Riddles and Brainteasers, Zack Guido
  • The Moscow Puzzles, Kordemsky
  • Logic Puzzles, Puzzle Baron
  • Large Print Crossword Puzzles, Brain Games
  • Challenge Accepted!, Kravis
  • Kakuro Cross Sums, Vol. 3
  • My Lady’s Choosing, Zageris and Curran
  • What Lies Beneath the Clock Tower, Killjoy and Navarro
  • To Be or Not to Be, Ryan North
  • The Cypher Files, Cassapaki
  • The Master Theorem, M
  • Monday Crossword Puzzle Omnibus, The New York Times
  • Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults, Clontz
  • 120+ Variety Puzzles Book for Adults: Math Puzzles
  • 500+ Word Search Puzzles for Adults
  • Oh My Sudoku!, J. D. Cross
  • On This Day: Cryptograms
  • Murder Most Puzzling, Vanreiswitz
  • 100 Large Print Crossword Puzzles
  • The New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzles, Will SHortz
  • Crush + Color series
  • Sudoku Over 900 Puzzles
  • Large Print Wordsearch Puzzles 2
  • Neon Coloring Kit: Unicorns
  • Harry Potter: The Ultimate Quiz
  • Harry Potter: The Complete Quiz Book
  • Cityscapes Glow in the Dark Coloring
  • The Unofficial Michelle Obama Activity Book, Joyce
  • Color Me Drunk
  • Paint by Sticker Masterpieces
  • The Anatomy Coloring Book
  • Gigantic Paper Planes

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