Coffee table books that bring the wonders of our planet into your living room

Spruce up your coffee table by investing in some beautiful books for you and your guests to peruse. Start off your collection by grabbing one (or two) eye-grabbing Earth focused compendiums. Learn more about our planet, gaze at stunning images, and wow your friends while keeping clutter to a minimum. A coffee table book takes us just the right amount of space and will leave your home feeling ordered and organized but never boring. From the plains to the oceans, check out some of our favorite Earth focused books and start planning out your table arrangement.

a view of a city at night: See the world in all sorts of new ways.

© Provided by Popular Science
See the world in all sorts of new ways.

text: Get ready to explore.

© Provided by Popular Science
Get ready to explore.

This book is the most extensive collection of Art Wolfe’s work and you don’t want to miss it. Wolfe has dedicated his life to exploring, understanding, and photographing the world’s richest sights; observing everything from various cultures and traditions, wildlife, and ecosystems. These images will get you thinking, right after you’ve recovered from being awe-struck. Populated with intimate stories about Wolfe’s experiences, this book celebrates the ways in which we are all connected to one another and specifically to nature. This book is 396 pages long, which will give you an ample amount of material to gaze at, wonder over, and learn from.

map: A head over heels vantage point.

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A head over heels vantage point.

Inspired by the astronaut experience of looking down on earth from above and seeing the Earth in its entirety (often called the Overview Effect), Benjamin Grant created this breathtaking work full of high definition satellite images that offer a perspective few of us will get to see with our own eyes. Images of agriculture, industry, coastlines and more populate it’s pages in an almost unrecognizable way. From high above, you can see man’s impact on earth, for better or worse, and gain perhaps a new appreciation of Earth’s forms and functions. Peak at one of the book’s 288 pages and you won’t be disappointed.

a person riding a wave on a surfboard in the water: The moment before you go under the sea.

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The moment before you go under the sea.

Water & Light by Ray Collins captures still images of water colliding with light in the form of waves. While many ocean or sea photography books are dedicated to diving below the surface, we wanted to provide something with a little more of a unique spin. Collins stays just above the surface, specializing in the unpredictable, natural phenomena that govern most bodies of water. No wave is the same, you’ll quickly learn this, and Collins has traveled to Hawaii, Tahiti, the Australian coastlines, Indonesia, Iceland, and more to bring unique, never before seen moments into your home.

map: You’ll be eager to hit the road.

© Provided by Popular Science
You’ll be eager to hit the road.

Not every coffee table book is full of photographs and not every coffee table book is exclusively for adults. If you have kids roaming around, consider adding a book for them to your growing collection. National Parks of the USA is a beautifully illustrated, wonderfully educational book by Kate Siber and Chris Turnham that explores 21 national parks including Big Bend, Yosemite, the Badlands, Acadia, the Everglades, the Great Smoky Mountains, and more. Captions provide informative facts about wildlife that will wow adults and children alike. You and your kids can go on great adventures from the comfort of your home, but don’t be surprised when someone asks for a family vacation to Yellowstone during the holiday season.

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