If you are like me, your coffee table has to do some heavy lifting for you. Not just because it is the only piece of furniture you own, but because the books you have on your coffee table say a lot about yourself to your guests. So here are the 6 must-have books to grossly inflate who you are, and hide the fact that you haven’t read a book in 9 years.
Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari
Sapiens is the book du jour that everyone claims they have read, but nobody actually has. It is an in-depth look at the evolution of human beings on our planet, through both an anthropological and sociological lens, and is loaded with existential insights. I don’t know what most of that means but it is always great to mislead your guests about how cultured you are.
Live Beautiful - Athena Calderone
Even the name of this book makes you seem like a better person than you are. What does Live Beautiful even mean? Nobody knows. You know what else nobody knows? Interior design. That includes you. You probably have bad taste and shop at Pottery Barn. But no matter how ugly your dwelling is, having a book about interior design will make people think that you do have taste, and they just don’t get it. Using a book to gaslight is a very effective way of forcing your false virtue on your guests.
Barefoot Contessa: Cooking For Jeffrey - Ina Garten
It is always great to have a visual cookbook of some kind. They are easy to flip through and make for the easiest time-killing reads. They also make people think that you actually have the skill and patience to cook, though you probably don’t. Cooking For Jeffrey is part of a classic series that you will never actually read. I don’t even know who Jeffrey is. And I don’t care. Loaded with delicious baked recipes, nobody will question this selection. Also, if you bake, for some reason people think you are more fun.
Are You My Mother? P.D. Eastman
It's important to have at least one book at your reading level.
The Seven Wonders of the World - Elizabeth Romer
A book about the seven wonders of the world is always a winner. Nobody has been disappointed flipping through one of these. It also makes it seem like you get a kick out of history and the planet. Neither of which are true. You can’t remember any of your internet passwords and you take 40-minute showers twice a day.
Any Book About Italy
Any book will do. It doesn’t really matter. Again, visually loaded books make for easy flip-throughs, and it is always good to make people think that you are well traveled. Italy is usually a winner. Showing you’ve been to Italy is the ultimate way of suggesting that you travel, even though Italy is really just whatever. It’s fine. But, y’know, it’s also whatever. It’s nothing compared to the same 3-star Cancun resort you return to every year (Best 1100$ you ever spent).