Style Focus – Coffee Table Books At The Works

There are books that are made to be read and read. The sort of books that have dog eared pages, notes in the margin, pages turned over when you’ve lost your bookmarks. These are the sort of books you read on trains, on buses, by the pool on your holidays, but they are not necessarily the sort of books you love and cherish, they tend to be the books you read and then donate to your local charity shop, or leave on shelves in holiday hotels.

But there is another kind of book, one that is meant to be loved and cherished, books that are far too beautiful to sit on a shelf and be ignored, and books you would certainly never turn the pages over. I’m talking, of course, about the coffee table book – books often related to the topics of fashion, style, interiors and architecture.  These are usually hardback books, bigger than your average shelf can hold (hence living, almost nochalently, on the edge of a coffee table, to be admired and to browse through.).  Filled with beautiful illustrations of photography, coffee table books are almost as much about the style as they are about the content.

Bargain bookseller The Works is not normally the first port of call when looking for coffee table style books, but this would be a mistake, because it currently has a huge collection of books that are stylish and beautiful, perfect for lovers of fashion and architecture, as well as many books devoted to Art and The Arts. It is definitely worth checking out the special offers at The Works before you look elsewhere, especially as their website has so many more books than you will find in their UK Stores.

I have made a list of some reading material on my current wishlist, with the top read definitely being Icons of Vintage Fashion by Angele Hernu.

100 Years of Fashion
Format: Paperback Author: Cally Blackman Click to visit The Works

Rare Bird of Fashion
Format: Hardback Author: Eric Boman Click to visit The Works

Format: Paperback Author: Christopher Breward Click to visit The Works

1920s Fashion
Format: Paperback Author: Charlotte Fiell £7 Click to visit The Works


Fashion Universe of Jean Paul Gaultier
Format: Hardback Author: Nathalie Bondil £67.99 Click to visit The Works

Making Savings on your Style Books Wishlist

Sunday morning’s have a bit of a ritual attached to them. I try to get at least a bit of a lie-in, and then I curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea and one of my favourite style books, the sort of book where you can just pour over the pictures and not even have to stretch to reading if you just want to be lazy.


One of the places I always use when I’m sourcing fashion books is Amazon. It has an enormous selection of books, including out of print and hard to find, rare editions. Plus, as well as looking in the Amazon section, you can also pick up second hand editions through the sellers in the Amazon Marketplace. If you are in the US, you can make your purchases even cheaper by using Groupon, which has a whole section devoted to Amazon Promo codes. Currently it is listing 137 different codes which range from money off offers, to free shipping, along with more specific promotions.

My current to read list includes a fabulous book looking at 1920s style, a Chanel style book by the amazing fashion illustrator Megan Hess (I’m totally obsessed with her work) and ‘Inside Vogue’ by former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, which is her account of the 100th year anniversary of British Vogue. (I watched the documentary so was interested to read her account.)

1920s Style: How to Get the Look of the Decade from £8.86 Click to visit Amazon

Coco Chanel: The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon £12.08 Click to visit Amazon

Inside Vogue: My Diary Of Vogue’s 100th Year £11.89 Click to visit Amazon

As it is Sunday morning, the hubby has just made me a cup of tea and I’ve got a book to catch up with.

Happy Sunday all!

Give a gift of Penguin Random House Children’s Books

When it comes to giving a gift at Christmas, a wonderful book is a gift that can last a lifetime, both in its hardback form, but also as a memory that can linger in the mind long after you have physically grown out of the story. We all remember our favourite childhood books and stories, and, in many cases, will pass these stories down to our children, hoping that they will love them too (certainly the case with Joe and his love of Mr Men books – something I totally loved too as a child).

This Christmas, Penguin Random House have decided to share the love when it comes to Children’s stories, and have been sending out bundles of books perfect to give as gifts this Christmas. Penguin Random House Children’s publishes a wide range of fiction, picture books and children’s classics and some of the world’s favourite authors including Eric Carle, Roald Dahl, Jeff Kinney, Jacqueline Wilson, Rick Riordan, Cathy Cassidy and Terry Pratchett and popular character brands such as Peppa Pig, Peter Rabbit and The Snowman, so they have a wide variety of genres and styles that should suit everyone, from emergent readers to those who love to lose themselves in a book.


I was sent 3 books suitable for children aged 7-12. Unfortunately, only one of the books was suitable for my boy Joe. This was the latest edition in ‘The Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ series – ‘Double Down’, and I think it is a story that Joe will really enjoy, we haven’t read any of the others, so this will be a great introduction to the series.dscn4538

The other books were both a little older in tone and very much aimed at girls. Clare Balding’s ‘The Racehorse that wouldn’t gallop’ is a modern classic perfect for those who love horses and riding. I gave this book to my friend’s 10 year old daughter who is a voracious reader and is really looking forward to getting stuck into this book.


The final book in the collection is by Zoe Sugg, aka You Tube sensation Zoella. Again, totally unsuitable for Joe, but a lovely surprise for my friend’s 12 year old daughter Abbie who has already read the other books in this series.


So there you have it, three lovely books that have all found happy homes and happy recipients. I hope that they may become favourites in the way I still fondly remember my fave childhood stories. ‘Milly-Molly-Mandy’ stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley were written in the 1930s but retained the sort of charm that makes them so easy to read and love. I loved the heroine, and her ‘little friend Susan’, and I think it was their stories, along with those fabulous Mr Men, who really gave me a love of reading I retain today.

*For this post I am working in partnership with Penguin Random House Children’s Books