The best stocking-filler books of 2017

We pore over tomes for the coffee table, plus almanacs, anthologies and rappers’ offerings on food and hip-hop

And so they emerge again, washed up like an unwanted box of Guylian chocolates on the far distant shores of Amazon, Waterstones and the remaining independent bookshops: the seasonal range of novelty books, coffee table books, quirky reference books and the otherwise unclassifiable and unreviewable. How to sort the shiny, pretty things from the dreck and the dross; what to gift, regift and give to yourself?

Coffee table-wise, there is the usual choice, from the likes of Vogue: The Covers (Abrams), which is astonishingly heavy, to Agata Toromanoff’s Couples in Art (Ullmann), which might make a nice ironic gift for an ex, and Chris Roberts’ Beyoncégraphica (Aurum), which is an infographic-style biography of Beyoncé. Outstandingly rare and precious is Polly Devlin’s New York: Places to Write Home About (Pimpernel), a peek into the ...