Travel, music, gastronomy … Our selection of beautiful books to offer for Christmas

3:00 p.m., December 18, 2021

World cinema

In this large, colorful and beautifully illustrated book, the authors demonstrate that the importance of a film is measured not so much by its place in the story as where it takes place. This point of view, as visual as it is original, allows us to put our eyes on the decor, whether natural or reconstituted. Inspector Harry allows you to dive into the shallows of San Francisco, Thirst for evil Orson Welles distills tension on the Mexican border and Operation Dragon with Bruce Lee gives a vision of a Hong Kong between two waters. Fun and educational. BT

“The Atlas of cinema”, Olivier Bousquet and Arnaud Devillard, EPA, 544 pages, 49.95 euros.

Intimate Christophe

For a long time, they had the project of writing a book together. Rémi Bouet, fan and intimate of the night owl Christophe, finally tackled this richly illustrated book alone and just as detailed in its biographical section. We learn as much about the career as about the creative pangs of the singer who died in April 2020. The author, formerly the founder of Johnny Hallyday’s fan club, was one of the last interlocutors of the last of the Bevilacqua. With equal passion, he reveals his aesthetic and musical universe. LP

“Christophe – Stories of an offbeat dandy”, Rémi Bouet, Gründ, 248 pages, 29.95 euros.

Long live wickedness!

The subtitle gives the program: Because if we had to love only the good guys, we would be dying of boredom. Here is a pop and eclectic album that has no other purpose than to celebrate wickedness in its funniest, clever and irreverent ways. Prefaced by Richard Malka, lawyer of Charlie hebdo, which unfortunately knows the price, this Gallic anthology plunges into the years 1960 to 1990. We meet biting heroes (Fritz the Cat, JR Ewing, the big disgusting of Reiser) like kings of derision (Pierre Desproges, Jean Yanne). An antidote to the conformist grayness. SJ

“Downright wicked!”, Le Recherches midi, 208 pages, 35 euros.

Colagreco family side

Chef Mauro Colagreco, awarded three stars in the Michelin guide for his restaurant Mirazur in Menton, does not forget his family recipes. His new book brings together those of his parents and grandparents, who made the taste of his childhood, between Argentina and Italy, and the foundations of his future gastronomic cuisine. On the menu: spinach fritters, gnocchi gratin, marinated suckling pig with chimichurri sauce, choripan, pancakes with dulce de leche …CL

“Le Goût de la famille”, Mauro Colagreco, Hachette Cuisine, 224 pages, 45 euros.

McCartney, it’s heavy

If the expression “beautiful book” did not exist, it would have to be invented for this one. All the ingredients are there. Good stuff with a genius character, Paul McCartney, who chats with a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (Paul Muldoon) to recount his 154 songs and the life that goes with them. Beautiful with more than 600 unpublished images (drafts of texts, letters, objects, photos). Heavy with a book in two volumes of nearly 4 kilos. McCartney never kept a diary or wrote his autobiography, but his songs help him remember, he says. And we don’t get old.CP

“Paul McCartney”, with Paul Muldoon, Buchet-Chastel, 912 pages, 79 euros.

Sacred Backpacker

We may travel less these days, nothing prevents us from dreaming and projecting ourselves towards some of the sacred places of the world, at the crossroads of human history, magical nature, architecture and Spirituality. The Routard points to “the 100 most beautiful sites on the planet”, from Angkor to Samarkand via the lost cities of the Andes, the buried churches of Ethiopia and the holy places of the great religions. A nice dive, illustrated with spectacular photos, to contemplate and fly away.SJ

“Sacré”, Le Routard, Hachette, 288 pages, 29.90 euros.

Vibrant Africa

Here is a beautiful panorama of the contemporary African art scene, according to the program of the same name by Elizabeth Tchoungui. A brief and lively lighting focused on 52 artists of today (Romuald Hazoumé, Zanele Muholi, El Anatsui, Chéri Samba…) all recognized internationally, even if the general public does not necessarily know them, or not yet. We go from one country to another, from a canvas to a wall hanging, from a silk embroidery to an installation. We admire for example the poetry of Malian Amadou Sanogo, with his man showering with flowers.M.-AK

“Oh! AfricArt”, Elizabeth Tchoungui, Chêne, 224 pages, 42 euros.

Dream of Iceland

It is a photographer madly in love with Iceland for ten years who addresses him here his most beautiful tribute. The choice of black and white makes the island of volcanoes and glaciers even more mysterious. Far from postcard clichés, Olivier Joly composes paintings similar to etchings of basalt and light or to delicate Japanese prints. Her gaze invites you to travel but also to introspection. This dream of a book takes us back to childhood times, when we spent hours contemplating a twig in the wind or the ballet of crows in the clouds.A.-LB

“Sagas – Islande”, Olivier Joly, Hemeria, 192 pages, 65 euros.

The magical passion

Asterix and the Griffin, the 39th album of Gallic adventures imagined by Uderzo and Goscinny, is the best-selling French book of the year, with a circulation of nearly 5 million copies in its classic version at 9.99 euros. But for super-fans, the Art Book, collector’s edition and numbered – there are 1,050 copies – is a gem. Behind her icy blue cover, she dives behind the scenes of the realization of this adventure with the full storyboard by Jean-Yves Ferri, the original boards by Didier Conrad and two sketches of the cover projects. Magic.CP

“Asterix and the Griffon”, Art Book, Didier Conrad and Jean-Yves Ferri, Editions Albert René, 112 pages, 220 euros.

Zizou always bigger

Because the big 10 issues in football deserve the biggest formats, the magazine So Foot brings together the best of Zinédine Zidane after doing it for Diego Maradona. In this XXL volume, there is no question of the coach on sabbatical leave until the highly coveted position of coach of the France team (or PSG coach) becomes available, but of the divine champion world 1998 and Europe 2000, with his last hair and his genius on his feet, when he wore a sparkling blue jersey and not yet a black suit.MC

“Zidane”, So Foot, Marabout, 192 pages, 29.90 euros.

Paris to you and to roof

France would like them to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The roofs of Paris are an ocean of zinc and slate 30 meters above our heads. Photographer and architect, Laurent Dequick captures them day and night in an exceptional walk that literally unfolds into eight complete panoramas (from the Sacré-Coeur or the Île Saint-Louis, for example) as he had done with his Grand Canal (2019) in Venice. An urban canopy that lays bare the famous or hidden beauties of the capital from unprecedented angles.SJ

“Toits de Paris”, Laurent Dequick, Chêne, 120 pages, 39.90 euros.

Barnyard Divas

The hour of revenge has sounded for the chickens, these birds which cannot fly and are reduced to their food function when they are not mocked (“sissy”, “goose bumps”). Eric Sander has scoured farms and international competitions to photograph the most beautiful and spectacular gallinaceans in the world: tawny bearded silk, buff padua or dwarf white-crested Dutch. A festival of feathers and crests, star postures. No doubt, these ladies are luxury hens!SJ

“Luxury hens”, Eric Sander and Nicolas Ruolt, EPA, 240 pages, 39.95 euros.

Camping paradise

Far from Camping Paradise, here are the camping paradises. On Graham’s land in Antarctica, at the foot of the Cotopaxi volcano in Ecuador, in the dunes of Merzouga in Morocco, on the shores of Lake Baikal in Russia or on Demon Island in Indonesia: this book offers a hundred places to pose his tent, his carpet and even his motorhome. France is not forgotten with eight destinations, from Mont-Blanc to Brittany via the Camargue. A delight for the eyes, the book is full of advice on how to camp well.CP

“The Most Beautiful Places to camp”, Sylvain Bazin, Gründ, 212 pages, 24.95 euros.

Tribute to Gotlib

Gai-Luron the depressed dog, The Dingodossiers, the jubilant Rubrique-à-brac… All of Marcel Gotlib’s work is condensed in this beautiful book. More than 250 facsimiles of originals retrace his journey there. From the beginnings at Vaillant to the launch of Echo of the Savannahs or from Glacial fluid, his singular style asserts itself: apostrophe to the reader, reflective commentary, mise en abyme, excess… This album, formidably documented, also tells how the child hidden during the war became this master of the 9th art which dynamized the comic strip.MQ

“Marcel Gotlib – A life in drawings”, Jean-Louis Gauthey, Champaka Brussels / Dargaud, 384 pages, 55 euros.

Exquisite corpses

The Coroner, a cinephile forensic scientist, is the hero of a YouTube series in which he analyzes cult murders. In this book, illustrated as an autopsy report with numerous film photos used as evidence attached to the investigation file, its creators have fun analyzing some scenes of violent deaths that have marked history: the bloody end of Tony Montana in the Scarface de Palma, the massacre of Leonidas and his warriors in 300 of Zack Snyder, or the agony of the pretty Jane under the eyes of Walter White in breaking Bad. Original.BT

“The Coroner’s Files”, Mike Zonnenberg and Fabio Soares, Gründ, 240 pages, 24.95 euros.

The Septimus galaxy

Chef Bertrand Grébaut and his partner Théophile Pourriat are celebrating 10 years of their adventure, which began with the opening of Septime in Paris. This beautiful monograph, Prix Champagne Collet du livre de chef, invites you to enter their world with emblematic recipes (onion tatin; cuttlefish ceviche, bottarga and mushrooms) and silver photos of their different places of expression, free and freed from the codes of gastronomy: the bistronomic Septime, La Cave – of natural wines -, the iodized table Clamato and D’Une Île, their guest house in the Perche.CL

“Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D’Une Ile”, Bertrand Grébaut and Théophile Pourriat, Phaidon, 303 pages, 45.95 euros.

Japanese refinement

In Tokyo, Yoshikazu Ishii has been perpetuating for five generations an ancestral technique for making made-to-measure socks, with a slit between the big toe and the other toes in order to wear them with traditional sandals and the kimono. This collective work offers a total immersion in the fascinating world of Japanese artisans, whose patient and meticulous know-how commands admiration. From Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the south, an overview of the most famous works of incredible refinement.SB

“Japan, the heritage of craftsmanship”, EPA, 320 pages, 45 euros.

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Travel, music, gastronomy … Our selection of beautiful books to offer for Christmas