10 coffee table books that make great gifts

Stuck for a present for that friend that's hard to shop for? Check out one of these gorgeous coffee table books.

By , Staff Writer

4. 'Great Buildings,' by Philip Wilkinson

From the Abbaye de Ste-Madeleine to New York's very own Chrysler Building, "Great Buildings" looks at some of the world's greatest structures, from their plans to the finished product. Drawings of the layouts of the buildings as well as photographs of smaller details let readers experience the structures in every way possible, and facts about each building outline their histories as well as sharing interesting trivia. "No one knows for sure why the ancient Egyptians chose the form of the pyramid for their pharaohs' tombs," Wilkinson writes. "It may have been because the shape represented the spreading rays of the sun and was therefore a symbol of the Egyptians' revered Sun God. The pyramid may also have represented a symbolic stairway, up which the deceased ruler made his journey to heaven, or the shape may have recalled the primal mound that was the scene of one of Egypt's creation myths."

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