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The best in coffee-table books

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A real-life coffee-table book about coffee tables has yet to surface. But just about everything else that’s possible to put between covers has been photographed, painted, and packaged to glossy perfection. Presented for your holiday purchasing pleasure…

TAKING IT OFF

DANCE INK: PHOTOGRAPHS
Edited by J. Abbott Miller and Patsy Tarr

How is it that some people can make their bodies look like so much effortless sculpture? A tribute to modern choreographers that features the photography of Annie Leibovitz, among others. (Chronicle, $35)

NAKED: FLOWERS EXPOSED
Walter Hubert

Not exactly your mother’s garden guide. Floral designer Hubert cajoled both celebrity and professional photogs to shoot blooms in the most unlikely places: printed on a young boy’s underwear, swathing Bruce Weber’s dog and Claire Danes’ head. Deserves to become a season perennial. (HarperCollins, $60)

SECRETS OF THE HAREM
Carla Coco

Spas are overrated. The real way to wrap your mind around the luxuriating and lounging that are so key to the holiday season is to penetrate the secretive pleasure domes of 19th-century Turkish sultanates. Lavishly illustrated and thoroughly decadent. (Vendome, $45)

PUTTING IT ON

SUPPORT AND SEDUCTION: A HISTORY OF CORSETS AND BRAS
Beatrice Fontanel

Plumb the foundations of foundation garments with this tribute to the ties that bind female torsos, which somehow manages to be more amusingly instructive than titillating. Cross your fingers (and your hearts, ladies!) that the ’70s revival won’t extend to paprika-colored lingerie. (Abrams, $39.95)

ADVENTURES
Bert Stern

Revolutionary commercial photographer Stern is most famous for capturing Marilyn Monroe’s gauzy, boozy last sitting; this stylized retrospective also includes his glacial ’50s vodka ads and a heavenly dusting of other movie stars, from Liz Taylor to Madonna. (Bulfinch, $75)

ABOUT GLAMOUR
Len Prince

Glossy black-and-white stills of present-day performers that are shameless rip-offs of — ahem, homages to — George Hurrell’s renowned Hollywood portraits. But it’s endless fun to see Drew Barrymore and Matt LeBlanc lacquered up a la Jean Harlow and Dana Andrews. (Simon & Schuster, $40)

ART

MICHELANGELO: THE LAST JUDGMENT: A GLORIOUS RESTORATION

Not for nothing are Michelangelo’s paintings on the rear wall of the Sistine Chapel considered a top-tier masterpiece. Cherubs, ghoulish members of the undead — all seem lit from within. Get closer than you ever prayed to the newly freshened-up fresco. (Abrams, $65)

GODDESS: A CELEBRATION IN ART AND LITERATURE
Edited by Jalaja Bonheim

From Greece’s Aphrodite to Japan’s Amaterasu, a very sophisticated and multiculti look at female deities through the ages. Sculpture, painting, poetry, and folk myths, all bound up in gold. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $50)

DRAWN & QUARTERED: AN ART LOVER’S MIX AND MATCH

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