Here's some goodness for ya: I celebrated my birthday in September and all I asked my husband for was coffee table books. He sweetly delivered. My favorite one was a little difficult for him to track down, but of course, that's the one I most wanted... "Matisse and the Fauves" !!
I've long loved the Fauvist movement in art history — wild colors, highly expressionistic, Matisse, Derain, Gauguin, and so forth — I wrote one of my big art history papers in college all about it, and it definitely still influences my work today. My birthday book is very image-heavy (score!), and the paintings are exceptional. And while it does look so nice and pretty sitting out in our living room, I've most enjoyed looking through it almost everyday while sipping my morning coffee. Really sets the bar high before I hit the studio! (Also included two other books I received that are just great.)