x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

One for the coffee table

The Monocle Guide to Better Living is a a compendium of the magazine’s enthusiasms for design, urban planning, global culture and ethical entrepreneurs.

Monocle’s first book isn’t so much a guide to living as it is a compendium of the magazine’s enthusiasms for design, urban planning, global culture, ethical entrepreneurs and all things Scandinavian.

Chapters on broad topics such as cities and travel contain a short preface followed by profiles and lists, including 10 cities to call home (one is Beirut), 21 inspirational companies to learn from (featuring Dubai’s own Ripe organic food company), eight fashion pieces and 10 shops around the world.

It is also unabashedly self-referential: two glossy sections are dedicated to a very subjective “gallery” of Monocle’s favourite things (a Milanese barber; an Istanbul ferry ride; and yes, furry donkeys in France) and a profile of Monocle itself.

Aside from a few short, thoughtful essays, such as “How to live better through culture”, it’s a bit lean on guidance, but it is a beautifully designed book that will find a place of reference on a Monocle fan’s teak coffee table.