Books, no doubt, help make a home.

The titles on your shelves ably express prevailing interests and illustrate your depth as a man. Reading, of course, functions similarly.

With that in mind, this guide to art books shares titles that will enrich knowledge and understanding of key subjects and figures in the history of American art and design. Read them all, and very quickly become conversant in significant cultural points. Wow friends. Impress potential mates. And, most importantly, be equipped to steer small talk away from idle chat about the weather.

Did we mention these books will also make your shelves look cooler?

Check out the 10 Art Books Every Man Should Own.