Classically beautiful books now on display at CDPL

Have you ever chosen a book just for its beautiful cover? This month we’ve rounded up a range of books with exceptionally beautiful covers, spines and inside pages. You can find marbled papers, embossed letters, unique illustrations or other hidden gems. The following is just a glimpse of the visually impressive collection we have assembled for you at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.

“Prehistoric Antiquities of Indiana” (970.4 Lil) was published in 1937 by Eli Lilly. Born in Maryland and later settled in Kentucky, Lilly moved to Greencastle when he was 14 years old. He pursued several distant business opportunities but always returned to Indiana because of his love for this landscape. His book focuses on the earthworks and mounds created by indigenous groups in this region, and he describes the ceremonial objects and tools that were left behind. Due to his well-known expertise in chemistry, he uses a significant portion of this book to discuss the various materials used, such as copper and coal. Several professional archaeologists, historians, illustrators and photographers also contributed to this work.

American author Paul Theroux published “The Tao of Travel” (918.4 The) in 2011. He has traveled the world, lived in many places and even taught English abroad. This book is a collection of great observations and enjoyable insights based on five decades of Theroux’s nostalgic adventures, his favorite travel books, and a bit of practical knowledge. Excerpts and quotes from the writings of her favorite globe-trotting authors are also featured, including Ffyona Campbell, Emily Dickinson, Marco Polo, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Freya Stark, John Steinbeck, Rebecca West and many more.

Respected philanthropist and writer Dave Eggers divulges the epitome of storytelling and adventure in his 2018 book “The Monk of Mokha” (921 Alkhanshali, M.). This intriguing tale is a true story about a young Yemeni American from San Francisco named Mokhtar. He travels to rugged mountainside farms to learn about the rich history and traditions of coffee in his ancestral land of Yemen. Meanwhile, foreign relations take a turn for the worst and he soon finds himself trapped in a civil war with little hope of getting out of it.

I really enjoyed “The Drunken Botanist” (581.632 Ste) and “Wicked Bugs” (632.7 Ste) by Texas author Amy Stewart. It incorporates the perfect blend of historical information, detailed descriptions, creative illustrations, expert interruptions, and how-to recipes in a compact yet readable format. Plus, these titles are perfect reading for the upcoming spring season.

Want to know (and see) more? Eager to discover and explore these beautiful books for yourself? So stop by the large display table next to the reference desk on the second floor anytime during regular library hours (9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays). Browse as much as you want, take your time, and get ready to enjoy unique examples of artistic skill.

Toni Ridgway-Woodall is a Library Assistant in the Reference and Local History Department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.

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