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Picture Books for Adults?

What a treat to read a literary work with lots of illustrations!  Even though I'm many years past reading picture books to my young children, I still have a weakness for books with attractive pictures or vivid art work.  So my attention was immediately caught by a beautiful new book, 'Paintings in Proust',  which is a lavishly illustrated visual guide to Proust's literary masterpiece 'In Search of Lost Time'.  This sent me on a search for other literary gems which have been enhanced by illustrations.  What did I find?  'Blake's Dante: the complete illustrations to the Divine Comedy' in which the 18th century poet and artist William Blake illustrated Dante's great work.   Artist Aubrey Beardsley provided fascinating drawings for Oscar Wilde's controversial play 'Salome: a tragedy in one act'.   You might enjoy taking a look at J.R.R.Tolkein's world of Middle-earth as imagined by artists in books such as 'The Atlas of Middle-earth', 'A Tolkien Bestiary', or 'The Annotated Hobbit' in which many of Tolkien's own illustrations embellish the text, along with numerous illustrations from foreign editions of 'The Hobbit". Or enter Anne McCaffrey's fantasy world through 'The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern'.  The library's collection can provide a range of guides to past classics and future fantasies, but the ones with pictures are the best, in my view!




I like any books that add "extras" to books I've already read

While not a literary picturebook, Cooking with Shakespeare, is an interesting book that has recipes for meals people ate at that time (and may be mentioned in his writing). It also has information about dining etiquette, culture and hygiene. Did you know that sugar was a popular ingredient in toothpaste at the time and that tomatoes were considered poisonous?

This is fascinating reading for anyone but I would imagine that teachers could use information in this book to capture the interest of their students - and maybe their tastebuds.


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