Meredith Hylton is the store manager at Indy Reads Books, a local non-profit bookstore that uses its proceeds to improve the literacy of adult learners in the Indianapolis community and provide them with job readiness skills. We stopped into the store off of Mass Avenue to get some recommendations for our summer reading list!
Weaving: Contemporary Makers on the Loom
As a weaver with a background in art history, I’m always looking out for inspiration through the work and lives of others and pouring over the work of fellow makers. This book provides a look at contemporary weaving on an international level and includes essays which look at weaving through historical, social and gender-based lenses. Gorgeous photography and the diverse group of weavers profield show that the craftsmanship and artistry of weaving are alive and well.
Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart
Shakespeare and Company is, to me, the Platonic ideal of a bookstore. This book is the next best thing to a trip to Paris – possibly even better as they prohibit pictures in the store! Halverson covers the entire life of the store from its origins in Sylvia Beach’s original store of the same name up to the present day, illustrated through photographs, letters, and quotes from the “tumbleweeds” and authors who have loved and known it well.
Bauhaus Women: Art, Handicraft, Design
Reproductions of textiles produced by female artists at the Bauhaus during the 1930s. Startlingly modern in design and rivaling any of the paintings, furniture, etc. to come out of the same school.
Tove Jansson: Work and Love
The only English-language biography of Tove I’ve been able to get my hands on. A talented cartoonist (see: Moomins) and painter, a queer working artist, and a lovely woman with a mind for magic, whimsy and beauty, all of which appear in her work – her Moomin stories, comic strips and adult narrative fiction. I can’t get enough of her!
Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom
An elegant presentation and a veritable vegetable bible. Madison writes with great passion and knowledge about every vegetable you’ve ever heard of and those you haven’t, as well as their vegetable families and always 2-3 recipes for each.
Dress Like a Woman: Working Women and What They Wore
ROXANE GAY & VANESSA FRIEDMAN
Inverts the accepted idea of what it means to “dress like a woman” and, in doing so, illuminates the many roles and occupations women have held over the last century. These photographs look at factory workers, agricultural workers, mechanics, domestic dress, and on and on. Captivating photographs of well known women in history, but my favorite are the ordinary working women from a range of different backgrounds over the last century.
Queer X Design: 50 Years of Signs, Symbols, Banners, Logos, and Graphic Art of LGBTQ
Tells the history of the symbols, designs, and other iconic imagery of the LGBTQ community over the decades taking us from pre-Stonewall to the present day.
The Grammar of Ornament
Hundreds of pages of patterns used in textile design, interior design, tiling, borders, etc. spanning countries, cultures and centuries. Pages of full-color inspiration, with little to read and much to look at.
Cabinets of Wonder
I’ve been drawn to curiosity cabinets since I was little – drawn in by their eclectic collections and the mystery and wonder they evoked by the stillness and strangeness within. Davenne’s book captures these odd collections and allows you to pour over and exist within their world through photography and a history of the centuries old tradition.
Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017
Echoing Queer X Design, Art of Feminism gathers and documents the history of images, symbols, posters, etc. – some iconic and some less known – that were central to the women’s movement and the fight for equality of the last century and a half.