The Best Books Without Words For Adults

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This article showcases our top picks for Books Without Words For Adults. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination By Mitsumasa Anno

This product was recommended by Brian Jones from Best in Edmonton

In this entirely text-free book, M.C. Escher-inspired illustrations of elf-like creatures living in an impossible-seeming world are presented. Optical illusions create structures where inquisitive little men can walk on walls, hang pictures from the ceiling, and climb stairs to get to a lower location.. Escher’s artwork has the added dimension of excellent drafting, and their haunting atmosphere.

The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 By Thomas Ott

This product was recommended by Jack Williams from HandymanReviewed

The number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 can evoke a range of emotions, from sadness to obsession, without the use of words. O. Henry-like plot twists by Thomas Ott will excite fans of traditional horror. A prison guard discovers a small piece of paper with a string of numbers on it while cleaning the cell of a prisoner who was given a death sentence and then executed. He throws it into his pocket on the spur of the moment. The numbers on the paper pique the guard’s interest as he leads a lonely, routine life. His eerie, intricate scratchboard illustrations will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book.

Wordless Books By David A. Beronä

This product was recommended by Ava Collins from Adelaide Examiner

Rare wordless novels by four outstanding North American and European woodcut artists from the 20th century are included in Graphic Witness. Each page features a single linocut image made with a variety of tools; the introduction describes how these prints are made. Some of these works resemble a movie storyboard; the action moves along, and the reader or viewer can picture the dialogue, just as they would in a silent film, by filling in the blanks. The graphic novels are enlightening and challenge the foundations of militarism and capitalism. Since there is only one stark image on each page, which could be considered its own standalone work of art, the book can be read rather quickly.

The Sun, The Idea & Story Without Words By Frans Masereel

This product was recommended by Hannah Sanderson from Clever Canadian

These compelling graphic novels are full of symbolism and have more than 200 breathtakingly beautiful woodcut illustrations. The Sun, a somber exploration of one man’s battle with destiny; The Idea, a portrayal of the triumph of an artistic concept over tries at its marginalization; and Story Without Words, a story of aborted love, are some examples of the passionate, dynamic narratives. Masereel explores love, alienation, and artistic creation through a combination of allegory and satire. One never gets tired of looking at these powerful Expressionistic images, according to Thomas Mann, who praised them for being so compelling, so deeply felt, and so rich in ideas.

What It Is By Lynda Barry

This product was recommended by Jenna Adams from Avenue Perth

Deliciously drawn (with collage pieces incorporated into each page), perceptive, and brimming with enthusiasm for the creative process. What It Is by Lynda Barry offers an example of a tried-and-true creative technique that is engaging, effective, and available to anyone with a curious desire to write or to remember. Each page of Drawn & Quarterly is a full-color collage made up entirely of brand-new content, and it serves as an inspiring illustration of the book’s tagline, The ordinary is extraordinary.

The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn By Paul Davies

This product was recommended by Anthony Quint from Get on Stream

This is one of my favorite gaming art books out there, and although there are words and commentary throughout the book, the main focus is the beautiful images and concept art for the Horizon Zero Dawn game. I love collecting books with gaming art in them, and this one is by far one of the best, as the art has a great amount of detail and shows the progress of how it was all designed.

WHY?: A Timeless Story Told Without Words By Nikolai Popov

This product was recommended by James Watts from Own The Grill

It examines and ridicules the nature of conflict and jealousy through a simple but effective series of images that tell the story of a frog and a mouse and their mutual ruin. A powerful and unforgettable story, its a meaningful reminder of the ills of human nature, regardless of the reader’s age.

The Arrival By Shaun Tan

This product was recommended by Andrew Adamo from Bullion Shark

This is a beautiful, haunting book of an immigrant’s journey to a new world. You are able to experience his anguish as he leaves his family behind to travel across the world looking for a better life. Along the way he meets other immigrants who also share their stories. This book brings the old adage, “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” to life. Tan does a great job of rendering historic photographs to tell his story.

The Longest Day of the Future By Luca Varela

This product was recommended by Jim Campbell from Honeymoon Goals

It is a fantastic graphic novel by Lucas Varela set in a futuristic world plagued with capitalism and flying cars, our protagonist really wants to get away on vacation to a place called ‘Paraiso’, but trouble gets in the way. I won’t spoil too much, but Varela’s art style and the way he captures emotion have no need for words, it’s a fantastic read that I really recommend.

Forest Song Coloring Book By R.J. Hampson

This product was recommended by Kathleen Fletcher from Kitty Baby Love

Adult coloring books are a brilliant addition to any bookshelf in this day and age. With a huge increase in the amount of stress we are all experiencing, especially after the last few years, we need to have some sort of method to calm down and practice mindfulness – and that is why this book is so brilliant! You can while away an evening coloring beautiful images, letting your mind relax, and encouraging your imagination to thrive

Journey By Aaron Becker

This product was recommended by Roger Deutsch from Alcat-Europe

The book which I would like to recommend is Journey by Aaron Becker, as this book reminds me of my adulthood. It is the story of a girl who draws a magic door on the wall of her bedroom and reeks of some other world through that door. This new world is full of exciting things, adventures, and some quite dangerous things. It shows her struggle and how she lived her life against all the odds given.

Metronome By Veronique Tanaka

This product was recommended by Mimi Paul from Kyte Digital

This is a book with no words so it is great for those of us who love to use thier imaginations. It is all based on the images within. This is a story of a relationship between two people expressed in an experimental style. It uses panels to set a regular tempo of time. Tanaka does a style of technical drawing that is gripping, overall a wordless novel that would entertain adults.

Where the Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

This classic book has been beloved for generations, and with good reason. The story of a young boy who runs away to an island inhabited by giant monsters is as imaginative as it is heartwarming, and the illustrations are simply gorgeous.

The Marvels By Brian Selznick

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

If you’re a fan of history or just love a good mystery, this book is for you. Told in both words and pictures, it tells the story of two parallel narratives – one in the present day and one in the 18th century – that eventually come together in a surprising and moving way.

Building Stories By Chris Ware

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

It’s not technically a book in the traditional sense. But what it lacks in traditionalism, it makes up for in sheer brilliance. Building Stories is a collection of 14 different pieces – ranging from a newspaper comic to a paperback novel to a set of moveable cards – that all tell the interwoven stories of the inhabitants of a single apartment building. It’s an ambitious and inventive work and one that will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon By Kelly Barnhill

This product was recommended by Jennie Miller from Midss

This New York Times bestselling novel is a must-read for anyone who loves a good fairy tale. The story follows a young girl who is mistakenly given a magic potion by a well-meaning witch and the consequences that ensue when she drinks it. It’s a charming and poignant story, beautifully illustrated and perfect for anyone who’s looking for a light but engaging read.

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