Five books to read and campus locations to visit afterward

Lilly LibraryView print quality image

"Journals of Sylvia Plath" by Sylvia Plath

Visit: The Sylvia Plath collection at the Lilly Library

In 1982, Sylvia Plath's husband authorized an abridged version of her journals to be published. Now, however, you can find the uncensored version of her journals. We are lucky enough to have one of the three major collections of Plath materials right here on campus. The Lilly Library also has a number of artifacts from her life including her personal letters, paintings, a lock of her hair and fashion magazines she edited.

Hoagie Carmichael statueView print quality image

"Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael" by Richard M. Sudhalter

Visit: The Hoagy Carmichael statue outside IU Cinema

I think most Hoosiers are well aware that Hoagy Carmichael was born in Bloomington and attended Indiana University, but this book tells more about the famous Hoosier's life. The book starts with Carmichael's time in Indiana and continues to tell his life story and the musical contributions he made throughout his lifetime. We have a fantastic statue outside IU Cinema, created by Michael McAuley, where students can sit by and engage with Carmichael as he plays the piano.

Alfred KinseyView print quality image

"The Kinsey Institute: The First Seventy Years" by Judith A. Allen and Hallimeda E. Allinson

Visit: The Kinsey Institute collection of art, artifacts and photography

I think this Kinsey Institute collection is one of the best-kept secrets on IU’s campus, housed on the second floor of the newly restored Morrison Hall. It might be intimidating for some to visit collections dedicated to human sexuality, but if you haven’t visited before, I highly recommend you give it a try! The staff is welcoming, and there is so much to learn. Currently, they are displaying a history exhibit to coincide with the Kinsey Institute's 70th anniversary. If you venture up to the fourth floor, you will discover the institute's library and archives. 

Ernie Pyle statueView print quality image

"Brave Men" by Ernie Pyle and G. Kurt Piehler

Visit: The Ernie Pyle statue outside Franklin Hall

Ernie Pyle is another revered Hoosier native and IU student. About three years ago, a sculpture of him by Harold "Tuck" Langland was placed outside Franklin Hall. Similar to that of Hoagy Carmichael, an open seat across from him encourages audience interaction with the statue -- which happens to be a perfect seat for reading a book! Pyle wrote four books about his experiences in World War II: "Ernie Pyle in England," "Here Is Your War," "Brave Men" and "Last Chapter." Choose one or, better yet, read all four.

Mathers MuseumView print quality image

"Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann

Visit: The Mathers Museum of World Cultures to view "A Giving Heritage: Wedding Clothes and the Osage Community," on display through Dec. 17

I read "Killers of the Flower Moon" over the summer, and I've been telling everyone about it because I still can't believe I was unaware of the Osage murders before reading this book. I think it is a book we should all read, if only to be more aware of our country's history. Every year I take my students to visit the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, and I'm particularly excited about visiting this semester so I can see this exhibit. My academic research focuses on historic wedding garments, so I am eager to see Osage wedding clothes, learn about the meaning of wedding coats and gain a greater appreciation for Osage culture.