There are books that are necessities for the shelf ("The Scarlet Letter," "Pride and Prejudice"), and those published solely to sass up the coffee table.
But there also is that rare breed that is so beautiful, you're tempted to tear out the tome's pages, tack them to the wall and stare. This is exactly the case for "Botanicals: Butterflies & Insects" by Leslie K. Overstreet (Assouline, $50).
The 300-page hardback is pure eye candy full of frame-worthy illustrations by famous botanical artists from the past three centuries. Its oversized pages were compiled by garden expert Overstreet, curator of the Natural History Rare Books Library at the Smithsonian Institution.
From vibrant art nouveau butterflies to graphic beetle dissections and painterly flowers, her compilation is the perfect summer read. Even if there aren't many words inside.