by Maira Kalman

The Principles of Uncertainty

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this book. If you are a fan of Maira, which you should be, this book is a must-have. It’s a collection of her yearlong blog column for The New York Times which posted every first Wednesday of the month. The book is the size of a normal hardcover paperback but the inside is like a painted journal. Maira tells us about life in general, and Russian history, the major hairdos she saw at Coney Island or about her mother who didn’t marry the man she loved, all in handwritten text and beautiful paintings. It’s intimate and personal and funny. She has a great sense of humor. My favorite is when she writes and paints her collections- boxes, sponges, Mosses of Long Island, and her candy collection- “The jewel of the collection is the Cratch bar purchased in Cuba. It sounds like a disease more than a candy treat, and I like to imagine the naming session.” Mostly we get a chance to see what her eye is drawn to-”The woman in the huge coat who could barely walk in her impossible shoes”or “The silent sink in the Corbusier house that speaks the truth.” The book is also really honest and touching- there were some pages where I felt that lump in my throat I get hearing a live orchestra. In the back of the book there is an index (not so different from Abbey’s in the Bird Feeder) where you can look up the pages that have forgiveness on them or bundt pan or awful lot of hair. Then there is an appendix with a honey cake recipe, postcards, tickets with numbers on them, photos of sofas and things that have fallen out of books. There is also a tear out map of the world drawn by her mother that is very wonderfully wrong. I can think of six people I am sending this book to because I know they will love it. Pick up yours here. Watch a fun short excerpt from a documentry about Maira here. (She has a Wheaten Terrier like my Rudy!)

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