Friday, April 09, 2010

How I Met Maira Kalman (well, sort of)

Yesterday, after dealing with broken glass and running around the city I decided I needed quiet. So, I went to the library, always my safe haven and thank goodness it reopened in February, I missed the smell and standing amidst great literary works. I super love books, even though when I really love one that I am reading I purposely don't finish the last 20 or so pages as I want the dreaminess of the story to last forever. I hide books in my mattress when I don't want them to end (one of my quirks). Anyway, I was looking for an escape, I mean, I had handled the Jeep break-in pretty well but had some random mind noise going on (trying to think if anything was stolen, which came up as zero). I started reading a book called A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar, which immediately sucked me in, but after about 20 pages I was able to just walk away from it. I felt like something else was out there. I looked at the art section, trying to find a book about DSLR camera to no avail. Right next to the art section was poetry and there was a peculiar looking book sticking out over the edge of the shelf as if calling out to me, whispering, "read me". I pulled the book out and it was The Principals of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman and once I opened it up I was sucked into another world. The color of the illustrations, her handwriting, the feeling of reading someone's random thoughts, I was all over it. I read half of this book at the library and then took it home and almost finished it at my kitchen table. It is an easy read, but please click on the title above to check it out. Maira is an AMAZING illustrator and writer, she is super funny or should I say her experiences (and those of her family) just tickled me. Am I super late to the party on this one? How come I had never heard of Maira before? She also written and illustrated 12 children's books, you must check them out if you have not already. I just ordered my own copy of The Principals of Uncertainty and she has a new book coming out in October of this year called And The Pursuit of Happiness (about American Democracy) which started as a column for Op-Extra in the New York Times just like The Principals of Uncertainty did. She also illustrated recent edition of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, which I find very intriguing as this is my go to book (I have marked mine up), I may have to get another copy soon ao why not the illustrated version, it would make it more fun.

Here are some of my favorites (as of this moment)...

Thank you Maira for showing me yourself in my local library and adding so much color to what could have been a gray day in deed.

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