Book: The Principles of Uncertainty
Author: Maira Kalman
Like/Don't Like: Like!!!
I don't know how I got stuck on reading the New York Times. The LA Times is just fine. They have almost everything the NY Times has (except Nicholas Kristoff. Dear Nicholas Kristoff, please stop writing your book and get back to writing your column. I miss you, even though you only ever write about child prostitution and women dying in Africa. Best, Rachel) plus they have a better entertainment section. But every morning I check with the NY Times to see what news I missed because I can't bear to watch the news on TV. It's too painful. All they talk about is the weather (Note to tv news producers: We don't have weather here. It's Southern California. Land of the Never Ending Sunny Day. I don't think that 1 inch of rain justifies having 4 reporters on Storm Watch.)
Anyway, last year they ran a series by the illustrator Maira Kalman. It was a collection of text and pictures based on her observations and I was sold on them right away. They were charming and sad and joyous and lovable all at once. And random, which I love. Each monthly installment seemed to be a collection of something entirely random. She would start out talking about Nietzsche's moustache and end up painting her hotel bathroom sink. But at the end of each piece you felt like something whole had been created. I would wait every month for the next installment. And when I heard that they were going to be made into a book I pre-ordered it right away. There are few things better than pre-ordering a book and then forgetting about it then coming home from a crappy day at work to find an Amazon box sitting on your doormat. Fantastic! I initially thought that I shouldn't get the book because you can see the whole series on-line (seriously, have a look) but I'm so glad I did. The prints in the book are beautiful and bright and it has big fat glossy pages that make it weigh twice as much as a book of it's size. Very substantial. And reading the whole thing in one sitting felt really rewarding. She's a fascinating woman and I'd like to have a snack with her sometime.